Otto Roberts

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Otto William Roberts, 91, of Cape Girardeau passed away Sunday, Oct. 17, 2010, at Southeast Missouri Hospital.

He was born Nov. 29, 1918, at Sharum, Ark., son of Otto Henry and Rhoda Samantha Flanigan Roberts. He and Doris Edith Martin were married Aug. 22, 1938, in New Madrid, Mo. She preceded him in death June 5, 1999.

Survivors include three sons and a daughter, Lin (Linda) Roberts of Jackson, Charles (Barbara) Roberts of Cape Girardeau, Don (Wanda) Roberts of Jonesburg, Mo., Jane (Jerry) Marquis of Marble Hill, Mo.; 13 grandchildren; 24 great-grandchildren; and five great-great-grandchildren.

Otto was one of 14 children, two of whom died in infancy.

He was preceded by three brothers, Harold, Glen and Carl Roberts.

He is survived by four sisters, Geneva Hessling of St. Louis, Juanita Ohnimus of Kansas City, Mo., Louise Ayers of St. Louis, Betty Annis of Jackson; four brothers, Norman Roberts of Dexter, Mo., Darel Roberts of Cape Girardeau, Frank Roberts of Jackson and John Roberts of O'Fallon, Mo.

The family moved from St. Louis to the Bloomfield, Mo., area in 1956 where they were engaged in farming and later Otto opened an auto body repair business, which he operated until his retirement. His favorite hobby, besides fishing, gardening and visiting, was building bird houses. He made hundreds of them for family and friends.

He moved to Cape Girardeau about four years ago to be closer to family. He was a longtime member of Liberty Hill General Baptist Church at Aid, Mo., and seldom missed a service until he relocated to Cape Girardeau. In the last two years, because of health concerns, he made his home with a son's family.

Otto was active in church and community activities and had served on the Bloomfield City Council, as well as numerous committees and projects.

He was a kind and generous person who put God and his family foremost in his life. He was the patriarch of a large extended family who loved and respected him. It was not unusual for 100 or more immediate family members to meet for their annual Labor Day reunion. Otto would reminisce about "the good old days" and tell stories for hours. One of his favorites was about the youthful days when he and cousin Paul would spend hours sitting on the banks of the Mississippi, eating bananas and catching fish.

Friends may call from 5 to 8 p.m. today at Rainey-Mathis Funeral Home in Dexter.

The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at the funeral chapel, with the Rev. Phil Warren officiating. Interment will be in Bloomfield Cemetery.