Obituary: Jewell N. Roberts Dec. 8, 1918 – March 14, 2016

JEWELL N. ROBERTS Dec. 8, 1918 – March 14, 2016

With the passing of Jewell Naomi Roberts in Albuquerque on March 14, 2016, the world lost a woman known among her friends and family for her indomitable will and incredible inner strength. 

Born on Dec. 8, 1918, in Van Town, Mo., to Homer L. and Cordie M. Montgomery, Jewell was the third of eight children. She was preceded in death by her parents; her four brothers, Charles, Francis, Floyd and Ralph Montgomery; and one sister, Ruth Ketchum, who had also lived in Los Alamos. She is survived by her husband, Don Roberts of Albuquerque, and her sisters, Reva Platt and Eleanor Kneebone, both of Colorado.

Jewell grew up in the Boulder, Colo., area where she worked hard to attend and graduate from high school during the difficult days of the Great Depression. She was a good student who read constantly, studied throughout her life, and who always aspired to teach others. To the exasperation of her family, she had demanding standards and expected no less than the best one could offer. She believed that she could shape her life regardless of roadblocks. Never one to remain silent, Jewell had many ideas to improve all manner of conditions. 

Ever an optimist, she believed in miracles and in the face of great difficulty always believed things would get better. She constantly sought solutions to overwhelming problems and kept others motivated to help her in her pursuit of new advancements. She was known for her feisty determination, perseverance, kindness, generosity and abundant support of others.  

Jewell’s “can do” attitude helped her throughout the illness and death of her daughter, Linda Kay Brown and gave her courage to endure the loss of her first husband Delbert F. (Pete) Pederson, who died unexpectedly at the age of 51. Through her sorrow she kept on believing that life has purpose, meaning and joy.

After the death of Pete, she met and married Donald G. Roberts, who became not only her husband of 42 years, but also her best friend and steadfast helpmate. Together they traveled to Canada and England, as well as to many locales in the United States. They particularly enjoyed camping/fishing trips with their friends.

Jewell was a talented homemaker who loved to cook and entertain. She also enjoyed gardening, sewing, knitting and crocheting. Following the death of her first husband, she learned to play golf and spent many enjoyable years on the golf course. She loved Los Alamos, having moved to the community in 1948, and gave back to the community through many volunteer efforts, including the Women’s Hospital Auxiliary and the United Church of Los Alamos. With declining health, Jewell and Don moved in 2014 to an assisted living community in Albuquerque to be near her daughter, Myrna S. Griffin.

Of all her accomplishments Jewell loved being a mother and family member the most. She is survived by two children, Delbert F. Pederson Jr. of Weatherford, Texas, and Myrna S. Griffin (John L.) of Corrales, NM and her son-in-law James M. Brown of Lubbock, Texas. She was equally devoted to her seven grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and three great-great-grandchildren. Up to her last days, she maintained contact with each of her nieces and nephews, who are scattered throughout the United States, and often talked about how fortunate she was to have so many dear family members. She also leaves behind Don’s three children and their families.

A memorial service will be held at the United Church of Los Alamos on Saturday, April 2, 2016 at 1:00 p.m.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in honor of Jewell to the United Church at 2525 Canyon Rd., Los Alamos, NM 87544 or to the Lupus Foundation of America at 2000 L Street, Ste. 410, Washington, DC 20036.

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