Roberta High

Roberta Jenece High, 98, passed away on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. Roberta was born on July 23, 1919 in Martin. She was the devoted daughter of F.G. (Fonzie) Cavin Sr. and Ella Bullington Cavin. In 1935 she married Virgil High, also of Martin. Their daughter, Bettye, was born in 1939, and their son, David, was born in 1949. In 1952 the family moved to Chicago, Ill., where Virgil was active in Chicago politics. For a brief time, Virgil and Roberta ran a coffee shop in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago. Customers lined up for Roberta’s homemade pies. Her personal favorite was lemon meringue, and she continued to make chocolate and pecan pies for family celebrations up until her death. In 1964, Roberta began working for MPL, a subsidiary of Affiliated Hospital Supplies, in Chicago. Starting out in the accounting office, she progressed though the ranks, retiring in 1984 as MPL’s Director of Human Resources. Roberta was fiercely independent, a trait she handed down to her daughter and granddaughters. Born before women had the right to vote, she never missed voting in any election. She was an avid and diverse reader who read a newspaper every morning. In her later years, her family kept her supplied with large-print books, and she was a member of the book club at The Terrace in Rockford, where she lived for the past decade. Throughout her life, Roberta was an active church member, serving on every committee and holding every possible leadership position at three different United Methodist churches. Roberta was an elected delegate to the United Methodist Annual Conference for many years and a certified lay speaker. Inspired by her faith, Roberta served her church, family, and larger community with acts of compassion, empowerment, and love. She was especially proud to see her daughter Bettye, graduate from divinity school and become an ordained Elder of the United Methodist Church. Perhaps more than anything, Roberta loved spending time with her granddaughters, Connie and Dina, and her great-grandson, Ryan. In retirement, she traveled and continued to garden and grow flowers at The Terrace. Throughout her 90s, friends and strangers regularly asked Roberta about her secret to a long and healthy life. She typically responded that she ate lots of fruit, and peaches were her favorite. Roberta was preceded in death by her husband, Virgil High; son, Virgil David High; her parents, Fonzie and Ella Cavin; sister, Frances Sutter; and brother, F.G. (Moe) Cavin Jr. Roberta is survived by her daughter, The Reverend Bettye S. Mixon of Davis, Ill.; her granddaughters, Dr. Constance Anne Mixon (Walter Braunschweig) of Chicago and Dina Michelle Zolin (Kevin O’Brien) of Chandler, Ariz.; and her great-grandson, Ryan David Zolin of Chandler, Ariz. She was a loving aunt to many nieces and nephews. Roberta’s family is especially grateful to Dawn Clark, who served as a devoted helper and companion to Roberta over the past several years. 

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