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Betty Jean Roberts

March 4, 1928 -
July 8, 2020

Betty Jean Roberts, 92, of Savoy passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in Champaign and was welcomed to her heavenly home at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.  A family service was held on Tuesday, July 14 at Morgan Memorial Home, with the Reverend Marc Brown officiating.  Burial followed at Grandview M…read more

Betty Jean Roberts, 92, of Savoy passed away peacefully at her daughter’s home in Champaign and was welcomed to her heavenly home at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020.  A family service was held on Tuesday, July 14 at Morgan Memorial Home, with the Reverend Marc Brown officiating.  Burial followed at Grandview Memorial Gardens, Champaign.

Betty Jean was born on March 4, 1928 to Joseph E. Allen and Neva B. Grindley Allen at Burnham City Hospital in Champaign.  She married Wayne Earl Roberts on September 3, 1948, and he survives. Also surviving are their three daughters, Janet Utterback (Michael), Terri Hancock and Lori Sticklen (John); five grandchildren, Jennifer Porter, Kristen Porter Basu (Joey), Andrew Sticklen, Tim Hancock (Angela), and Jason Sticklen (Jessica); three great-grandchildren, Kellen Porter, Matthew Sticklen and Joey Wayne Basu; two step granddaughters, Jill Burwitz and Sheila Utterback; and two step great-grandchildren, Mia and Brock Burwitz; two sisters, Patty Ann Eakin and Sandy Manuel (Dick); a brother, Don Dickerson (Jan); a cousin, Rick Grindley (Linnea); and several nieces and nephews.  She was preceded in death by her parents and several sisters- and brothers-in-law.

Following the death of Betty Jean’s father in a car accident when she was four, she lived with her mother and sister at her maternal grandparents’ home in Hensley Township. There she enjoyed the country life and attended Mount Vernon Methodist Church and the Hensley School through fifth grade. She then attended Dr. Howard Elementary, Champaign Junior High, and Champaign High School (CHS). She graduated high school with highest honors and as a member of the National Honor Society in the class of 1946 — the year the CHS basketball team won the state championship. Betty Jean completed one semester at Illinois Wesleyan University before her marriage to Wayne.

Following the birth of their first child in 1950, Betty Jean devoted the next two decades to raising the daughters and teaching them to cook, sew and run a household. She was an expert seamstress, making clothes, prom, and bridesmaid’s dresses among other items for her daughters. The family took many camping vacations throughout Illinois and the U.S.

Returning to the secretarial profession in 1969, Betty Jean held several positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC): at the Athletic Association, the Office of Vice-Chancellor for Student Affairs, the University of Illinois Foundation, the Institute of Aviation, and the Office of Vice-Chancellor for Administrative Affairs.

After her retirement from UIUC in 1988 with 22 years of service, Betty Jean and Wayne enjoyed Hawaiian, Alaskan and Caribbean cruises and continued to include their children and grandchildren in camping vacations.  They also enjoyed Friday night “dinners out” and playing cards with friends and family. Betty Jean’s hobbies included scrapbooking, rubber stamping and making greeting cards.

For over fifty years, along with Wayne, Betty Jean was an active member of Savoy United Methodist Church, participating in service projects, Bible studies, Sunday School and United Methodist Women.  She remained active into her 80s, even after a diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease.

Throughout her life Betty Jean extended kindness and grace to everyone she met. She offered unconditional love to her family members and friends, lending support and encouragement whenever and however needed. She was an exceptional wife, mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, and she will be greatly missed. We receive much comfort in the knowledge that she is in the presence of Jesus, her Savior.

Memorial contributions may be made to Savoy United Methodist Church, 3002 W. Old Church Rd., Champaign, IL 61822. Online condolences and memories may be shared at www.morganmemorialhome.com or sent to Wayne E. Roberts at 1185 CR 1100N, Champaign, IL 61822.

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