An angel returned home to rest on February 23, 2019. Eva Margareta (Schurr) Roberts, “Gretel,” born April 25, 1928, has blessed the lives of countless people for a little under 91 years. As a young girl, Gretel’s determination and keen intellect brought her parents and paternal grandmother to a worship service for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Heilbronn, Germany. The music that drifted from the humble little house, as the family was out for their Sunday walk, caught her attention. She was 5 years old and wanted to go “see” the music. She squealed and made a fuss to a point of embarrassment to her family. To hush her up, they walked into the building. It changed their lives forever as they learned of Jesus Christ and God’s Plan of Happiness. Because of this one act, generations before and after her will be able to have eternal happiness and be together forever.
Gretel was a survivor of WWII in Heilbronn, Germany. At 14 years old, as a grocery shop assistant manager, her job was to close the store on many nights. On one such evening, the raid alarms began to go off. She took her shop responsibilities very seriously. Her courage and work ethic refused to allow her to close that shop early in case a customer came by in need of something. The bombs dropped all around her, but that store stayed open until closing time. Gretel closed the store at its regular time. Then Gretel proceeded to walk home, stepping over rubble and dead bodies for many blocks. It haunted her all of her days, but you never would have known it, because she did not complain about hardship.
Growing up in West Germany, she loved family life and hiking. They lived in an apartment at the edge of town and were blessed to rent a small piece of land to grow a vegetable garden. Gretel knew gardening and preserving homegrown foods. She brought this knowledge with her to Canada in 1958 at age 30. There she learned to cook, as she nannied for a family and received a proposal of marriage from a single father of several children. Her determination to marry in the Temple of the Lord helped her decline and brought her to Salt Lake City, Utah.
Gretel’s spunk, energy, courage, and faith paid off one evening at a church dance. Friends she came with didn’t want to stay as long as she did, so being a resourceful young lady, she asked if anyone there had a car to take her home after the dance was over. Wright Roberts, who had recently moved to Salt Lake from Etna, Wyoming, saw this as his chance to meet a pretty girl. He volunteered, and it was a match made by heaven. They married September 21, 1962. Wright and Gretel would have been married 57 years this coming September. She has never been without a car since and has been blessed by this wonderful marriage.
Wright and Gretel brought 3 boys into the world while they lived in Utah. Everal Wright Roberts (1963), Brian John Roberts (1966) and Tony Roberts (1971). Then came a move to Boise, Idaho, shortly after their last boy was born, where they lived at 9665 Martingale for almost 45 years. Gretel loved her life as a homemaker, wife and mother. Her skills with gardening, preserving and cooking were legendary. She was an excellent cook. Each of her 7 grandchildren and multiple nieces and nephews have a favorite memory of Grandma Roberts/Aunt Gretel’s meals.
Throughout the years in their Idaho home, she served neighbors, church members, family, friends and others with kindness and thoughtfulness. Her traditional holiday treats were always welcomed whether they were Christmas cookies, Easter Baskets with 1 colored egg and assorted chocolates or birthday cake, each recipient anticipated the occasion knowing that Gretel would always provide.
Tradition at home or in the woods was part of life for Gretel, and many of these traditions are carried on through her grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Camping in Stanley, Idaho, or Star Valley, Wyoming, and fishing, fishing, fishing! Many memories were made with her husband and boys, granddaughters and grandsons. Everyone loved being with Grandma Roberts in the trailer.
Gretel lived a full life from her youth to retirement years, and she documented it all in photos. From travel abroad to snow birding in Yuma, Arizona; or serving a Document Preservation Mission for her church, where she and her husband photographed county documents from Revolutionary War period in Maine; also, family get-togethers and grandchildren events ~ it is all caught on camera. Gretel loved anything and everything family. Another love for Gretel was to attend the Temple of the Lord regularly with her husband. This brought her joy and happiness all for her adult life.
The richness of life that Gretel taught to all who knew her will bless our lives long after her passing. We know she has found happiness in the next life as she has joined her youngest son, parents, siblings and all those who welcomed her to eternal rest.
She is loved and survived by her husband Wright Roberts, her sons and their families. Eldest son Everal and wife Sallie Roberts; grandson E. Zach and Chantelle Roberts and great-grandsons Ethan, Logan, Austin; grandson Tyrel Roberts; granddaughter Nellie and Scott Nicholes and great-granddaughter Echo; grandsons Janson and George Roberts. Second son Brian and wife Brena Roberts; granddaughters Susan Roberts and Sydney and Sterling Skidmore. She is honored by many extended family members from Washington, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Brazil, Germany and Oregon.
She is preceded in death by her youngest son Tony Roberts, mother Johanna Schurr, father Josef Schurr, brother Eberhard Schurr and sister Adelheid Patterson.
We will miss you every day! Stay near us always, until we meet again.
Funeral services will be held Saturday, March 2, 2019, 2:00pm, at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 3555 S. Cole Rd., Boise. The family will greet friends on Friday, March 1, 6:00-8:00pm, at Relyea Funeral Chapel, 318 N. Latah St., Boise, and also from 1:00-1:45pm before the service begins on Saturday.