John Henry Roberts, 94, Altus, passed away on July 15, 2015 at the Jackson County Memorial Hospital. Celebration of Life services will be 10:30 AM Saturday, July 18, 2015 at the First Baptist Church with Rev. Keith Wiginton and Rev. Doug Altom officiating. Services are under the direction of the Kincannon Funeral Home.
John Henry Roberts passed away at the age of 94 in Jackson County Memorial Hospital on July 15, 2015. He is survived by his wife of 74 years, Mary Jo (Talkington) Roberts; a son, Johnny Joe Roberts, married to Elizabeth; and two daughters: Patti Ray, wife of John Ray, and Lisa Byers. Other members of his family include his grandsons Chris Roberts, married to Valerie (Freeman) Roberts and parents of Colson; and Paul Roberts, married to Rebecca (Cofer) Roberts and parents of Elijah and Cora Sue. His granddaughter, Amber (Byers) Haynes, is married to Andrew Haynes; they have a son, Ezra. He was preceded in death by his parents and five siblings.
John had three aunts who were instrumental in helping him as he grew up. Altie Curry, Nina Comer, and Tillie Roberts gave him love and support throughout his life. As their lives each came to a close, he returned the favor.
Johnny Roberts was part of a generation of men and women who lived through the Great Depression and WWII with faith, grit and character. He was born to Margaret (Dolan)Roberts and T.E. Roberts on January 10, 1921 in Ranger, TX, but the family moved to Altus, OK where it grew to include four boys and two sisters. Johnny began helping his family early by selling newspapers off the street in the second grade. He worked at the Altus Ice House and pulled cotton bolls. At age fourteen he hopped a freight train that took him to Arizona where he joined a traveling boxing team. Back home five years later, he wanted to marry Mary Jo Talkington, his seventeen year old sweetheart. Permission was granted providing she would promise to finish school.
The army soon beckoned, and Johnny served with the 45th Infantry. He attained the rank of captain in a battlefield promotion during WWII. Surviving four beachhead landings, he served in North Africa, Italy, France, and Germany. His reconnaissance team led the Americans into Dachau Concentration Camp. Johnny was awarded a Bronze Star, a Purple Heart, and the EAME Service Medal with 6 Bronze Stars, and 1 Bronze Arrowhead. He was given a Bronze Star with an Award for Valor for pulling a wounded soldier out of a burning halftrack during a mortar attack. He continued his military service during the Korean War.
Capt. Roberts was headed for promotion to Major when he decided to leave the army and make his living in Altus. He worked for Howard Morris in the used car business before opening his own car dealership in 1955: Johnny Roberts Dodge. During those early business years he often partnered with his friend, Jim Parrish, Sr.
He credits Howard Morris for witnessing to him about the Lord. The whole town turned around and took a second look when Johnny walked the aisle and became a Christian. He joined First Baptist Church of Altus, where he served on numerous committees and was the chairman of the Deacon body. His greatest calling was leading others to Christ.
With retirement time to fill, Johnny and Mary Jo could be found volunteering at Jackson County Memorial Hospital. He enjoyed his weekly golf match with the Wiginton brothers and Louis Street. Many hours were spent in his carpenter shop, creating beautiful furniture with his good friend, Cedar Dennis.
Throughout his life, Johnny and his family and friends vacationed in Colorado together. Lake City, Colorado was a favorite retirement spot for twenty years. Close friends and a good bass boat were enjoyed there. Many people thought Bruce and Gerry Roberts were family because of the close bond of friendship they shared.
When life finally slowed them down, he and Mary Jo continued fellowship with friends at the domino table.
The family would like to thank Dr. Jeff Moore, Doug Altom, and their church family for the many cards, prayers and visits extended to Johnny and Mary Jo. The staffs at Tamarack Retirement Center and Jackson County Memorial Hospital have been so warm and helpful. The family has been blessed to have Mary Jo’s uncle, Doyle Buchanan, and his wife Beth visit faithfully. A special thank you goes to Lydia Armendariz, who has cared for their needs for many years.
Army Officer, Mason, Father, Husband, Friend, CHRISTIAN
Job well done; life well lived
JOHN H. ROBERTS
Memorial contributions may be made in John’s name to the First Baptist Church Prayer Ministry, 300 N. Main Street, Altus, OK 73521
The family will receive friends from 6-8 p.m., Friday, July 17, at the funeral home.
Online tributes may be made at kincannonfuneralhome.com