Obituary of Mable Virginia McDonald Roberson

Mable Virginia McDonald (1916-2011)

Mable McDonald Roberson

Mable McDonald Roberson

Mable Virginia McDonald (1916-2011) was born born on January 31, 1916 in Ray City,GA. She was a daughter of Carrie Eugenia Langford  and Lacey A. McDonald, and the elder sister of Billie McDonald. She was a grandaughter of William C. McDonald and Jane Lastinger McDonald.

Her father was a rural mail carrier serving the Cat Creek area near Ray City. As a girl,  Mable attended the Ray City school.  She finished high school in Valdosta, GA and graduated with the Valdosta High School class of 1932.  On September 23, 1936 she married John F. “Fred” Roberson in Ray City, GA.   He was a career officer in Army Air Corps, later the U.S. Air Force.  The couple made their home in Jacksonville, FL  and throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe where Fred was assigned to duty.

Obituary of Mable Virginia McDonald Roberson

ROBERSON Mable Virginia McDonald Roberson age 95, of Keystone Heights passed away at her home on December 28, 2011. She was born on January 31, 1916 in Ray City, Georgia to the late Lacey and Carrie (Langford) McDonald. Mable graduated from Valdosta High School, Valdosta, GA in 1932 and also graduated from Business School in Jacksonville, FL. In September of 1936 she became the beloved wife of John F. (Fred) Roberson in Ray City, GA. During their early years together, Mable worked as a clerk, bookkeeper and accountant for several businesses in Jacksonville. The majority of her life energy was given to being a loving wife and a nurturing, loving mother to four children, fourteen grandchildren, and twenty-one great grandchildren. She and Fred had over 74 wonderful, loving years together. Mable lived all over the world with her husband, a United States Air Force Officer. The time they spent in Japan, Alaska and Germany were among her favorite memories. Mable was a devoted daughter, sister, wife and mother. She enjoyed water skiing, traveling, cooking, gardening, and hosting family gatherings at the lake. Her compassionate caring for others included her ill mother for fourteen years and tenderly caring for her cherished husband. She was cheerfully generous with her time, energy and resources. She and her husband provided financial support to innumerable Christian Missions and Charitable Programs. She worked as a Volunteer at a children’s orphanage in Japan and the Lake Area Ministries, Keystone Heights. Her faith in the Lord was total and unwavering. Her desire that all come to a saving faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ was her highest priority. She was a faithful and active member of the Faith Presbyterian Church of Melrose. Colonel Roberson had preceded her in death in March 2011. She is survived by her four children; John F. Roberson, Jr. of Middleboro, MA, Virginia Jane Quine of Puyallup, WA, Carol Ann Seiders of Warwick, RI and Jeffery Lee Roberson of New Market, MD. She also leaves behind her brother; Billie McDonald of Ray City, GA, fourteen grandchildren, twenty-one great grandchildren, numerous loving nieces, nephews, and cousins. We, her children, do arise and call her blessed. Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all. Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Mother, we rejoice with you, because we know that to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord!

Funeral services were held on Saturday, January 7, 2012 in the Faith Presbyterian Church, Melrose, FL.  Interment followed at the Keystone Heights Cemetery.

 

Obituary of Colonel John “Fred” Roberson

ROBERSON Colonel John F. Roberson (retired) age 96 was born in Crescent City, FL on 24 November 1914. He passed away on March 29, 2011 at his home in Keystone Heights, FL after several months of illness. On September 23, 1936, Fred married Mable V. McDonald of Ray City, Georgia. They were devoted to each other for 74 years. His faith in the Lord was total and unwavering, and his desire that all come to a saving faith in the Lord Jesus Christ was his highest priority. He is survived by his wife, Mable, his four children, and was blessed with fourteen grandchildren, nineteen great grandchildren, and numerous loving nieces and nephews. Fred earned a degree in Business Administration from Ohio State University and a Master of Business Administration from Michigan State University. As a career military officer, he served with the Army Air Corps until it became the Unites States Air Force. During his service he rose to the rank of Colonel and was assigned throughout the United States, Asia, and Europe. He retired in 1974 to Keystone Heights where he was active in his church, on the golf course and on White Sands Lake where he taught three generations to water ski.

