Mr. W.W. (Willie Wendell) Roberts
KILGORE — Mr. W.W. (Willie Wendell) Roberts, of Kilgore, Texas, passed away on Sunday, January 3, 2021, at the age of 94. After several months of declining health, complications from Covid-19, pneumonia, and congestive heart failure, Willie died peacefully in his sleep.
He was born at home in Miller County, Arkansas, the youngest of eleven children, to father John Willis and mother Mary Jane “Mamie” Adcock on September 3, 1926. As a young boy in Arkansas, he worked on the family farm growing cotton. Later, he met the love of his life, Ima Vestal, at Bright Star Junior High School. They married on July 2, 1949. Willie Roberts graduated from Southern Arkansas University with a business degree. Then, in 1965, the Roberts family moved from Magnolia, Arkansas to Kilgore where Willie joined Davis-Kemp Tool Company and later Brooks Well Service. They were active members of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church along with their four children who all graduated from Kilgore High School. His family, his church, and his friends meant everything to him.
His community involvement and service in Lions Club as a 50-plus year member, East Texas Oil Men’s Golf Association, Kilgore Treatment Center, Kilgore School Board, and the Roy H. Laird Memorial Hospital Board led to his being named Kilgore Man of the Year in 1984. Willie was loved and cherished as a devoted father, grandfather, great-grandfather, uncle, wonderful friend, mentor, and loving husband. Many admired his hard work, energy, positivity, humor, and kind and generous spirit. While he is terribly missed, his spirit lives on through his faith, his friends, family, and in the lives of his children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Willie was preceded in death by his parents and his siblings. He is survived by his wife Ima Roberts, children Judy (and Michael) Baltz of Tyler, Jerry (and Roger Leslie) Roberts of Houston, Robin (and Sherron Killingsworth) Roberts of Orlando, and Jeff (and Jim Vasquez) Roberts of Dallas, as well as five grandchildren Cory (and Carrie) Roberts of Utah, Rebecca (and Lindsey Rigby) Roberts of Houston, Hilary Baltz of Tyler, Anna (and Nick Tu) of Pennsylvania, and Caroline (and Austin) Kurth of Dallas, and six great-grandchildren: Mary Ima, Lincoln, and Hank Roberts; Ryann and Reef Rigby-Roberts, and Caleb Kurth. Also left to cherish his memory are numerous friends and extended family.
In lieu of flowers, those wishing to celebrate his long and impactful life and his commitment to others may make a donation to the Ima and Willie Roberts College Scholarship Fund at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. Please send donations with this scholarship designation to St. Luke’s United Methodist Church, 401 East Main Street, Kilgore, TX 75662.
Due to Covid-19 concerns, a private graveside service for immediate family only will be held in the coming days with a Celebration of Life planned for later.
Online condolences may be left at www.raderfuneralhome.com
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