Obit: Roberts, Willmette "Metty" (1927 - 2008)

Contact: Crystal Wendt

Surnames: Roberts, Bjerke, Zank, Rueth, Tragsdorf, Russell, Schultz, McKevitt, Beseler, Rakestraw, Herbert

----Source: Marshfield News Herald (Marshfield, Wood Co., Wis.) Monday, May 5, 2008

Roberts, Willmette "Metty" (11 June 1927 - 3 May 2008)

Willmette "Metty" Roberts

Metty Roberts, 80, of Neillsville died May 03, 2008, at Saint Joseph's Hospital.

A memorial service for Metty will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday at the Gesche Funeral Home in Neillsville. The Rev. Douglas Bjerke will officiate. Music will be provided by Eileen Zank, organist and Jodi Rueth, soloist. Interment will be in the Neillsville City Cemetery.

Visitation will be from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. Thursday at the Gesche Funeral Home.

Willmette Roberts was born June 11, 1927, in Marshfield, the daughter of Arthur and Edna (Tragsdorf) Russell. She attended and graduated from Neillsville High School in 1945, and was united in marriage to Glenn Roberts on May 22, 1949. They took over the daily operations of "Russell's Hardware Store" after the sudden death of Art Russell in June of 1945 -- only a couple weeks after graduating from high school -- and "kept it going" for generations to come. Metty retired from the business in 1995.

Metty loved Neillsville and its history. She was instrumental in the downtown revitalization project of the late 1980s. She and Glenn donated land for the project. She sold bricks to line the sidewalks, arranged sponsors to pay for the decorative street lights, and she played an integral part in the design, development and construction of the bandstand that graces the corner of Fifth and Hewett streets in downtown Neillsville today.

She loved her home, the farm in Cleveland township of Jackson County that she and Glenn purchased in 1969 and subsequently restored, and the many dogs who were at her side through the years. She loved to paint and refinish furniture, but above all else she loved her family.

Metty is survived by four children: Mary Beth (Marcus) Schultz, Bradley (Zona) Roberts, Becky (Brian) McKevitt, and William (Jeanne) Roberts, all of Neillsville; eight grandchildren; one great-grandchild; and a sister, Marcia (Bill) Beseler of Woodruff.

She is also remembered by a special life-long friend, Bruce Rakestraw.

She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; and a sister, Bobbie (Russell) Herbert.



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