Clarence Roberts was born in 1915 in Hooker, Georgia. His parents were Jim and Anna Bolds Roberts. Clarence had eight siblings. He was a lifetime resident of Hooker and attended Hooker Elementary School in Hooker, Georgia. He was employed by advertising companies. His wife was Lela Lorene Suttles Roberts and she was born in 1916 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Her parents were Judges and Edna Suttles. She had two siblings. After the death of her parents, she was reared by her grandfather, John Hook and her Aunt Mary Roberts in Hooker, Georgia. She attended schools in Chattanooga, Tennessee and Hooker, Georgia.
Clarence and Lela married in 1936 and they had three children. Times were hard but through the Grace of God, they sacrificed and educated their three children, Marion, Maxine and Levi. Both Clarence and Lela were hard workers; Clarence skilled in carpentry, repairing and building small machines. He was hired to work on the Old Birmingham Highway 11 when it was first built. Lela was a housewife.
Clarence and Lela were devoted members of Mt Calvary Missionary Baptist Church in (Hooker) Wildwood, Georgia. Each held several positions in the church. Clarence was instrumental in designing and helping construction of Mount Calvary.
Clarence departed this life in December 2000 and Lela departed this life February 2000. By Maxine Roberts
Editor’s Note: Maxine Roberts is known and loved by the large number of children she taught and her co-teachers when she worked for the Dade County Board of Education. Maxine taught in North Dade Elementary School and then Dade Elementary School.
The following was written by a very good friend of Clarence and Lela Roberts:
I first met Clarence Roberts when we both worked at Cummings in the mid-1960s. Although blacks and whites did not typically socialize with each other during those days (especially in the South), Clarence and I quickly became friends. He was an honest, friendly, hard working man who I came to respect and trust. In fact, he was the only person that I would let operate the 85 foot lift bucket when I was in it.
Our friendship went beyond the workplace, and our wives also looked after one another over the years. I remember many days when Lorrain would fix an extra sandwich and put it in Clarence’s lunchbox for me. Whenever Helen or I were sick, Clarence and Lorrain were there for us and helped out by cutting the grass or doing our laundry. We were not a white couple who knew and worked with a black couple, but rather, we were friends in the true sense of the word.
Clarence and his family were very active in the Hooker community. He was quick to lend a hand to anyone who needed help, and he was active his church. His kindness and generosity came naturally from his strong faith in God. He was truly a cornerstone of his community.
Clarence and I kept in touch with each other over the years even after we both moved on to different jobs. He would stop by my house, and we would reminisce about old times and talk about our families and the future.
I feel very privileged to have known Clarence and Lorrain, and I want his children and his children’s children to know what a good man he was. I can honestly say that my life was enriched by our friendship and that there is a void in my life since his passing. I know that Clarence is looking down on us all, and I hope to see him again when I, too, am called to our Father’s house.
Johnny W. Lee