Lucimarian Roberts, whose four children include WWL-TV anchor Sally-Ann Roberts and Good Morning America anchor Robin Roberts and whose life was marked by a commitment to family, community and public service, died Thursday. She was 88.
With the aftermath of Hurricane Isaac still devastating south Louisiana and Mississippi, Mrs. Roberts’ children, including Robin and Sally-Ann, were able to travel to the Gulf Coast to be with their mother before her death.
It came just hours after Robin Roberts appeared on an emotional “Good Morning America” broadcast, her final one before undergoing a bone marrow transplant for MDS, a blood and bone marrow disease. Sally-Ann is the donor and has been in New York the past week, undergoing medical procedures related to the transplant.
Earlier this year, Mrs. Roberts and daughter Robin authored a book titled, "My Story, My Song,” featuring reflections on Mrs. Roberts’ life and faith.
Mrs. Roberts, a longtime leader and community force in south Mississippi, worked as a teacher, social worker, college counselor and real estate agent, in addition to serving on a number of boards and commissions throughout her career.
Born in Ohio, she and her husband, the late Col. Lawrence Roberts, moved to the Mississippi Gulf Coast in 1969. Col. Roberts, one of the famed Tuskegee Airmen from World War II, was assigned there shortly before Hurricane Camille. Col. Roberts died in 2004.
In addition to her work with civic groups and charities, Mrs. Roberts was the first woman to chair the Mississippi Board of Education and served as director of the New Orleans branch of the Federal Reserve Bank. Other honors included the Medgar W. Evers Lifetime Achievement Award from the Gulfport Branch of the NAACP.
In addition to her two daughters, who have gone on to great success in broadcast journalism, Mrs. Roberts is the mother of Dorothy Roberts McEwen, who earned her master’s degree in social work, and Lawrence Roberts II, a teacher. She is also survived by several grandchildren and great-grandchildren.