Jerry L. Roberts

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February 4, 1934 - November 2, 2020
Born in Idalia, MO
Resided in St. Charles, MO

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Jerry L. Roberts, of St. Charles, MO, passed away Monday, November 2, 2020 at the age of 86. Loving husband of Sandra L. Roberts for 63 years; beloved son of the late Charles S. and Edith  Roberts; devoted father of Angela (Walter "Chip" IV) Baird, Tony (Sally) Roberts; cherished grandfather of Cassandra Baird, Sarah Roberts, and Walter "Quint" Baird, V; dear brother of Norma (George) Keistler, and Gary (Ann) Roberts; dear brother-in-law of Ruth Roberts. Jerry is also preceded in death by his sisters, Louise Sitz, Ella Rasberry; and two brothers, Bill Roberts, and Harold Roberts.

Jerry was born in Missouri and was raised in Marmaduke, AR. He was proud to be from Marmaduke, AR and never forgot where he came from. Jerry was a manned space vehicle and cruise missile Guidance & Control Systems engineer at McDonnell Aircraft (later McDonnell Douglas) for over three decades, retiring in 1989. He was initially assigned to the Mercury Program followed by Gemini, Manned Orbital Laboratory, and Skylab. Jerry was a crew member in the Mercury program from 1960-1962 and had access to the blockhouse to T-60 minutes, access to blockhouse and part of the John Glenn Launch Crew. Jerry started each manned vehicle assignment with design and development in St. Louis and then transfer to Launch Operations in Cape Canaveral, Florida. He was a valued member of the blockhouse crew for vehicle launch and recovery operations on each manned program. After Skylab, Jerry returned permanently to St Louis, was involved in GCS design and development for various cruise missiles (Tomahawk, Harpoon, etc.), and finished his career as Chief Design Engineer and Design Dept. Manager in the Astronautics Division.

Jerry was a member of First St. Charles United Methodist Church, former member The Show Me Shufflers, member of National Space Society, a contributing member of The Grissom space museum.  He was a member of Mercury 6, a team of former project engineers who continued to share their knowledge with young people to inspire the next generation of engineers, and to advance STEM education. He was a longtime Mason and Shriner. Jerry served in the United States Army during the Korean War and was part of the Signal Corp.

Jerry loved working on airplanes, cars and could fix anything. He was an aircraft enthusiast, had a love of trains, avid reader, and enjoyed playing games and card games. Jerry enjoyed watching ships and space launches from his deck in Florida. He also was a volunteer at Cape Canaveral air force station. Jerry enjoyed visiting museums and traveling the world with his wife. He was a very inquisitive mind and even as a child at the age of 8 he took apart the family radio and put it back together again just to see how it worked and held many electrical contracts even as a teenager. Jerry was dearly loved and will be greatly missed by all who knew him.

Memorials may be made in Jerry's name to St. Louis Science Center, The Space Museum, 116 E. School Street, Bonne Terre, MO 63628, St. Jude Children's Hospital, or First St. Charles United Methodist Church.

The church is requesting visitors to please use the atrium entrance at the rear of the church facing Jackson St.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, First United Methodist Church does require all family members and guests to wear a mask while visiting the church. Social distancing is required, and guests should stay at least 6 feet apart. Thank you for your understanding.

Guestbook Entries

  1. Nancy Vangilder November 3, 2020 at 6:07 pm - Reply

    We shall so miss him. My love and condolences to Sandy and all of his family and friends. Please keep God particularly close at this time of loss. My love to all. Jerry, may
    God take you up unto those skies which you have watched for many years and may you rest in peace in your new heavenly home. Lpve, Nancy

  2. Lynda (Schepp) Polys November 3, 2020 at 6:23 pm - Reply

    Aunt Sandy
    I am thinking of you all at this time. We’ve all lost a wonderful man. I’m sure he’s caught up with dad and they are retelling all of their stories. The stars are shining brighter
    Much love
    Lynda (Schepp) Polys

  3. Kim Bridges November 3, 2020 at 8:42 pm - Reply

    Thank you Mr Jerry for being who you are, never forgetting where you came from! Blessings on the Roberts family! We love you and are praying for you!

  4. Pat and Tony Busalacchi November 3, 2020 at 9:01 pm - Reply

    Pat and Tony Busalacchi Loved his stories, great memories, good friend, will be missed by Pat and Tony…Will always remember Jerry…..Prayers to Sandra and her family….

  5. STEVEN D SHEPHERD November 4, 2020 at 7:48 am - Reply

    Sorry for your loss

  6. John Schmidt November 4, 2020 at 8:17 am - Reply

    What a wonderfully full life! My condolences to the entire family. Wishing you God’s omnipotent peace.

  7. Shelly (Tierney) Poppell November 4, 2020 at 9:05 am - Reply

    I spent many hours as a child at the Roberts’ household. Sometimes so much that I felt like a family member. Jerry was always welcoming, caring, and funny. I will miss him with fond memories.

  8. Jerry Fox & JoAnn Shores November 4, 2020 at 9:09 am - Reply

    Jerry was a tremendous person. He will be sadly missed by all who knew him. Our thoughts and prayers for Sandy and family.

