- Published: January 14, 2010
Bertha Lee Martin Roberts died Thursday, Jan. 8, at Friends Care. She was 89.
Bertha was born on March 11, 1920, in Indianapolis, Ind. to the late George Walter Martin and the late Blanche Lulu Martin Johnson. Bertha attended Indianapolis public schools and graduated from Crispus Attucks High School in 1937. She professed hope in Christ at the age of 12 and was baptized by Rev. George Baltimore at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Indianapolis.
Known to many as “Mom Bert” or “Aunt Bert,” Bertha was preceded in death by her parents, two sisters, two brothers and her husband Walter Harvey Roberts (Papa Harvey).
Bertha’s children are Ted Roberts (Ann) of Yellow Springs and Sherrie Turner Maurer (Hugh) of Vt. From those unions there are six grandchildren: Veneda Gabourel, Lauree Martin, Eva Hocker, Jonathan Roberts, Amber Wylie and Adrian Roberts. In addition she leaves ten great-grandchildren, three nieces, three nephews and many grand nieces and nephews.
Bertha had been an active member of First Baptist Church since 1955. She worked as church clerk, Sunday school secretary and teacher of young adults. She organized and was the first chairman of the Ladies Circle, which later became the Pastors Aid. She was chairman of the 100th church anniversary program and was chairman of the calendar tea on several occasions. She was the first chairman of deaconess when that group was organized.
She started working for the U.S. government in 1940 at Ft. Benjamin Harrison in Indianapolis, Ind. and later transferred to Wright Patterson AFB, retiring in 1972. She then became the coordinator of the Yellow Springs Motor Meals program, commonly called the “Yellow Springs Meals on Wheels.” Bertha and Harvey Roberts retired from Motor Meals 35 years later, having expanded the program county-wide. She was also a member of the Greene Joint Vocational Advisory Board.
In 1988, Bertha was named one of the “Top Ten Women of the Year” by the Dayton Daily News. She was also a past matron of the Ruth Chapter #104 Order of the Eastern Star, and was honored during a special feature entitled, “A Tribute to a Heroine Among Us” on July 28, 1994.
The funeral will be held at First Baptist Church in Yellow Springs on Friday, Jan. 15. Viewing will take place 10 a.m.–noon. Family will be present at 11 a.m., and services will begin at noon. Interment will be at Dayton National Cemetery with Rev. Vurn O. Mullins officiating.
The family requests that, in lieu of flowers, donations be made in her name to an Alzheimer’s organization of your choice, or through the family.