The Rev. Dr. Maurice Edward Roberts

March 3, 1927 - July 5, 2011

The Rev. Dr. Maurice Edward Roberts passed away Tuesday, July 5, 2011, at home.

He was born March 3, 1927, in Emporia, Kan., to the Rev. and Mrs. Edward S. Roberts. He was a graduate of Waukesha High School, Ripon College and McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, and earned his doctorate in ministry at Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis.

His career as a Navy chaplain spanned 22 years, beginning as Sea Bee Battalion chaplain with MCB One in Argentia, Newfoundland and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. Other tours in his career included the Amphibious Squadron 12 and senior chaplain of the the USS Forrestal. He served one year in Vietnam in the Mekong Delta. He served as chaplain at NAAS, Kingsville, Texas, NAS Argentia, Newfoundland, and as force chaplain, Submarine Force, Pacific Fleet and at subase Pearl Harbor. His last assignment was senior chaplain, U.S. Naval Academy, Annapolis, Md., before retiring as captain in 1977.

He served four years as associate pastor at the Old Stone Church in Cleveland, Ohio. He then served the Veterans Administration as hospital chaplain in Arkansas for 26 years. He was a member of the Presbytery of Arkansas, and served as Parish Associate of the First United Presbyterian Church of Fayetteville. He chaired a committee for the Presbytery, served as trustee of the Fayetteville Library Board and was a board member of the Evergreen Presbyterian Ministries in Bossier City, La.

His hobby was travel. His family has been to Iceland, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland and, most notably, Wales, where his father was born. He also took his wife on a tour of the Far East and to Israel, to study the life of Jesus. While he was senior chaplain aboard the USS Forrestal during its Mediterranean cruise, he had the thrill of preaching on the beach at Neapolis (now Kavala), Greece, where the apostle Paul once preached.

He is survived by his wife, Ann, at home; son, Edward Stephen (Susan) Roberts II of Marshall; daughter, Bronwyn (Dano) Fillion of Washington, D.C.; daughter, Gwyneth (Mark) Baker of Castle Rock, Colo.; three grandchildren; two nieces; and their families.

He was preceded in death by his parents and his sister, Lovinabel.

Visitation will be held from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. today, July 7, at the Nelson-Berna Funeral Home, 4520 N. Crossover Road, Fayetteville. The memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, July 8, at First United Presbyterian Church, Fayetteville.

Memorials may be made to First United Presbyterian Church or the Fayetteville Public Library.

Thanks to the staffs of Walnut Grove Nursing & Rehabilitation, Veterans Home, the VA Hospital and Circle of Life Hospice.

Arrangements are under the direction of Nelson-Berna Funeral Home & Crematory of Fayetteville, 479-521-5000. To sign the online guest book, please visit www.nelsonberna.com.