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Roberta Joy Jones passed away on November 8, 2020 at the age of 86. Roberta enjoyed being called by her middle name, Joy, as that name reflected her zest for life. Her strong will, born of a beautiful mind and an indomitable spirit, served her well as she battled with, and overcame, life's obstacles. Her decision to tint her hair red continuously for 60 years provided an outward sign of her inward fire and determination.
Roberta was born on September 1, 1934 to Mildred Fontella Peebles (Stout) and Joseph Thomas Peebles in Portland, Oregon. By the time she was five, her mother had married John (Jack) Elza Wilson. Her early years were spent in Portland with her sister Cleo and brother Dee. She also lived for a number of years on her grandmother Stout's farm in Canby, Oregon. The family moved to Eugene, Oregon where Roberta spent her school years and where her younger sister Jacqueline (Jackie) was born. In seventh grade Roberta contracted polio. She lost the ability to walk and her throat was partially paralyzed. She missed three months of school as she battled, and conquered, the disease--having to relearn how to walk.
Roberta's school years culminated with her graduation from Eugene High School, where she took classes in shorthand and transcription. She enjoyed art, dancing and going to the movies. The family made frequent trips to the Oregon Coast and as a result Roberta developed a life-long love for the Oregon Coast, and driftwood.
She married Robert Shirley after graduating high school. Her young married life took her to Georgia, Panama, Washington and Alaska before returning to her native Oregon. The family grew quickly. Roberta gave birth to five children in a period of less than seven years. For a time, she was a single working mother of five children, all under the age of 12. Her steadiness righted life's ship for them. The oldest, Dianne, graduated high school in Oregon. Roberta moved to New York after remarrying in 1974 (to Dennis Winn) and the middle three children, Ken, Roger and Gloria graduated high school in upstate New York. A move to New Jersey followed and her youngest child, Keith, graduated high school there. Roberta worked throughout her adult life as a secretary/administrative assistant including tenures at the University of Oregon Department of Education, Union Carbide in Buffalo, New York, Weichert Realty in New Jersey and Eimco in Salt Lake City until her retirement in 1997.
Upon becoming an empty nester, Roberta moved to Utah to be close to her children, who had all attended college at BYU or Ricks and her grandchildren. Here she met Richard Jones. They were married in 1986 and sealed in the Jordan River Temple in August 1998. Roberta served a Family History mission with Richard in the Alabama-Birmingham and Florida-Tallahassee missions from 2001-2003. Upon completion of their mission, Roberta and Richard moved to Vancouver, WA and began serving as Temple workers in the Portland, Oregon temple. That service continued for 15 years until they relocated to Utah in 2018.
Roberta's legacy of courage, strength and service will forever be an example worthy of emulation by her five children Dianne (Tom Kanary), Ken (Luz Rugamas), Roger (Laura Atkinson), Gloria (Jenn Child), and Keith (Lillian Montes), her 17 grandchildren and 34 great-grandchildren.
A family visitation will be held Friday, November 20, 2020 prior to a private family funeral. Interment will be in the Veterans Memorial Cemetery, Camp Williams at 1:30 p.m.
Condolences may be sent to the family at www.olpinmortuary.com.
Due to Covid 19 restrictions, masks and social distancing will be required.
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