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1786 Smithville Hwy
Sparta, TN 38583
Phone: (931) 738-8549
Fax: (931) 738-8553
John Harvey Roberts

John Harvey Roberts Sr.

Saturday, August 22nd, 1931 - Monday, August 19th, 2019
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John Harvey Roberts Sr. 87, of Sparta, TN, passed away August 19,2019. He passed peacefully at home surrounded by his children.

Mr. Roberts was born August 22, 1931, in Sparta, TN to the late Homer Whitley Roberts and Bessie Mary Jane Baker Roberts. He was preceded in death by his parents; his loving wife of 46 years, Nelda Jean Hickey Roberts; Granddaughter, Danielle Nicole Ransom; Son, Michael Allen Roberts; Brothers, Homer Whitley Jr., Charles Thomas, Wilfred Terry, Herman Clay, Clarence Vaughn, Larry Dean, and Joseph Michael; Sisters, Arrie Mae Jernigan, Hazel Venola Roberts and Wanda Louise McGhee.

Survivors include one son John Harvey Roberts Jr. and Wife Ava of Nashville, TN; two daughters Sheryl Ann Ransom and husband Danny of Cookeville, TN, Sharon England of Sparta, TN; Brothers, Homer Ray Roberts and wife Cathie, Fred Rascoe Roberts and wife Bonnie, James Mulcay Roberts and Willard Oliver Roberts; Sisters, Wilma Jeanne Kirby, Opal Virginia Williams, Mary Frances Whitley and husband Harlan; Grandson Daniel Ryan Ransom of Cookeville, TN; and many nieces, nephews, cousins and dear friends.

Mr. Roberts was a much beloved educator who influenced the careers of many students during his 34 plus years of teaching. He began his teaching career at Copper Basin High School (Copperhill, TN) in 1958. He went to Troy State College (Troy, Ala) in 1962 to be a principal and teacher. He began teaching 8th grade math at White County Junior High in the fall of 1972 moving to White County High School in the fall of 1978 where he taught Chemistry, Physics and Advance Mathematics until his retirement in 1992.

Mr. Roberts attended West Sparta Church of Christ. He was a faithful Christian who loved to send biblical “challenges” to preacher and friend, Derrick Coble and his dear Christian friend Jeff Turner. He served his country in the U.S. Army and was a medic during the Korean War.

A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday August 24, 2019 at 10:00 am at Oak Lawn Funeral Home with burial to follow at Oak Lawn Memorial Cemetery. The family will receive friends Friday August 23, 2019 from 4:00 - 8:00 pm at the funeral home.

Pall Bearers include: Ryan Ransom, Rob Whitley, Michael Whitley, David Hickey, Chris Hickey, Hunter Hickey and Jeff Roberts.
Honorary Pall Bearers: Brothers, Danny Ransom, Harlan Whitley and Harold Hickey.

Online condolences may be made to the family at
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  • Visitation

    Friday, August 23rd, 2019 | 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Friday, August 23rd, 2019 4:00pm - 8:00pm
    Oak Lawn Funeral Home
    1786 Smithville Hwy
    Sparta, TN 38583
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Service

    Saturday, August 24th, 2019 | 10:00am
    Saturday, August 24th, 2019 10:00am
    Oak Lawn Funeral Home
    1786 Smithville Hwy
    Sparta, TN 38583
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
  • Interment

    Oak Lawn Memorial Cemetery
    Sparta, TN 38583


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Clarence Vaughn (Beaver)s Children & Family, Lisa and Joe Cumby, and other have sent flowers to the family of John Harvey Roberts Sr.
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Connie Raper

Posted at 10:16am
Mr. Roberts was a wonderful man and a great teacher. He will be greatly missed. Connie Raper

Mike Powell

Posted at 10:26am
God bless you, Mr. Roberts, for all you did for your students at Copper Basin High School. Mike Powell, Class of 1962

LaWanda (Martin) Cunnyngham

Posted at 03:36am

LaWanda (Martin) Cunnyngham
Cousin (in California)

To the Roberts Family:
I was so sad today to see the online obituary John Harvey. I sat down to call him to wish him a happy birthday and for some reason I thought I should check is his phone number first on the internet. That's when I saw the news of his passing.
We met about 20 years ago on the phone. Our cousin, Coy Martin, had given him my phone number. We talked for a long time, learning about each other. My career was in education also, so we had a lot to talk about. I told him he sounded just like my dad (Clay Martin) with his Tennessee accent. I was so happy when we finally met in person in the October 2008, when I finally got to visit Sparta to see where my dad was born. I met him for lunch along with my husband and my sister. He showed us around the area. Since then we talked on the phone many times, and always on our birthdays. He has sent me many pictures of his family, and he loved to talk about his family and his former students.
I know he will be missed by his family and friends. I also know he was a religious man and is at peace with his God in Heaven.

Clarence Vaughn (Beaver)s Children & Family

Posted at 12:31am
Our Love, Thoughts & Prayers are with Our Roberts Family. Uncle Harvey will be greatly missed! He was such a Blessing to us all!
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Susan Roberts

Posted at 03:50pm
To the Roberts family,
I had the great privilege of being one of Mr. Roberts many students at White County High School. There are many things I remember about Mr. Roberts. In his class he expected you to do your best, be respectful, be kind and help others. In turn he was kind, respectful and did his best to teach us; not just subject matter, but about life. He loved to tell stories about his family. You knew instantly of the deep love and respect he had for his family, especially his parents. Just imagine if we had a world full of teachers like this today. I also remember his smile. He always seemed so glad to see you. I had no idea, while setting in his class, that one day I would become a member of this big Roberts clan, later marrying his nephew Jeff. Then he became “Uncle Harvey”. He was still always glad to see us at family events and had that wonderful smile on his face. I know he has gone on to a better reward. He, of all things, was a great Christian example to us all. I know John, Sheryl and Sharon will miss him greatly. I am praying for God’s hand of comfort to be with you all.
Susan Roberts

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