Evelyn Leona (Grantham) Roberts, a longtime resident of Page, Arizona, peacefully made her transition to heaven from Page on Aug. 22, 2020.
Evelyn was born Aug. 11, 1942 in Delhi, Louisiana. In 1950, she moved with her family to Glendale, Arizona, where she went to Glendale Elementary School and graduated from Glendale High School.
After High School, Evelyn attended Good Samaritan Nursing School for a year but eventually decided to switch her focus to what would become one of her life’s passions of teaching and then she obtained her bachelor’s in education from Grand Canyon College in Phoenix, in only two-and-half years, a fact her family was very proud of. Subsequently, she received her master’s from Arizona State University. Later in life, after retiring from teaching, she followed another of her life’s passions and graduated from the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, California.
Evelyn had a long career teaching elementary school. After graduating from Grand Canyon College, she taught in Chinle, Arizona, in the Navajo Nation. Later, she taught in the Phoenix area, for the Deer Valley school system. There she met and married her husband Joe. In the mid 1970s, they moved to Page, where Evelyn continued to teach.
Retiring from teaching, Evelyn embarked on her second career. After graduating from Claremont, she was licensed as a local pastor in 1996. Pastor Evelyn Roberts served in the United Methodist Desert Southwest Conference; the Navajo Nation; the Northern Arizona Native American Ministries (associate) and in Page; and the Community United Methodist Church. Evelyn retired again in 2005 and continued serving in Page at the Community UMC until 2012.
Evelyn was devoted to her family as well as her extended family. She was known for her remarkable people skills and her empathetic ability. She was revered among her former students, her former parishioners, and a good part of the Navajo Nation in northeast Arizona.
She loved the children. She taught in school and always tried to find fun ways to help them learn. Early in her teaching career, she and a co-worker pioneered a Team Teaching concept. Later in her teaching career, she helped develop a program to support at risk children. As a pastor, she spent countless hours serving the people of her church and supporting those on the Navajo Nation.
Evelyn loved flowers and loved working in her garden. She was an avid rock collector. She was an accomplished painter. She painted canvas as well as ceramics and on the rocks she collected. She loved everything blue, sometimes being referred to as the “Blue Lady.”
Evelyn touched many lives with her loving and giving soul. She will be with us always and in our hearts forever.
Evelyn was preceded in death by her husband Joseph Gene “Joe” Roberts; her mother Bessie Mae (Dove) Grantham; her father Haschal Grantham; and her brother (John Grantham). She is survived by son Ben Roberts of Page; stepson Don Roberts (Kathey) of Guffey, Colorado; stepdaughter Debby Knott (Bill) of Falcon, Colorado; sister Sharon Jarnagin (Randy) of Wickenburg, Arizona; brother David Grantham (Sandy) of Chino Valley, Arizona; two grandchildren (Brenda and Ranjot); and one great-grandchild (Gillian).
A celebration of Evelyn’s life will be held Saturday, Sept. 5, 2020 at 10 a.m. Mountain Standard Time. Due to COVID-19, there will not be an in-person service, but it will be recorded and available afterward on the Page Community UMC Facebook site (facebook.com/PageCommunity UMC).
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to Page Community United Methodist Church.