  9. Faye graham November 4, 2020 at 10:01 am - Reply

    So long old friend and classmate (marmaduke high school class of ‘51!). Rest in Christ’s peace….

    • Shannon Bard November 4, 2020 at 8:07 pm - Reply

      Sandy and family,
      I’m so sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. He was such a good friend to my Dad. I’m sure there are a lot of space stories being told in heaven right now. My thoughts are with you all.
      Stuart and Shannon (Schepp) Bard

  10. Barbara Rasche November 4, 2020 at 10:50 am - Reply

    We enjoyed Jerry’s sense of humor and were in awe of his pool of knowledge in so many areas. Besides having so much fun with Jerry and Sandy at the Sho Me Shufflers, we appreciated everything we learned from him.
    Our thoughts and prayers go out to Sandy and their entire family. He will be missed by many.
    Ray and Barb Rasche

  11. James Lipscomb November 4, 2020 at 12:20 pm - Reply

    candle 6Jerry was a good neighbor at La Vista Del Mar and will be missed. My thoughts and prayers are with you during this time.

  12. Kay Vance November 4, 2020 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    Friends come & go, but some linger in your memories, even when they are separated from you. Sandy & I are friends from high school, and when I think of Sandy, Jerry is always there. He was a friend also, and never changed from the small town guy I knew as a child. His accomplishments were awesome, but he was friends with people on many levels. I know that his family will miss him greatly, as will I although I didn’t see him very often for many years. God bless Sandy, Angie, Tony & their families. He was a good man–one of a kind!

  13. Ken & Rhonda Roberts November 4, 2020 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    We have so many fond memories of Uncle Jerry. He will be missed by all of the Roberts family nieces and nephews.

    Deepest Sympathy and Prayers for Aunt Sandy , Angie, & Tony and Grandchildren.

    Love, Ken & Rhonda Roberts

  14. Kathryn Morrissey Keistler November 4, 2020 at 7:34 pm - Reply

    So sorry for your loss. Keeping the family in my thoughts and prayers.

  15. Jim & Minnie Kozik November 5, 2020 at 6:13 am - Reply

    Dear Sandy
    You and your family are so blessed to have so many memories of a wonderful man. Jim and I are blessed to have had many good times with you both at the Sho-Me Shufflers.
    RIP Jerry
    Jim & Minnie Kozik

  16. Kim Reese November 5, 2020 at 8:19 am - Reply

    One of a kind man with great stories and jokes. Will be greatly missed. So glad he got to come ride combine and tractor with Brad. He was so excited to get to do this.

  17. Lois Lamping November 5, 2020 at 9:18 am - Reply

    You have mu deepest sympathy for your loss Jerry and Fred shared the same birthday. We would meet at Mr. Steak to celebrate. Love to you.

  18. Stephen Doughty November 5, 2020 at 10:20 am - Reply

    Sadly, we only knew Jerry for a few years, but in those few years we lived a lifetime. I truly enjoyed his freindship and all the rocket launch stories. We spent many mornings having coffee oceanside and discussed how we were going to change the world. Our adventures, especially at “the Cape” will forever be with me. Until we meet again, RIP my freind.

    Stephen and Lori Doughty

  19. Kathy, Greg, Chuck & Julie November 5, 2020 at 11:04 am - Reply

    To Sandy, Angie, and Tony – The Duello family sends our condolences and prayers for your loss. Your family was a great neighbor to have had. All of us have fond memories of Jerry and we know he will be missed. Take care.

  20. Jeff Evans November 5, 2020 at 11:43 am - Reply

    candle 3always enjoyed Jerry and his family when they came to Arkansas to visit thier family. Jerry was always working on projects that amazed kids like me from Marmaduke AR. He always had a story to tell. He will be missed by all. My thoughts and prayers are with the family, especially Sandy, Tony, and Angie.

  21. Jim Merriman November 5, 2020 at 3:38 pm - Reply

    I’m sadden by Jerry’s passing. Glad I got to know him and hear his space stories. Praying for his family.

  22. Carol Wilson Lawson November 5, 2020 at 3:52 pm - Reply

    I am so sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. He was dearly loved by our family. Jerry was someone to whom we could aspire. Our dad,, Duggie, Wilson, wanted all of us to be just like Jerry ,He even named his only son after Jerry. But when we chose to be business people and teachers instead, Dad thought he had failed as a parent. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family. Love to you all.
    Carol Wilson Lawson

  23. Michael Boyd - November 5, 2020 at 5:11 pm - Reply

    candle 8Jerry was a Master Mason in good service and faithful brotherhood for 30 years. It was an honor to call him a brother.
    He will be missed by his brothers at Gateway Lodge #40 AF&AM in Creve Coeur, MO
    Michael Boyd – Lodge Secretary

  24. Brenda Maffrand November 6, 2020 at 11:56 am - Reply

    So sorry to hear of Jerry’s passing. We got to know Jerry and Sandy through the Sho Me Shufflers dance club. Sending prayers to Sandy and the rest of the family.

    Brenda and Ron Maffrand

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