Kenneth Verrell Roberts

Published 3:47 pm Monday, December 2, 2019

Kenneth Roberts, 85, passed from this Earth on the morning of November 30 after suffering a brain aneurysm. Kenneth was born on August 27, 1934 in Oak Grove, Louisiana to the late Myrtie Harper and Willie Roberts.  He attended Kilbourne High School where he was very active with FFA which taught him leadership skills and gave him a determination to succeed.  After graduation, he moved to Baton Rouge to attend LSU where he graduated with a degree in Ag Education and as a member of the Air Force ROTC.  Kenneth received his pilot’s wings and flew multiple aircraft including the F-86 and the T-28 in locations such as Panama and Bolivia.  He flew in combat in Vietnam as a Forward Air Controller (FAC) Squadron Commander.  He returned to the U.S. in 1970 and was assigned to Craig AFB in Selma, to be a flight instructor in the T-37.  He retired as a Major from the Air Force in 1977 as the Base Operations Officer at Grissom AFB in Indiana.  While serving in the Air Force, he was awarded a number of medals and commendations including the National Defense Service Medal, Air Force Commendation Medal, Vietnam Service Medal, and the Distinguished Flying Cross.

On June 9, 1962, he married the love of his life, Melba Edith Murray.  She accompanied Kenneth all over the world with the Air Force and even learned to ride motorcycles and earned her pilots’ license so that they could follow their passions together.  Their son, Mark Alan Roberts, was born in 1965 and another son, Randy Keith Roberts, arrived in 1971.  After his Air Force retirement, Kenneth moved back to Selma where he began taking classes at Wallace Community College which led to him teaching the Ag Mechanics/Diesel program in the Technical School.  He later retired after a 20 year career as Dean of the Technical School of Wallace Community College.

While Kenneth had many professional accomplishments, his biggest accomplishment was the living out his faith in Jesus Christ.  Kenneth spent many years at Shiloh Baptist Church serving as Chair of the Deacons and a long time teacher in the College and Young Couples’ class.  He was passionate about teaching and especially loved trying to discern the Book of Revelation.  More recently, he was a Deacon and member of the Mavericks Class at First Baptist Church, Selma, and taught once a month.  He loved conveying his passion to younger generations and inspiring them to stand up for their Faith and to lead by example.  Although never known as someone to have long conversations, Kenneth would blossom when teaching what Jesus had meant to him and his family.

Kenneth was a lifelong outdoorsman who loved to hunt, shoot and fish.  He passed these joys onto his sons and grandsons.  He also loved to garden and raise vegetables until he finally gave in and realized that the squirrels and deer were going to out-gather his bounty.

He leaves behind his wife of 57 years, Melba; his two children Mark Roberts (Christy) and Randy Roberts (Amy); four Grandchildren: Ken (20) and Ruthie (17) Roberts; James (19) and Alex (15) Roberts; his sister Nelda Murray (Don); his brother-in-law Keith Murray (Martha); two nephews and two nieces.

Funeral services will be held on Tuesday, December 3, 2019 at 11 a.m. at The First Baptist Church, Selma, with Dr. Jerry Light officiating and Selma Funeral Home directing. The family will receive friends at 10 am at the church.

A burial service will take place at the Alabama National Cemetery in Montevallo.

Pallbearers will be Charles Duckett, Bill Neighbors, Ronnie Roberts, Bruce Till, Woody Till, and Billy Watts.

Honorary Pallbearers will be all members of the Maverick Class at First Baptist Church, Selma.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to First Baptist Church, Selma. Final care and arrangements entrusted to Selma Funeral Home.