The funeral services  for John F. Roberson were held on Saturday, April 2, 2011 in the Faith Presbyterian Church, Melrose, FL. Interment followed at the Keystone Heights Cemetery.

Ray City Girls and Boys at Camp Wilkins

Ray City School students were among the girls and boys who attended 1931 summer courses at Camp Wilkins in Athens, GA. Camp Wilkins was built in 1924 as the first state 4-H camp in the nation.

According to the New Georgia Encyclopedia,

 “The roots of the Georgia 4-H Club began in 1904 in Newton County as a countywide boys’ corn club. Statewide corn- and cotton-growing contests were held in 1906. Chicken and pig contests were held in 1908. In that same year the program was also extended to black youngsters. Club work for girls began in Hancock County in 1906 and consisted of garden clubs, tomato clubs, and canning clubs. By 1911 more than 1,500 girls were active in the pre-4-H Club activities.  In 1924 the nation’s first state 4-H camp, Camp Wilkins, was built on the University of Georgia campus.”
1925-camp-wilkins

Cooking breakfast at Camp Wilkins, a part of Georgia State College of Agriculture, after a nature hike. Circa 1925-1932. Image source: Vanishing Georgia, Georgia Division of Archives and History, Office of Secretary of State.

 In  the summer of 1931 a number of local Ray City youth and adults attended Camp Wilkins, the first 4-H camp in Georgia.  Camp Wilkins offered  summer course programs June 14 through August 13 through the Georgia State College of Agriculture and the Mechanical Arts in Athens, GA, at the University of Georgia.

“BOYS’ AND GIRLS’ SHORT COURSES AT CAMP WILKINS

A short course of nine weeks is given every summer for the boys and girls who have won scholarships in the different agricultural and home economics clubs of the state. This course is also open to boys and girls who do not win scholarships.

Scholarships in the short courses are given by fair associations, chambers of commerce, women’s clubs, banks, and other public-spirited organizations and individuals who are interested in stimulating education in agriculture and home economics among boys and girls.

Every year more than 2,000 boys and girls take advantage of the elementary instruction which is made very practical indeed and is visualized as far as possible by application and illustration.”

Among the boys attending from Ray City were Bernard Johnson (RCHS 1930), Brown King (RCHS 1930),  Leland Langford  (RCHS, 1939),  J. D. Luke, Billy McDonald,  James Swindle  (RCHS, 1936). The girls were Clyde Carter (RCHS 1936), Margaret Carter  (RCHS 1930), Mabel McDonald (RCHS 1930), Clyde Moore, Doris Swindle  (RCHS 1930), and Grace Swindle, and Beth Terry (RCHS 1930).  Ray City adults Chloe Gardener Johnson   and Carrie McDonald were also at Camp Wilkins, attending a summer course for farm women.   The 4-H activities in Berrien County were coordinated by County Agricultural Agent Donald L. Branyon, and the Home Demonstration Agent was Mary Nell Davis.  In Georgia, there were also Negro Boys’ clubs, Negro Home Demonstration Clubs, Negro Agricultural Agents and Negro Home Demonstration Agents, but none serving Berrien County.  The black division of 4-H was headquartered at Savannah State College (now Savannah State University), and separate events were held for its members in Dublin, GA.
Announcement of the Georgia State College of Agriculture and the Mechanical Arts for the session 1932-1933 with Register of Officers and Students for the Session 1931-1932, Athens, Georgia

Announcement of the Georgia State College of Agriculture and the Mechanical Arts for the session 1932-1933 with Register of Officers and Students for the Session 1931-1932, Athens, Georgia

Camp Wilkins, Athens, GA

Camp Wilkins, Athens, GA, 1925

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Camp Wilkins

Club girls at Camp Wilkins studying home foundation plantings and shrubbery, 1925.  The building is Barrow Hall on the UGA campus.

Horticulture class at Camp Wilkins, Athens, GA

Horticulture class at Camp Wilkins, Athens, GA, 1925

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Athens, June 17-22, 1929. Farm women's camp, Georgia home demonstration council.

