Betty M. Roberts, 91, Maitland, Fla., passed away peacefully on July 19, 2018. She was born in Chicago to Delmar and Helen Schrumpf and grew up in Greenville and Alton, Ill. During World War II, she worked for the federal government, drawing classified maps for the U.S. military. After the war, she enrolled at Washington University in St. Louis and graduated with a degree in fashion design. At Washington University, she met Eugene (Gene) L. Roberts, Sr., whom she married in 1952. They lived in New Jersey and Addison, Ill., as Gene changed jobs until settling in Maitland, Fla. During her marriage of almost 61 years that ended with Gene Sr.’s death in 2013, she had 8 children, 14 grandchildren, and 4 great grandchildren.
Betty’s life was devoted to her husband and children. She deeply loved Gene and has now joined him in eternity. She had the rare talent of letting each of her children feel as if he or she was her favorite. More than a housewife, she was a multitalented artist who learned to play piano as a young girl and was fond of Chopin’s etudes. While at Washington University, she won awards for fashion design, including a swimsuit featured in a runway show and a pair of shoes that were later manufactured and sold at a St. Louis shoe store. She began painting seriously in high school. She took a break from art while most of her children were young, but later pursued her passion for it. She showed her paintings in many local art festivals and shows, including the Winter Park Art Festival. Her best-known painting, Lobster in a Crevice, won several awards before being sold. She was a member of the Maitland Association of Fine Arts, for whom she served as president and vice president, as well as the Artist League of Orange County and the Central Florida Art Association.
Betty also served her community through her love of children. Besides her own children, she held free art classes for children in her Maitland neighborhood. She taught second grade Sunday school for many years at Maitland Presbyterian Church. As a church project, she designed and sewed clothing for children in Haiti. She also made small stuffed animals, most of which went to pediatric patients at Florida Hospital Orlando.
Betty was preceded in death by her husband, Gene, and sons Dale and Mark. Her survivors include her children Gene (Jr.), Lisa, Kevin, Sandy, Steve and George. Her life will be celebrated at Maitland Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 4. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the church.
I've known Betty and Gene my entire life. They were truly two of the loveliest people one could know. They had a wonderful home and raised a wonderful family there. My wife Janchai met them 16 years ago. They were so kind and welcoming to her. Janchai and I send heart felt condolences to the family as memories of Betty and Gene are now as gold.
Jeff & Janchai Croy, TN