Jesse Howard Roberson, 94, a long-time resident of rural Churubusco in Eel River Township, woke up in the presence of Jesus and the waiting arms of Martha at 9:30 p. m. on Tuesday, September 30, 2008.Â He had been in declining health for several years.
Mr. Roberson was born in Eel River Township on January 11, 1914, a son of David A. and Hanna Emily (Coffeld) Roberson, Jr., and graduated from Churubusco High School.
A member of the “Generation of Valor,” he fought in three major campaigns in Europe during World War II.Â During the war he was an infantryman and drove his half-track from Normandy to Berlin earning the following awards:Â Carbine Pistol, Good Conduct, World War II Victory, American Campaign, and the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign medals.
Throughout the remainder of his life he told many humorous stories and anecdotes about the war.Â One story is about delivering a calf in Belgium and sitting down when the others were allowed to take a smoke break, but non-smokers were to keep on working; Jesse got a trip to the Coloner’s office on that one.Â Also, there was the time he made all the tank commanders change the grease fittings.Â To get this one accomplished, he, a PFC, needed the Colonel to tell the Lieutenants it was also his order, too.Â Some of the sad times were when he lost buddies during the war, or guarding Nazi’s loot–some being bags of gold teeth from. . .well, you can figure that out.Â He went through the war without being wounded.Â However, he almost died of typhoid fever and pneumonia after the war during the occupation of Germany.
On September 7, 1943 he was married to Martha Ellen Teague, and their only child Les was born in 1947.Â Following Jesse’s military discharge he returned to farming in Eel River Township near Churubusco.Â He was a leading dairy herdsman and implemented many progressive farming techniques he learned from the Purdue GI extension school.Â He was an early pioneer in soil conservation, using cover crops and planting practices. His dairy herd had one of the highest DHI scores in Indiana.Â He would buy bulls with award winning linage to improve his herd.Â On one occasion he had his son call the veterinarian–something he usually did himself.Â When the vet arrived he said, “I knew when Jesse called, it was going to be a difficult time.”
He retired from farming in 1979 and moved three miles east of his farm.Â He was a member of the South Wayne Baptist Church in Fort Wayne, but for eighty years was a member of the First Eel River Baptist Church on Carroll Road.Â During his life he was active in Farm Bureau.Â He was also a member, Past District Deputy Grand Master, and Past Grand of Harmony Lodge 19 Independent Order of Odd Fellows, and was a member and Past Noble Grand of Concordia Rebekah Lodge 41 in Fort Wayne.
Jesse and his brother John Roberson farmed together.Â This worked out very well as they could count on the other when they needed four hands to get the job done–like at planting time, hay and wheat harvest, silo filling, or the bean and corn harvest.Â The two created a pond at the sight of a spring on John’s farm, and both enjoyed fishing for bluegill and bass on many a lazy morning or evening.Â They also planted acres of pop corn, and people came from far and near to buy it.
Jesse loved to play cards.Â His two favorite games were Pinochle and Euchre.Â The play he was noted for was to lead trump to take a row out.Â This usually worked, and most of the time he would “set” his opponents. . .leading to a lot of fun-filled ribbing and joking by the losers.
Jesse was a simple man of simple needs, and after the war he seldom traveled far.Â He explained to his son Les, “My farm is the best place in the world, and from what I’ve seen of the rest of the world, it can’t be beat.”Â He also said, “You don’t understand–farming is not work, it is fun to me.”Â
Mrs. Roberson preceded him in death on February 1, 2003.
The surviving relatives include his son Les (Sharon) Roberson of Churubusco; his grandsons Roy David (Robin) Roberson of Fort Wayne and Ben (Stacie) Roberson of Evergreen, Co; four great-grandchildren Brooke Roberson, Caleigh Roberson, Rozilynn Roberson, and Austin Roberson; and several nieces and nephews, including James “Oscar” (Liz) Blanton of Flagstaff, Ariz. whom he raised as a son.
In addition to his parents and wife, he was preceded in death by his brothers Paul Roberson, Earl Roberson, and John Roberson; and by a sister Francis Spice Wise.
At the time of his death, Jesse was living at Bethlehem Woods Nursing Home, under the care of Visiting Nurse and Hospice Home of Fort Wayne.
Funeral services will be held at 3 p. m. Sunday, October 5, 2008, at The Childs Funeral Home in Churubusco with Rev. James Lund and the Rev. Dr. Wungreiso Valui, officiating.
The family will receive friends at the mortuary on Saturday from 2 to 8 p. m., or one hour prior to the service.Â Harmony Lodge 19 IOOF will conduct memorial services at 7:45 p. m. Saturday at the mortuary.
Interment will be in the family plot at Eel River Cemetery, one-half mile west of his beloved farm.
Preferred memorials are to the family.
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