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Anita Jane “Ninnie” Roberts

Anita Jane Roberts, after 80 years, slipped away from her earthly ties on December 4, 2018.  Her passing left a void in the hearts of family and friends who knew and loved her.  Anita had a keen mind, a creative talent sparked by ingenuity, and devotion and loyalty to her family.  She read much, wrote often, and was able to describe her experiences with detail and color.  The following are some of the life highlights she recalled.

On April 21, 1938, she became the ninth child and seventh daughter of Walter and Lucille Roberts and was given a name of special significance.  Sister Anita was a nun and head nurse at Mercy Hospital in Des Moines where Anita was born and Sarah (Sadie) Jane was her maternal grandmother.  When she was 18 months, the family moved to an Arkansas farm where Anita learned to love dogs, avoid rattlesnakes, relish home cooking, and engage in outdoor games of imagination and fun.

She graduated with honors from North High School and held a variety of secretarial positions.   Anita recalled many happy times with her sisters and family . Her ready smile and big brown eyes drew the attention of many.  She was crowned the Queen of Rock and Roll, danced on a television show, and won second place in the Miss Des Moines contest.  She particularly caught the eye of Dennis Allison whom she married in 1962.  After seven years, several miscarriages and a stillborn child, she gave birth to two beautiful daughters:  Angela in 1969 and Toni in 1971.  Anita said that her marriage may not have worked out but the “fearsome threesome” did.  Her daughters were both the center and pride of her existence.  Angela married Greg Bartleman and gave Anita three loving grandchildren:  Joshua, Rachel, and Jacob.  Toni married Kevin Baker and added five more wonderful grandchildren:  Nic, Junior, Morgan, Kevin, and Kyler.  Daughter Denise did not survive infancy.

Anita’s personality was distinct and colorful.  Nee-Nee could spot a bargain a block away, create a thing of beauty from other’s throw-aways, and cook up an old-fashioned meal that brought everyone to the table.  She was preceded in death by her sisters Helen, Glory, Mary, and Dolores, and her brothers, Wally and Ted.  Left to mourn her passing and cherish her memory are her daughters and their husbands, grandchildren, brother Dan Roberts (Helen), sisters Rosemay Yetter, Joan Roberts (Chuck Greenwood), Michael Roberts-Wagner (Gary), Robbie Thompson-Blythe and Winifred Krause (Bill), and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

At this time her family would like to send their sincere appreciation to Internal Medicine Physician, Dr. William Wortman and Pulmonary Medicine Physicians Assistant, Erin Tracy form the Iowa Clinic, the Unity Point Home Health Care / Hospice Care teams, Blair Overton and his team at Merle Hay Funeral Home, and to the many who sent prayers and spent precious time with our Mother, Grandmother, sister, aunt and friend in her final hours.  Doing so played a role in assuring her time at home was as she wished and afforded us all a great deal of peace.  Thank you.

A “SHINDIG” for Celebration is to be announced at a later date, as requested for her honor and remembrance by Anita “Ninnie” Jane Roberts.


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