Bobby Joe Roberts said when he was younger, people told him he was "good looking." Years later, they told him he was "looking good!" That was just one of his many one-liners or jokes he would share to get a laugh. Today, he's looking his best as he left this earth to be with his heavenly father on Sunday, Feb, 19, 2017, in McAlester.
He was born the youngest of 13 children to Nathan and Susan Caroline "Callie" Roberts on Nov. 24, 1929, in Lamar. He was baptized in a fishing pond in Lamar as a young boy. The Baptist church is where he started his love of singing and music that stayed with him all his life.
He is survived by his wife, Bernice Roberts, of Arpelar. She fell in love with that good looking man when she was only 11 years old and they married when she was 16 and he 25. They celebrated their 62nd anniversary on Jan. 13.
Daddy, or Pops, is survived by children, daughter, Leilani and Curtis Ott, of Eufaula; daughter, Cindy Roberts, of Galveston, Texas; son, Frank and Tina Roberts, of Galveston, Texas. Their son, Robert Alan Roberts, died in 1989. Grandpa is also survived by grandchildren, Leigha and Kyle James, of Eagle River, Alaska, Clinton and Heidi Ott, of Houston, Texas, Bobby Vaughn, of Sallisaw, Joshaua Roberts, of Hobbs, New Mexico, Jamie and Richard Marion, of Hobbs, New Mexico, and Jodie Roberts, of Hobbs, New Mexico; great-grandchildren that loved his gentle hugs, Amaya, Braylon and Harmony Ott, Alaina and Gavin James, Emery Hernandez, and Faith, Adalyn and baby Marion; one sister-in-law, Kathern Roberts, of Oklahoma City, and many nieces, nephews and friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; son, and siblings, James Roberts, Leb Roberts, Cornelia Tallant, Polk Roberts, Nathan Roberts, Lizzie Gallahon, Rube Roberts, Alene Bachus, Grover Roberts, Lloyd Roberts and Dillard Roberts.
B.J., as his co-workers called him, believed education and hard work were important to success. He went to school in Lamar and graduated from Moss High School.
He joined the United States Navy when he was 21 and served four years during the Korean War. He was stationed in Hawaii and California, and did training in Japan.
He attended college at the University of Hawaii and graduated with a master's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Oklahoma.
B.J. was employed with the Federal Aviation Administration at Will Rogers Field and Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City, NASA at Edwards Air Force Base in Lancaster, California, and the McAlester Navy Ammunition Depot, now known as the McAlester Army Ammunition Plant, where he worked in special weapons.
His greatest career achievement was designing the guidance system for the X-15 while working for NASA. It set the record for speed and altitude.
He was a member of the Veterans of Foreign Wars in Donna, Texas, where he and Bernice spent their winters sitting on the back of the pickup truck on the beach watching the waves and shopping in Mexico. He loved going dancing and singing karoke.
Bob loved living in the country and caring for the cows, horses and pigs. A fun Saturday was brush-hogging the pasture. He enjoyed buying and selling things like cars, tools, knives or jewelry. He always looked for ways to save money and make a dollar.
He will be remembered for his vibrant and funny, sharp wit, that brainy mathematical mind writing equations on note paper, his contagious laugh and his love of strawberry ice cream.
The family is thankful Bob is whole again after Alzheimer's took away the mind of the smartest man they know.
Visitation will be from 5 to 7 p.m. today, Feb. 21, at Brumley-Mills Funeral Home.
Services will be at 1 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at Main and Oklahoma Church of Christ with Brother Jamie McKee officiating. Burial will follow at Arpelar Cemetery. Arrangements are under the direction of Brumley-Mills Funeral Home of McAlester.
Published on February 21, 2017