ARNOLD - Emma Jean Roberts, 73, of County Road 426 in Arnold, passed away Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2013, at her daughter Jacqueline's home surrounded by her loving family following a courageous battle with cancer.
Emma was born July 28, 1940, in Escanaba and was the daughter of Louis and Suzanne (Allen) VanElsacker. Emma attended grade school in Northland and Gwinn High School, and was a member of the graduating class of 1958.
On Aug. 23, 1958, the former Emma Jean VanElsacker married James E. Roberts at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Northland. He preceded her in death on March 29, 2004.
Following their marriage, the couple moved to the Appleton, Wis., area where they spent four years before returning to Arnold to raise their family. Throughout the years, Emma was employed by the Marquette Road Commission, the Terrace Bay Inn, and was a bus driver for the Gwinn Area Community Schools for more than 20 years.
Following her retirement, Emma was very instrumental in assisting her family with raising her grandchildren, loving every moment she spent with them. She was a wonderful wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, great-great grandmother, and a nurturer to many throughout her lifetime.
Emma is survived by her sons, James (Cheryl) Roberts of Eutawville, S.C., Dean (Cheri) Roberts of Gwinn, Jeff Roberts of Arnold, John (Barb) Roberts of Arnold, and Gerald (Debbie) Roberts of Gwinn; daughters, Connie (Paul) Williams of Mountain Grove, Mo., Jacqueline (Rodger) Cole of Northland, and Inez (Tony) Gustafson of Foster City; 33 grandchildren; 26 great-grandchildren; four great-great grandchildren; brothers, Bill VanElsacker of Northland and Dennis (Marilyn) VanElsacker of Northland; sisters-in-law, Inez Bradway of Gladstone, Carol (Max) Fralick of Gwinn, and Rose (Edward) Flath of Gwinn; special friends, Ramona Horonzy and Linda Angrabright; and many nieces, nephews, friends and neighbors.
Emma was preceded in death by her parents, and her husband, James.
Visitation will be held at the Wells Township Hall in Arnold on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon Eastern time.
Funeral services celebrating the life of Emma Jean Roberts will follow at noon, with Coach Bill Hill of Gwinn and Father John Boyle of St. Joseph Catholic Church in Northland officiating.
Burial will take place in the Riverview Cemetery in Northland.
A luncheon will be served in the township hall following the funeral service.
The Anderson Funeral Home is assisting with arrangements.
Expressions of sympathy and online condolences may be directed to the Roberts family at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net