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.