Donald G. RobertsAugust 29, 1926 ~ May 31, 2017 (age 90)
Born on August 29, 1926, Donald G. Roberts went to be with the Lord on May 31, 2017. Donald will be remembered fondly as a true gentleman with a kind and generous spirit. With his bright blue eyes, radiant smile, and hearty laughter, Donald made friends wherever he went. He was a deeply compassionate soul, devoting his life to helping others, as a labor of love.
A graduate of Struthers High School, he attended Miami University, Oxford Ohio, earning a Bachelor’s Degree from Youngstown State University, a Master’s Degree from the University of Pittsburgh and Post Graduate work in Special Education at Kent State University.
Donald was an Army veteran. During WWII, he served as Military Police in the Philippines. A portion of his stay there, he served with his brother, First Lieutenant, Thompson C. Roberts, Jr. In the past 15 years, he researched and presented medals to countless veterans and their families, as a way to honor their service to our country.
Donald’s career and service to the community spanned over 50 years. While employed at the Mahoning County Juvenile Court, 1955-1963, he founded the "Mahoning County Juvenile Jury," a system where teenagers decide the disposition of teenager traffic offenses, which remained in existence from 1958 to 1978. He was a limited instructor in Criminal Justice at Youngstown State University from 1965 to 1988. From 1965 to 1999, he simultaneously held two Executive Director positions: The Columbiana County Mental Health Center and the Columbiana County Mental Health and Recovery Services Board. He continued as Executive Director of the Counseling Center until his retirement in 2006. Mr. Roberts held the distinction of being the first non-medical director of psychiatric hospitals and mental health clinics in the State of Ohio. He also developed the Apple Grove Homes in Lisbon, a long-term residential facility for persons with mental disabilities and The Kendall Home, a short-term facility for persons with mental disabilities.
Mr. Roberts was named "Man of The Year" in 1998 by the Salem Y.W.C.A. In 1998, the campus of the Columbiana County Mental Health Center, was named the "Donald G. Roberts Campus." In 2001, he received the N.A.S.W. Ohio Chapter’s "Lifetime Achievement Award", plus several commendations from the Ohio House of Representatives and Ohio Senate. He also appeared in Who’s Who in Midwest; Who’s Who in America; and Who’s Who in Business Leaders of America.
Donald was a member of the National Association of Social Workers; Academy of Certified Social Workers; National Association of Mental Health Administrators; Ohio State Association of Alcohol, Drug Addiction and Mental Health Services Board and served as consultant to a variety of mental health agencies in Ohio. He was a member of the Columbiana Church of Christ; served on the Mahoning County Children’s Services Board; and Child Achievement Center of Eastern Ohio. He also served on the Lisbon Area Chamber of Commerce Board; The Elkton Federal Prison Community Relations Board and the Youngstown Air Reserve Base Community Council. He was a member of the Lisbon Kiwanis and served as Scout Master and Explorer advisor for the former American Legion Post in Struthers, was a member of the ROMEO'S, and an avid pilot for over 40 years.
Donald will be greatly missed by his family, which includes his beloved wife Shirley (McCullough) Roberts; his children, Keith & Denise Roberts, and Charlene (Roberts) McKenzie; his step-children, Kristi (Cottrill) Smith, Scott & Melissa Cottrill, Sean & Becky Cottrill, Bryan & Keri (Cottrill) Forney; his grandchildren, Ryan Roberts, Eric & Kristin (Roberts) Pezzulo, Rebecca Waremburg, Michael Bittick, Liam Roberts, Josh Cottrill, Joel Cottrill, Jonathan Cottrill, Jared & Abbi (Smith) Wensyel, Howard & Faith (Smith) VanZant, Ian Cottrill, Bryce Cottrill, Evann Cottrill, Andrew Forney, and Hope Forney; and his great-grandchild, Rylee Roberts. He is preceded in death by his parents, Thompson C. and Mary A. (McRoberts) Roberts; his former wife, Barbara E. Lewis; a son, Bruce Roberts; two brothers, Thompson C. Roberts, Jr. and Howard Roberts; and step-son, Michael Smith.
A memorial service will be held on Saturday, July 8, 2017 at 4 p.m. at the Davis-Becker Funeral Home, 8536 Market St., Boardman, where family and friends will be received from 3-3:45 p.m., prior to the service. Details will be provided on the website at www.beckerobits.com and to send online condolences.
Memorial contributions and gifts may be made to: The Counseling Center, P.O. Box 429, Lisbon, Ohio 44432-0429; The "Bruce A. Roberts Memorial Scholarship Fund" at Youngstown State University Foundation, One University Plaza, Youngstown, Ohio 44502; or to a charity of the donor’s choice.