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Columbia Missourian

Barbara Roberts devoted her life to family, taking care of children

By Allison Shapiro
August 25, 2013 | 7:26 p.m. CDT

COLUMBIA — Every morning, Barbara Roberts would wake up at 5 a.m. to make breakfast for herself and her husband. After he would leave to go work on their farm, Mrs. Roberts would spend the rest of the day taking care of her grandchildren and many others at her Columbia daycare.

"She loved people and doing things for people," her husband, Charles Roberts, said. 

Barbara H. Roberts of Columbia died Sunday, Aug. 25, 2013 at her home.  She was 80. 

She was born June 18, 1933, in Rocheport to William Angel Hunt and Mary Nance Mahan-Hunt.

Mrs. Roberts met her future husband, Charles Roberts, when they were teenagers.  They would go on dates to a local drive-in theater on Broadway. The couple married April 2, 1955.

They worked together on a farm they owned for 49 years. Mrs. Roberts would can fresh vegetables from the farm and cook them for meals.

Taking care of her six grandchildren was a major part of her life. Mrs. Roberts operated a daycare for three decades at her home and cared for more than 325 children.

She imparted life lessons on all of them, teaching them values such as responsibility and respect.

"Being around her made us who we are today," her granddaughter Ashley Roberts said.

"She would say her grandchildren were the best therapy she could ever get," her granddaughter Courtney Roberts-Wright said.  "She took care of everyone else before herself." 

Mrs. Roberts is survived by her husband, Charles Roberts Sr.; a son, Charles Roberts Jr., and his wife, Katherine, of Harrisburg; a brother, Thomas Hunt, and his wife, Debbie, of Rocheport; a sister, Jane Tutt, and her husband, George, of Columbia; six grandchildren, Stacy Rapp of Boonville, John Roberts Jr. of Rocheport, Stephanie Murphy of Williamsburg, Ashley Roberts of Columbia, Courtney Roberts-Wright of Columbia, and Christopher Roberts of Harrisburg; and eight great-grandchildren.

Her parents, stepmother, one brother, six sisters and a son, John Fred Roberts Sr., died earlier.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Tuesday at Memorial Park Cemetery, 1217 Business Loop 70 W. 

Memorial contributions can be made to the Children's Hospital, 404 N. Keene St., Columbia, MO 65201.

Condolences can be posted at memorialfuneralhomeandcemetery.com.