December 10, 2009

(5/3/1926- 12/1/2009)

Bessie J. Roberson, 83, of Memphis died Tuesday, December 1, 2009 at the Scotland County Care Center in Memphis.

She was born the daughter of Benjamin Franklin Schafer and Gladys Lucille (Gladwell) Schafer on May 3, 1926 in Beardstown, IL.

She was the oldest daughter of 12 children and grew up in Warsaw, IL.

Bessie married John W. Hoffman in Bloomfield, IA on November 10, 1945. She later married Johnny Roberson and helped raise his four children; two boys and two girls, along with her adopted daughter, Glenda Sue.

Bessie graduated from Dovers School of Cosmetology in Kirksville in 1962 and opened a beauty shop in Edina and later in Elmer, MO. She also worked at Mobile Chemical in Jacksonville, IL, and the canning factory and the rubber plant in Keokuk. She was a waitress at Bruce 88 in Canton, MO, and Peteís Boathouse in LaGrange, MO.

After living in Gorin, Bessie moved to Memphis in the 1980s. She did in-home care for the elderly and babysat for many children in the Memphis area, including Jason Findling and Gregory Wiley. Bessie was always considered Jason and Gregoryís great-grandmother.

Bessie enjoyed playing Bingo, working puzzles, shopping, and reading. She also enjoyed eating chocolate ice cream, chocolate candy bars and drinking root beer. She was very proud to have represented the Scotland County Care Center in the Golden Age Games at Hannibal-LaGrange College in March 2008. Bessie also loved dogs, especially her favorite, Beaner.

She was preceded in death by her parents; three brothers and three sisters.

She is survived by her daughter, Glenda Sue Bucknell of Mosinee, WI; one sister, Alice Hansen of Jackson, MO; four brothers, George Schafer of Blessing, TX, Frank Schafer of Ransomville, NY, Jim Schafer of Toddsville, IA, and Dale Schafer of Monroe City, MO; special niece, Bonnie and husband Cliff Sheffler of Kahoka, MO; two grandsons, Robbie and Stevie; two great-grandchildren; and special friends, Dee and Gordon Wiley of Arbela, MO and their sons, Jason Findling, wife Brandi and daughter Felicity and Greg Wiley and wife Sarah.

Funeral services were Saturday, December 5, at the Gerth Funeral Chapel in Memphis with the Rev. Charles Hammack officiating. Ann Luther and Danielle Bair performed Precious Lord Take My Hand and One Day at a Time. Randy Hillyer, Kevin Woods, Kevin Kraus, Cliff Scheffler, Gordon Wiley and Neill McKee served as pallbearers. Jason Findling, Greg Wiley and Brandi Findling were honorary pallbearers. Burial was in the Memphis Cemetery.

Memorials are suggested to the Scotland County Health Department or to the organization or charity of the donorís choice and can be left at or mailed to the Gerth Funeral Service, 115 S. Main St., Memphis, MO 63555.

Condolences may be sent to the Roberson family via email at

Arrangements were under the direction of Gerth Funeral Service from their Memphis chapel.

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