Kathy Roberson Obituary (1947 – 2022) – Tucson, AZ

After a long, excruciating struggle with Alzheimer’s, Kathy Virgilyn Roberson passed peacefully into her new life on May 19, 2022 with her spouse, Lisa, by her side. Kathy was truly a gift to all who knew her. Her generosity, contagious smile and infectious laughter is and will be sorely missed. Kathy was born in Shelby, NC on August 10, 1947, raised as a Lutheran in Morganton, NC and later, as an adult, became an Episcopalian. She had a circuitous advanced education at Sacred heart College, East Carolina University, and Central Piedmont Community College, then graduated from Winthrop University in Rock Hill, SC and moved to Charlotte, NC. In 1973 she and Phillip Stiles were married, then amicably divorced after 12 years together. In 1987 Kathy came to Arizona. She worked for Tucson Parks and Recreation for nearly 26 years. As a Leisure Class Coordinator, under Kathy’s guidance and leadership, COT’s Parks & Rec pottery program became one of the very best in the nation – but, of course, she always gave her staff all the credit! On April 12, 2022 Kathy and Lisa celebrated their 24th anniversary as life-partners, and on May 13, 2022 Kathy and Johanna Lisa Jones were legally married. Over the years, Kathy collected wonders of nature she found or fascinating beautiful. In her heart of hearts, Kathy was a free spirit, a kind, artistic soul who loved creating hand-made paper, sculptures, pottery and installation art, and she never failed to respect other artist’s works – even more, she always appreciated the beauty and magnificence of the supreme artist, God. May Kathy now be with all the colors of Tucson’s exquisite sunrises and sunsets, while dancing with the trees, singing with the birds, and swimming in all the colors of paradise – with her beautiful smile one with God. Kathy was predeceased by her parents, Mary Ella (nee Apple) and Fred Marshall Roberson, her stepmother, Maggie Lou Carpenter Roberson, her brother Marshall and sister-in-law, Shirley. Kathy is survived by her cherished North Carolina family, including her beloved cousins, John Virgil Crowe, Olivia Kay Roth and her husband, Dick, Marc Lattimore and his wife, Cathy, Joel Lattimore and his wife, Margaret, and other extended family. Our deepest gratitude goes to so many friends (+neighbors who’ve truly become friends), family and professionals who’ve been incredibly helpful and supportive during this extremely difficult time. Special thanks must go to Dr. Holly Ahner and the caring staff at Bristol Hospice, the Alzheimer’s Institute of Tucson, The Rev. Steve Keplinger and The Rev. Dr. Delle McCormick of Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, and Margarita Sanchez, Caregiver Extraordinaire. Earth angels and Godsends, every one! …And thank you, dear precious Kathy, for your most important lesson of all – teaching us that what it’s all about is compassion and Love. Donations in Kathy’s name may be made to Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 2331 E. Adams St., Tucson, AZ 85719, or Heifer International, PO Box 6021, Albert Lea, MN 56007-9831, or any worthy non-profit of your choice. Vielen Dank im Voraus! Kathy’s Celebration of Life service will be at Grace St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 10:00 am, Wednesday, August 10, 2022. Please, if you’re coming in person, do wear a mask even if you’re max-vaxxed! Note: You can also attend the service down-streaming live by going to: www.gsptucson.org at What’s Happening: Virtual Services and Meetings in the bottom right corner. The service will also be on YouTube later.

Published by Arizona Daily Star on Aug. 7, 2022.

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