Mary Irene “Marene” Campbell Roberts, age 87, a longtime resident of Sneads, Florida passed away peacefully at Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center, Chipley, Florida, surrounded by her loved ones, on October 20, 2018. She was born January 24, 1931, in Ponce de Leon, Florida to William Campbell and Irene Weimonts Campbell. While growing up in Ponce de Leon she was a good student, a member of the female basketball team and a member of the Ponce de Leon High School band where she played the clarinet.
She remained a resident of Ponce de Leon until she was seventeen years of age when she enrolled in the Florida State Hospital Diploma Nursing program in 1948. She completed the program in 1951 and took her state boards at the age of twenty. After passing the state boards she married Fred James Roberts of Cypress, Florida who was also employed with Florida State Hospital as an attendant.
Ms. Roberts was the first nurse from Florida State Hospital to become a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner through a certificate program in Jacksonville, Florida. She worked as a nurse practitioner for a short while at Florida State Hospital then later transferring to the Jackson County Health Department as a public health A.R.N.P. She provided public service as a women’s health A.R.N.P., was a strong advocate for women’s health and women’s issues in general. She was loved by her patients and was very proud that her three daughters and three of her granddaughters entered the field of nursing. She often jokingly said it would take all of them to replace her.
Ms. Roberts enjoyed twenty-eight years of retirement. She traveled but most enjoyed taking care of and loving her grandchildren and seeing her great grandchildren. She enjoyed family gatherings and cooking for the gatherings. She lived a life of dedication to nursing and care of patients. She loved the beauty of nature and enjoyed reading, growing plants and caring for her many cats over the years.
Ms. Roberts was Baptist by faith and a member of the First Baptist Church of Sneads. She attended and taught Sunday school as an auxiliary. She loved her Lord and did her bible studies devoutly.
Marene is survived by her son, Ronald F. Roberts of Sneads, and her three daughters, M. Arlinda Hatton (Mike) of Sneads, Guilda A. Epps of Grand Ridge and Brenda J. NeSmith (Ray) of Sneads. Ms. Roberts is also survived by her five grandchildren Bonnie NeSmith, Jennifer Brown (Jeff), LeAnna Jones (Jason), Sarah Powell (Josh) and Benjamin Hatton (Katy) and five great grandchildren.
Marene was preceded in death by her father, William Campbell, mother, Irene Campbell both of Ponce de Leon, brother, Wilbur Ray Campbell of Tallahassee, sister, Edna Earl Sims of DeFuniak Springs, and son-in-law David P. Epps of Piedmont, Alabama.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to all Covenant Hospice staff but especially to Kayla McClamma and Teresa Owens. A very special thank you to the Washington Rehabilitation and Nursing Center and its staff for opening their doors after Hurricane Michael and making our mother comfortable in her final days. Furthermore, to the angels among us Felicia Hill-Martin, Jill Bennett, Lyn Leeuw and Shirley Rudd for their unconditional care of our mother.
Graveside service and interment at Pope Cemetery, Sneads, Florida on Wednesday, October 24, 2018 at 10:00 AM CST with Rev. Michael Murray officiating and McAlpin Funeral Home directing.
Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, www.alz.org or to a charity of your choice.
Expressions of sympathy may be made online at www.mcalpinfuneralhome.com