J . R. Roberts was the son of a farmer. He decided while still young that he wanted to do something else for a living. In 1921, before reaching the age of twenty-one, he had graduated from Williams Institute of Embalming in Kansas City, Kansas. He began work as a licensed professional for the Gill firm in Wichita, Kansas, remaining there until 1922. He then moved to Norman, Oklahoma, where he worked for the I. E. Jackson Funeral Home until 1928.
On August 1, 1928, he opened the Roberts Mortuary taking over the Estes and Schorr operation located at 118 E. Blackwell Avenue. Roberts opened for business with a 1928 Kissell combination ambulance and hearse which could be "secured at any hour - day or night."
On November 1, 1932, Roberts Burial Association service was added to the services provided by the funeral home.
In 1943, J. R. Roberts purchased the former Buellesfeld home, remodelled it, and moved it to its current location at 120 W. Padon.
In order to assist servicemen returning from the Second World War, the funeral home hired three veterans to train under the GI Bill. Upon his discharge from the U. S. Navy after World War II, Bob W. Roberts became associated with his father's business. He served his apprecticeship in Blackwell and graduated from Williams Institute of Embalming.
In 1950 Jim Roberts, another of J.R. and Leona's sons, also became associated with the business following his graduation from the Dallas Institute of Mortuary Science. He was affiliated with the firm until 1963 when he moved to Purcell and joined his father-in-law in the operation of the Conner-Roberts Funeral Home.
On July 11, 1968, a newly-completed chapel was dedicated in a service directed by the Blackwell Ministerial Alliance.
Following the tragic death of Bob Jr. in 1970, Jim and Betty returned to Blackwell and purchased his father's funeral home and ambulance service.
In 1989 Jamie D. Strahorn joined the firm and in 1996 James W. Roberts III and his wife Susan moved to Blackwell and continued the family tradition.
IN MEMORY OF:
J. R. Roberts, 1903 - 1986
Leona G. Roberts, 1904 - 1979
Bob W. Roberts, 1926 - 1970
James W. Roberts, 1929 - 1999