Elwood Roberts, age 87, of Lamar, passed away Wednesday, May 7, 2014 at Mercy Hospital in Joplin.
Elwood was born May 29, 1926 in Carthage, Missouri one of the three children of Ollie and Fay (Grim) Roberts. Elwood’s excellent work ethic and deep commitment to family was obvious after the sudden death of his father when Elwood was fifteen. After graduating from Lamar High School in 1944, Elwood immediately entered the U.S. Navy, serving aboard a landing craft in the Pacific during World War II. Returning home in 1946, he furthered his education with the GI Bill, attending Springfield College and earning a BA degree in business from MU in Columbia. His career as a merchant had begun early in his life, living in Jasper where his parents owned and operated Roberts Store. Moving to Lamar in 1932, Roberts Cash Store was established, later becoming Roberts Department Store. Elwood continued this family business on the west side of the square through 2002, and added a second location in Nevada, Missouri in 1983.
On October 3, 1950, in Lamar, Elwood married Joann Berry. In 1953, Joann died due to complications of childbirth. On December 26, 1960, Elwood married Ferne L. Brown, and she survives of the home. Additional survivors include a son, David (Teresa) Roberts; two daughters, Carol (Dr. Ted) Reavley and Ann (Judd) Chesnut; and a sister, Dr. Dorothy Roberts, all of Lamar. Elwood was devoted to his ten grandchildren, Erin (Dr. Mike) Reavley McNaught, Gregg (Ashley) Roberts, Beth (Jeremy) Chesnut Fowler, Dr. Brenton (Kristen) Reavley, Brooke Reavley, Dr. Brian Reavley, Lindsey (Jeremy) Roberts Pritchard, Jared Chesnut, Adam (Candace) Chesnut, and Shelby Roberts. He adored his 15 great-grandchildren, Shae, Brecken, & Trace Roberts, Zane Reavley, Halle, Claire, & Grant McNaught, Heather, Paige, & Lilly Pritchard, Tanner & Teagan Fowler, Andee & Ellee Chesnut & Ella Reavley, and was looking forward to welcoming another great-grandson to the family in July. In addition to his parents and Joann, Elwood was preceded in death by a sister, Pauline Fleetwood.
An active member of First Baptist Church in Lamar, Elwood had served as a Sunday school teacher for many years and was currently chairman of deacons. He was a past-president of Lamar Rotary and was “Rotarian of the Year” in 2001-2002. An avid outdoorsman, Elwood enjoyed golfing, hunting, and fishing, especially if it meant time shared with children and grandchildren. Elwood and Ferne enjoyed many trips abroad and traveled extensively in their motor home. When not traveling, they followed family activities and events, and were awarded “Athletic Supporters of the Year” at Lamar High School.
Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, May 10th at Lamar First Baptist Church where the family will receive friends from 10:00 a.m. until service time. Burial will be in Lake Cemetery.
Memorial contributions are suggested to First Baptist Church Building Fund or Gideons International, in care of Daniel Funeral Home.
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