ORAN, Mo. -- Charles Rodney Roberts, 53, of Oran died Friday, April 5, 2002, at the family home in Oran.
He was born at Vanduser, Mo., on July 19, 1948, to the late James Henry and Mary Ellen Riston Roberts.
He was a member of the First Baptist Church in Oran. He graduated from Oran High School and Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau.
Roberts formerly owned Mister Roberts Cleaners in Cape Girardeau.
He served in the U. S. Army from 1967 to 1969. He fought in the Vietnam War with the famed Wolfhounds regiment, the 227th infantry battalion, 25th infantry division and was the recipient of the Purple Heart, the Bronze Star and the Combat Infantry Badge. He was past commander of VFW Post 3838 and the 15th District. He received all-state commander in both posts.
Roberts was elected state commander in 1979. He was the first Vietnam veteran to serve as commander and the youngest commander in the history of the Missouri group. In 1981, he was appointed as director of Veterans Affairs for the state of Missouri by Gov. Kit Bond. While serving in this position he helped establish many of the veteran homes throughout the state of Missouri.
Survivors include two sons, James Roberts and Clayton Roberts, both of Jefferson City, Mo.; two brothers, Ed Roberts of Morley and Paul Douglas Roberts of Oran; three sisters and brothers-in-law, Dorothy and Haskil Tubbs of St. Louis, Alma and Wayne Hopper of Rendondo Beach, Calif.; Beverly Dawn and Jeryl Slinkard of Oran, Mo.; an aunt, Gladys Brown of Cape Girardeau; and several nieces and nephews.
Friends may call after 4 p.m. today at Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel in Oran. Services will be at 2 p.m. Tuesday at the chapel. The Rev. Ed Carter will officiate with burial at the Forest Hills Memorial Gardens Cemetery near Morley, Mo. Full military rites at graveside provided by VFW Post 3838.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society.