Roberta Stewart York, 95, passed away peacefully of natural causes at St. Catherine's Village in Madison, MS, on November 16, 2020. She was a native Mississippian, born in Belzoni, and the second of four children. Her father was a Methodist minister who died when Roberta was five. Her mother was an accomplished high school teacher, having received her Master's degree from Columbia University in 1921. After living for a time in Silver City, her mother moved her young family to Kosciusko to teach at Kosciusko High, from which Roberta graduated. Roberta was a graduate of Millsaps College and active in Phi Mu sorority where she made lifelong friends. The "Phi Mu Girls" met for lunch for many decades. After college Roberta accepted a junior high teaching position in Grenada and met her husband, Frank, on a blind date shortly after his return as a Captain from WWII. They were married on June 15, 1947, for 62 years until his passing in 2009. Their first home was in Natchez before moving to Jackson and starting a family.
The mother of three, Roberta's life was centered on her Lord and her family. Along with her husband she helped start Trinity Presbyterian Church in their neighborhood, which is now Redeemer Presbyterian Church. She served as the first president of PresWIC, the regional women's ministry of the then-newly formed Presbyterian Church in America as well as president of the Women in the Church at Trinity and First Presbyterian Church. Roberta had a special gift for ministering to the elderly and a heart for global missions. She loved to write and co-authored the book "Beautiful Feet" about how to care for missionaries. Roberta's home was always open to her children's friends, neighbors, and extended family. With the addition of grandchildren, she assumed the role of "Mere Mere" and spent many years alongside their "Fa Fa," enjoying and supporting each one.
Roberta's hobbies were reading, traveling, and gardening. She would travel anywhere she could, near and far, and believed seeing other places and cultures gave you a different perspective of the world. At the age of 58, she fulfilled a lifelong dream to go on an archaeological dig in Israel and spent six weeks there with a team of college students. The Jordan River water she brought back was used to baptize many of her grandchildren.
The family Roberta leaves behind are daughters Dr. Anne Stewart York (Jeffrey Schrager) and Rosemary York Voltz; son Frank Snyder York III (Karan); grandchildren: Matt Ilinitch (fiancee Libby Rader), Anne Voltz Robertson (Matt), Blair Voltz III, Elizabeth Voltz Morris (Andrew), Edgar Voltz (Jessica), Frank York IV (Christina), Benton York (Meg), John Harrison York, Lorraine York Van Hersh (Andrew) and nine great-grandchildren as well as many dear nieces and nephews who called her "Aunt Dot" or "Aunt Berta".
Roberta was preceded in death by her beloved husband Frank York Jr., her parents Omar and Myrtle Stewart, brothers Dean and Bill Stewart, and sister Rosemary Stewart Lawrence. The family is deeply appreciative of the care Roberta received at the Hughes Center at St. Catherine's along with the assistance Jayne Hust of Living Services has provided for many years. Each and every caregiver has been a blessing.
Due to current health concerns a private memorial service was held in Hutton Chapel at First Presbyterian Church of Jackson on Saturday, November 21. Anyone wishing to send a memorial please consider Belhaven University, French Camp Academy, Navigators (care of Edgar Voltz), or a charity of choice.