Journal Express, Knoxville, IA

Local News

March 4, 2013

Roberts will celebrate 105th birthday on Wednesday


Knoxville —

"I didn't think I was capable, but I thought I'd like a shot at it, so I said yes," she said. "That was 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for 25 years." 

The day she was replaced was among the saddest in her long life. She asked us not to get into the specifics of how she was replaced. 

"I loved my hospital work," she said. "That was my life." 

When that happened, she was in her late sixties. This began her volunteering career, one that includes achievements such as starting the first girls' 4-H Club in Indiana Township, working with the Zion Methodist Church, helping at the Community Action Center and more. Roberts has always been interested in being part of clubs, such as Eastern Star. Her love of cooking took her to many Marion County and Iowa State Fairs, where she shared her delicious recipes. 

Ralph passed away in 1976, but Helen stayed on the farm for another 20 years. She slipped and fell on the ice, breaking her hip for the first time, during that time frame. 

Nevertheless, it did not stop her from continuing to go to the lake as often as she could to feed the geese. She fondly remembers the travel trailer that took her on many adventures throughout the years, including the time she spent in Florida. She owned land on the west coast of Florida, but has since sold it. 

"I should have built a house and stayed there," she said. She believes everyone should own a piece of land. 

Roberts is confined to a wheelchair today, which disappoints her. Though she can no longer get the physical exercise she used to in nature, she continues to exercise her mind.

A proud, lifelong reader of the Journal-Express, as well as the Des Moines Register, Roberts continues to be a news and political enthusiast. She likes to know what's going on at every level - township, city, county, state federal. 

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