Jim Roberts, St. Simons Island, left to meet his Lord Sunday, Jan. 8, after a very brief illness. He was 88.
He and his wife, Joanne, who preceded him in death in May 2014, were long-time St. Simons residents, most recently residing at Marsh’s Edge. They moved to the island after completing professional careers in the Chicago, Ill., area. For years they maintained a second home in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. He worked his entire professional career in advertising, first for the Chicago Tribune and later for the family of Tribune Company big-city dailies.
Roberts was recognized as a trail-blazing leader in advertising sales and management, winning every available award throughout the course of his 40-year career.
Born April 4, 1928, in Evanston, Ill., to Everett and Olga (Prill) Roberts, he grew up in neighboring Wilmette with brothers Bill and Dave, and sister Jane. He graduated from New Trier High School where he sang on the choir and was the basketball team’s center. At 6’6”, he was usually the tallest person in the room.
After high school he followed older brother Bill to Michigan State University (Go, Spartans). He joined ROTC, achieved the rank of 2nd Lt. and served in the Army during the Korean Conflict as 24th Division public information officer.
He returned to family life with his first wife, Rosemary, and young daughter Amy, who was followed by Jennifer, then Laura and Sarah, both of whom preceded him in death. Later remarrying Joanne Joyce, he acquired three more daughters: Deb, Anni and Marti. He gained custody of his younger three daughters in 1969 and the new family moved together to a home in Lake Forest, Ill.
He was an active evangelical Christian his entire adult life, helping to form the Chicago Full Gospel Businessman’s Fellowship breakfast group, Christian Laity of Chicago and many, many smaller groups and organizations aimed at providing tangible assistance to those in need. He continued his work in this area after moving south, maintaining an active interest in FaithWorks’ projects in Brunswick and Explorations in Antiquities Center, LaGrange, only recently retiring from board positions.
He and his wife were active in Wesley United Methodist Church at Frederica since first moving to the area in the mid-80s. His deep bass voice could be detected most every Sunday from a rear pew. His wise counsel and clear insight were sought by each new pastor and leadership team.
Roberts was known as a skilled basketball player, interpretive skier, optimistic deepwater fisherman, avid golfer and professional boat captain.
He is survived by five daughters, Amy Ort (Tony), Orange, Calif.; Jennifer, Herndon, Va.; Deb Lampert, Lake Geneva, Wis.; Anni Lampert, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.; and Marti McGinnis (Mike), San Miguel de Allende, Mexico; a grandson, Virgil Cole, Orange, Calif.; and a granddaughter, Betsy Lampert, Sturgeon Bay, Wis.
A memorial service is planned for 5 p.m. Friday, Jan. 13, at Wesley UMC on Frederica, St. Simons Island, followed by a reception in the fellowship hall.
A second memorial service will be conducted in Sturgeon Bay, Wis., in spring, when his ashes will be interred at Bayside Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to FaithWorks and Explorations in Antiquities Center.
Arrangements are entrusted to Edo Miller and Sons Funeral Home and Oglethorpe Crematorium, www.edomillerandsons.com.