Athens, June 17-22, 1929. Farm women’s camp, Georgia home demonstration council.

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Billy McDonald at the University of Arizona

Billie McDonald, University of Arizona, 1952

Billie McDonald, of Ray City, GA at the University of Arizona, 1952

Billie McDonald, a son of Lacy Albert McDonald and Carrie Eugenia Langford, was born  November 10, 1920 at Ray City, GA.  He was a grandson of William C. McDonald and Jane Lastinger McDonald.

Billie and his sisters attended the Ray City School.  Mabel McDonald graduated from the Ray City  School (then a junior high school) with the class of 1930 and went on to graduate from Valdosta High School in 1932.   Eugenia McDonald graduated  from Ray City High School with the class of 1936, and Billie McDonald graduated with the RCHS class of 1938.  One of Billie’s classmates at Ray City was  J.I. Clements who went on to a long coaching career at Georgia Southern University.

Billie McDonald’s father, Lacy A. McDonald, (1881-1960) was born at Cat Creek, Lowndes County, GA and worked in the Cat Creek District as a rural mail carrier. Lacy McDonald was probably educated at Kings Chapel School near Ray City, as was his sister, Lillie McDonald, who attended the school in 1906.

Billie’s mother, Carrie Eugenia Langford (1894-1984), was born at Rays Mill, GA (now Ray City) on August 31, 1894, a daughter of William E. Langford and Mary Virginia Knight, granddaughter of William Washington Knight, and great granddaughter of Levi J. Knight, original settler of Ray City, GA.  Her parents owned a place between the farms of her uncle Walter Howard Knight and cousin Paul Knight.

Lacy McDonald and Carrie E. Langford were married on January 3, 1915 in Berrien County, GA. The ceremony was performed by Perry Thomas Knight, Minister of God. Afterward,  they made their home at Ray City, on the farm of Carrie’s parents.  Lacy continued to work as a rural mail carrier.  His 1918 draft registration gives his physical description as short and slender with brown eyes and dark hair.

In the summer of 1931,  ten-year-old Billie McDonald, his sister Mabel and their mother all went to Camp Wilkins, the first 4-H camp in Georgia.  Camp Wilkins was a program at the Georgia State College of Agriculture and the Mechanical Arts at Athens, GA, now known as the University of Georgia.  Billie and Mabel were there for the summer-long boys’ and girls camps. Their mother, Carrie McDonald, was there for a week long session for Farm Women.  Also attending from Ray City  that summer at Camp Wilkins were Leland Langford  (RCHS, 1939),  J. D. Luke, James Swindle  (RCHS, 1936), and girls Clyde Carter (RCHS 1936), Margaret Carter, Clyde Moore, Doris Swindle, and Grace Swindle.  Chloe Johnson was there also, attending the summer school for farm women.    The 4-H activities in Berrien County were coordinated by County Agricultural Agent Donald L. Branyon.

Billie Graduated with the RCHS class of 1938.  In 1950, he was enrolled at the University of Arizona.  While pursuing his degree there he was a member of the Ramblers hiking club.

Billie McDonald, of Ray City, GA, attended the University of Arizona in 1950. Billie was a member of the Ramblers hiking club.

Billie McDonald, of Ray City, GA, attended the University of Arizona in 1950. Billie was a member of the Ramblers hiking club.

 The only prerequisite for membership in Ramblers,  Arizona’s hiking club, is an incurable wanderlust. Ramblers departed regularly each Sunday for many points of interest in the Southwest, including Miller Peak, Mt. Lemmon, and Baboquivari Peak. The Rambler pin identifies those who have tramped on a required number of hikes.

Billie McDonald married Lucile “Lucy” Ponsell (Lucy) McDonald (1921-2008). She was born near Waycross GA  and lived in Jacksonville, FL during her early life. She also lived in Arizona, Alabama, Missouri and Mississippi before settling in Ray City, GA. She was a volunteer at  the Ray City library. She was a member of the First Baptist Church in Ray City where she also worked in the church library.

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