BOB (LlOYD JEFFERSON JR.) ROBERTS
Bob (Lloyd Jefferson Jr.) Roberts, 91, long-time Valley Auto Dealer passed away Saturday after a wonderful life. He was a beloved family member, friend and husband of Jo Lynge Roberts for 56 years. Bob was born in Tyler, Texas in 1916, then moved from Georgetown, Texas with his parents Lloyd Sr. (L.J.) and Francis Long Roberts, brother Harry and sister Sara to Edinburg. L.J. Sr. purchased the Standard Motor Company two blocks north of the old County Courthouse in 1927.
Bob graduated from the Edinburg school system and Edinburg Junior College (now U.T.P.A.) and then received his B.B.A. from the University of Texas-Austin. Upon graduation Bob worked at the dealership until September 1941 when he enlisted in the U.S. Army where he served until the end of World War II. As a member of the "Greatest Generation" Bob attained the rank of Major, was stationed in North Africa (Oran Algiers), The South Pacific (Bora Bora) and Italy (Naples and Livorno). Bob also served in the U.S. Cavalry, the Adjutant Generals Corp. and was honorably discharged in 1953. While in Italy he was required to seek accommodations and commandeered an Italian family's home in the hills above Naples Bay. As one of the top officers in Naples he befriended the family and gave orders to let the family stay in their home becoming life-long friends with family visits to Italy and visits to the valley by the Italian family.
After WWII Bob returned to Edinburg TEXAS and then graduated from the school of General Managers at what was then the Chevrolet Dealers' Son's School in Detroit, Michigan. He was then named General Manager of the Dealership in 1947. In 1968 the name of the dealership was changed to Roberts Chevrolet. Bob loved the business world and the family business. He worked with his father and brother Harry, sons Kip and Mitchell, nephew Mark Roberts and niece Lee Roberts Case at Roberts Chevrolet. Over his 60 plus years in the Chevrolet business Bob had the privilege to work with many, many dedicated, honest, hardworking and loyal employees with many working with him for 20-30-and 40 plus years.
In 1997 Bob and his family attended The Texas Automobile Dealers Association Banquet in Houston honoring Bob as a 50 year Chevrolet Dealer. Bob and the family were so proud to see the dealership reach its 80th anniversary last March. Bob fully retired at 85 years of age.
Shortly thereafter the family was presented with a life-time opportunity to sell the Roberts Chevrolet dealership property to the County of Hidalgo. The family business was then sold and it is now named Fiesta Chevrolet.
Mr. Roberts was always involved in civic issues. He was an extremely dedicated and proud life-long member of the Edinburg Kiwanis Club and last fall with his family present he received a 60 year honorary plaque for his years of service. Bob was past President of the Edinburg Kiwanis club and was also a past President of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce where his father L.J. served on the founding board of directors in 1927 and his brother Harry and son Mitch also served as President. He twice served on the Board of the Hidalgo County Road District working to get better roads for the county. He also was on the Boy Scout Council and served on the City of Edinburg's Urban Renewal Board. In 1970 Bob was asked to join the Board of Hidalgo Savings and Loan becoming President in 1973 and Chairman of the Board in 1974, retiring from the board in 1987.
Bob was devoted to his family and an avid sportsman taking his sons and friends on countless hunting and fishing trips with many family vacations throughout the United States and Europe. After graduation from The University of Texas at Austin Bob enjoyed several opportunities to work outside of the Valley including jobs with Goodyear Tires in Akron, Ohio and Frost Bank in San Antonio but Bob loved the Valley, South Padre Island and Mexico and returned home to work in the family business. One of his passions in life was taking long drives through the beautiful ranch lands of South Texas while listening to the country artists he loved and watching for native wildlife. Bob had many varied interests -opera from his years in Italy and at La Scala Opera House in Milan, astronomy, photography, classical music, growing citrus, gardening, repair work, his pets and extensive reading.
In 1952 Bob was set up on a blind date at a South Texas BBQ and met Jo Lynge who was teaching in McAllen and new to the Valley from Allen, Texas. He gave her credit for "rescuing him" from his bachelorhood and for his longevity. Also contributing to his years of excellent health was the wonderful care by Dr. Jeff Hines of McAllen and his and Jo's 35 year clinic visits to Dr. Kenneth Cooper, author and founder of the Cooper Aerobic Center in Dallas.
Bob is survived by his wife Jo Lynge Roberts of Edinburg, his daughter Cynthia (Cindy) of New York City, his sons Kip of Edinburg and Mitchell (Paula) and granddaughters Jenna and Lana of Austin, Texas, brother Harry (late wife Marjorie) of Edinburg and brother-in-law Ed (Jane) Lynge of Allen, Texas.
Bob was preceded in death by his sister Sara Roberts Baker (late husband Gillespie), sisters-in -law Lillian Hefner (late husband Roy), Margaret Wyneken (late husband Henry and his niece Kerry Baker (Sonny)Villarreal. He is also survived by his nieces and nephews Greg (Ruth) Roberts, Becky (Kent) Wittenburg, Mark (Terese) Roberts, Lee (Bobby-deceased) Case, Diane Wyneken (James) Meyer, Marsha Wyneken (Mike) Whitmire, Eddie (Janelle) Lynge, Anne Halderman, Tom (Caressa) Lynge, Tricia (Clay) Musslewhite, Dean (Mitzi) Hefner, and Rusty Hefner. Bob is also survived by numerous great nieces and nephews.
The family wishes to thank Anita Basaldua, Susana Carrizalez, Marcelino Gonzalez, and Carmelo Morales for their decades of service, dedication and friendship. Also to Fidel Lara of Lara's Services and his team of associates, Eva Espinosa, Esther Ballesteros, Magda Reyes, Rebecca De La Garza, Idalia Casteneda, Becky Macias, Laura Gonzalez and Lio Garcia for their devoted service, positive spirits and many kindnesses to Bob, Jo and family over the last year. We would also like to thank the devoted staff at Pace Home Health Care & Rio Grande Regional Hospital for their excellent care.
Visitation will be today, Tuesday, March 11, 2008 from 8 a.m. to noon. Funeral services will be held at 4 p.m. today, Tuesday, March 11, 2008, at The First Baptist Church in Edinburg with Rev. Mark Rotramel officiating. Interment will follow at Hillcrest Memorial Park.
Honorary Pallbearers are Joe E. Chapa of San Manuel and Bob's late friends; Preston Harris, George Brown, Henry Wyneken, Kemper Glick, Kenneth Glick, Bill York, George Voss, and Sidney Bloom of N.Y.C., the Former President's of the Edinburg Chamber of Commerce and the Edinburg Kiwanis Club.
In lieu of flowers the family requests donations be made to the Edinburg Kiwanis Club, The Museum of South Texas History, The WWII Memorial in Washington D.C. and The Valley War Veterans Memorial.
Bob's will, written many years ago, stated "Adios, don't mourn for me, I have lived a wonderful life and enjoyed every minute". The Roberts family appreciates your celebration of his life.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to the care of Skinner Silva Funeral Home in Edinburg TX.