Roberta Elaine Crabtree, 96, of Overland Park, Kansas passed away peacefully to be with Jesus for eternity. Roberta was born on August 22, 1927 to Harvey Dennis and Etta Mae (Teagle) Beard in Fort Smith, Arkansas.
Roberta grew up in Fort Smith and graduated from Fort Smith High School in 1945. Roberta met her husband Jack Kizzia Crabtree at the University of Arkansas while both were students. They married on June 3, 1948 at Central Methodist Church in Fayetteville. They lived in town until her husband graduated and moved to Mountain Home, Arkansas where he worked on the construction of Bull Shoals and Norfork Dams. They were helpmates to one another while located there, and she had their first son, John Harvey. Roberta and Jack relocated to Bossier City, Louisiana where she then had their second son, David Kizzia. Roberta loved taking care of her sons by teaching and encouraging them as they grew. Tragedy struck while in Louisiana with Roberta losing their third son, Dennis Wayne, at birth. Through several of her husband’s job relocations, Roberta enjoyed being involved with her husband and the boys in church activities, Cub and Boy Scouts, model-making, miniature railroading, baseball, and camping.
Her outdoor activities exposed her to wildlife, especially birds. She fell in love with the hobby of bird watching and became extremely knowledgeable of birds across the United States. Roberta was a “go to” person for many years in the local Audubon Society of North Little Rock, Arkansas, by leading and participating in “bird counts,” instructional classes, and “rare bird” sitings. In all, she identified more than 700 different birds in her lifetime. Since living in a senior living facility in Overland Park for the past 2-1/2 years, “Bobbie,” as fellow residents called her, became known as the “bird lady.” In addition to her bird watching, Roberta was a dog lover and had great companions throughout her life.
Roberta is survived by her two sons and their wives, John (Evangeline) and David (Jo Anna), 6 grandsons and their wives, 11 great-grandchildren, 7 nieces and nephews, and many great-nieces and great-nephews. John and Ging now reside in Las Vegas and their sons are Michael (Vevan) and Dennis (Jennifer). Michael and Veeve live in Albuquerque and their children are Ethan and Leah. Dennis and Jen live in Orange, California. David and Jo Anna reside in Overland Park and their sons are Paul (Rachel), Isaac (Stephanie), Jonathan (Katie), and Philip (Kaleigh). Paul and Rachel live in Kansas City, Missouri. Isaac and Steph reside in Olathe, Kansas and their children are Caleb, Austin, Avery, and Callen. Jonathan and Katie live in Stilwell, Kansas and their daughters are Holland and Evie. Philip and Kaleigh live in Fayetteville, Arkansas and their sons are Mack, Wilson, and Crew.
Roberta was preceded in death by her husband Jack, their son Dennis Wayne, her parents HD and Etta Mae Beard, her brother Harvey Jr. (Buster), and her nephew Steve Crabtree.
A funeral service for family and friends will be held at Signature Funeral Home at 406 E. Bannister Road, Kansas City, MO 64131 on Friday, October 6, 2023, at 4:00 p.m. Viewing will begin at 3:00 p.m. A brief graveside service for family and friends will be held at Forest Park Cemetery at 5001 Midland Boulevard, Fort Smith, AR 72904 on Saturday, October 7, at 3:00 p.m.