Miss  Lamar Roberts



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The funeral service for retired school teacher and Hall of Fame girls’ basketball coach Lamar Roberts of Paris will be at 11 a.m. Thursday at First United Methodist Church, where she was a member, sang in the choir and taught Sunday school.

The Rev. Dr. Robert D. Martin, pastor of First United Methodist Church, will officiate. Burial will follow in Maplewood Cemetery.

Family members will serve as pallbearers.

Visitation will be 6-8 pm. today at McEvoy Funeral Home and after 10 a.m. Thursday at the church until the service.

Roberts, 97, died Monday, Jan. 17, 2011, at Henry County Medical Center.

Born in Paris on Aug. 12, 1913, she was the daughter of Pittman D.T. Roberts, who was a gospel minister, who died Nov. 20, 1924, and Floy Cooper Roberts, who died Sept. 10, 1969.

“Miss Lamar,” as she was affectionately known, graduated from Memphis State College in 1936 and later earned her master’s degree from Murray State University.

She retired in 1979 after 43 years of coaching girls basketball in Henry County. She was inducted into the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame in 1995 and the Coaches Hall of Fame at Grove School on Jan. 29, 2001.

She leaves one niece: Charlotte Roberts Whitby of Memphis; a great-niece: Amy Lynn Anderson of Horn Lake, Miss.; three great-nephews: Kip Roberts and Christopher and John Wright, all of Memphis; four cousins: Stanley Cooper Jr., Marjorie Marshall, James Porter Cooper and Carlisle Cooper; five great-great-nieces; and two great-great-nephews.

She also was preceded in death by her brother: Milton L. Roberts; a nephew: Milton A. “Drew” Roberts on May 15, 2010; and a great-nephew: Michael Wright on May 14, 2005.
January 19, 2011  Edition


Miss  Roberts ~ 1948

Miss  Roberts ~ 1954

Miss  Roberts ~ 1955



UT has Summitt; we had Miss Lamar

Long-time coach didn't lose often

Lamar Roberts was Henry County’s Pat Summitt.

Like the legendary Lady Vols coach, she did not move around, but spent her entire coaching career — 43 years — in this community. And she had this insistent habit of winning.

The records for some of the early years are incomplete, so it’s not possible to calculate an over-all winning percentage, but she didn’t lose much. One record probably even Summitt couldn’t match: Her Atkins-Porter teams lost only three games in three years, 1948-50.

At Grove High School, her Blue Devilettes won 10 district championships, five conference titles and two regional championships. They went to the state tournament twice.

Summitt had a basketball court named for her; Roberts was the first woman named to the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame.

Like Pat Summitt, Lamar Roberts was true blue, straight from the shoulder. She loved her players and held their respect, acknowledging that education came first. And like Summitt, she was a participant as well as a coach.

She will be remembered for her high, clear soprano voice, a fixture in the First Methodist Church choir and community productions for decades.

Lamar Roberts set an example for what teacher-coaches should be.
January 19, 2011  Edition




Lamar Roberts was highly successful coach and teacher in Henry County

Veteran of 43 years was first woman picked for local sports hall of fame

Lamar Roberts, who died Monday afternoon in Paris, touched the lives of many athletes and sports fans during her 43 years of coaching and teaching in the Paris and Henry County public school systems.

Her career as a local basketball coach culminated with her being chosen in the second class inducted and as the first female member of the Paris-Henry County Sports Hall of Fame in 1995.

Roberts’ 1958-59 and 1963-64 Grove High School girls’ teams went to the Tennessee state tournament, winning three of five games in which they competed.

While her win-loss record was never completely documented, she won the Sports Trail Century Club Award in 1955 for 150 career victories.

“Miss Lamar,” as she was affectionately known, was born in Paris in 1913.

Her family later moved to Memphis where she graduated from Tech High School. She remained in Memphis to attend Memphis State College, now the University of Memphis.

She earned a bachelor’s degree there in 1936. She later earned a master’s degree from Murray State University.

In the mid-1990s, the University of Memphis recognized her accomplishments by awarding her the Ralph Hatley Silver M Award at the University of Memphis’ M Club Hall of Fame banquet.

As a coach at Grove High School, in addition to her state tournament appearances, her teams won 10 district championships, including six in a row. Her squads also won five conference titles and two regional championships.

Besides her days at Grove, she taught at Cottage Grove and Atkins-Porter schools and Henry County High School, winning several Teacher of the Year awards.

From 1948-1950, her Atkins-Porter girls teams won the Henry County Elementary school basketball tournament three straight years, losing only three times in the three years. Two of the losses were to Grove freshmen teams.

In 2002, she was inducted into the Coaches Hall of Fame at Grove School.

Roberts was one of the early directors of The Post-Intelligencer/City tennis tournament.

Besides directing, she coached players, played the game, judged matches and offered encouragement to the players.

In addition, she and another fellow teacher and Hall of Fame Distinguished Service Award winner Dave Loudy, who died earlier this month on Jan. 8, teamed to win several doubles championships in local tennis tournaments.

She also was a member of the first recreation commission in Paris.

An active church member, Roberts sang in the choir and taught Sunday school at First United Methodist Church. She remained in the choir well into her 90s.

In addition to providing solos for her church choir, she was a frequent singer at the local Matinee Music Club as well as community performances at Christmas and Easter.

Her lyrical talents were put to good use in penning the alma mater for HCHS when it opened in 1969. The music was written by the late Bill Crosswy, longtime Henry County band director.

McEvoy Funeral Home will announce her funeral arrangements.
January 18, 2011  Edition



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Paris, Tennessee
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