Obituary

Roberta S. Alexander, State Teacher of the Year, real estate agent, mother

MORRISVILLE- Roberta S Alexander, 87, a long time Craftsbury resident, died Saturday July 16 at the Manor nursing home with her family by her side.

Roberta was born on May 30, 1935 in St. Johnsbury, the daughter of Gerald and Gladys (Wylie) Spaulding. For many years the Spaulding's lived in Craftsbury and St. Johnsbury.

As a little girl, Roberta attended the then two room school house in Craftsbury Village, followed by the Academy on Craftsbury Common, where she developed a lifelong love of learning. She was also on the basketball team that played in the half-court gym. 

When she was 13, her younger brother Gerry was born and she slipped naturally into the role of big sister and protector as her family moved several times between St J and Craftsbury.

In the early 1950s she met her future husband Robert M Alexander, in Glover at Urie's Pavillion dance Hall on Shadow Lake. They dated while she was attaining a two year degree in retailing at Green Mountain College in Poultney, as he worked on an engineering degree at Norwich University.

They were married on September 10, 1955 at the Church on the Common and then headed west to Colorado, the badlands of South Dakota and New Mexico while he worked for the Federal Highway Administration. His career path soon led them back to New England, where they lived briefly in Connecticut while he attended Yale, Woburn Mass. and then finally back to Vt.

Their sons Peter and John were both born in Barre in the early 1960s. While living in South Burlington as a homemaker, Roberta dipped her toe back into education by becoming a teachers aide. This led her to a teaching degree from Goddard College and then after moving to New Hampshire a teaching position at Concord High school.

She developed the marketing and distributive education program there, where she taught for 16 years and was NH State Teacher of the Year in 1981, an accomplishment her husband Bob speaks admiringly of to this day.

The local newspaper summed up her philosophy of educating as "an ability to make kids feel good about themselves ; to listen and encourage them."

In 1988 Berta and Bob moved back to Vermont, first to the Common to help Gladys and Jerry, and then moved down the road to Lake Hosmer where they loved the sights and sounds of nature, especially the loons and the peepers in the spring. Family and friends visited often, enjoying Roberta's delicious meals and great company. Berta and Bob had a string of black labs which they loved. They also had many kitties because she loved cats too.

As Bob became a consulting engineer, Roberta embarked on a second career as a realtor and made many new friends at the Watson and Choice agencies, retiring in June 2011 after 22 years.

At the beginning of 2019 they left their beloved Mill Village home for The 4 C's assisted living center in East Craftsbury, then during pandemic lockdowns, the Manor nursing home in Morrisville, where Robert still resides in the assisted living section.

Family and friends who were were part of her life include:

Her father Gerald (Jerry) K Spaulding (1908-1995 ), her mother Gladys W Spaulding (1912 to 2007), her brother Gerry who died February 25, 2013 and her two sons Peter M Alexander of Manchester New Hampshire and John R Alexander of Milton Vermont.

Her nieces and nephews include: Jessica E Spaulding of Stowe and her daughter Lili, Travis D Spaulding of Stowe and his wife Rebecca and their children Mena, William and Bryer.

Two sisters in-law in Rutland are Jean Hinson and Janet Alexander.

Friends include Lou (Simmons) King and Joan Simmons of Craftsbury, Lauren Handrahan, and David Rowell at the Watson agency, Brenda Menard at Choice Real Estate. Also, Annette Burgess of Concord NH.

Friends who departed before her include: Claire Renasco in R.I. in 2016, Phyllis (Simmons) Harrington of Craftsbury in February 2020, Anne Wilson of Craftsbury in November 2020 and Pat Smith of Montpelier in April 2021.

A memorial service will be held Saturday, August 20 at 11 AM at the United Church of Craftsbury on Craftsbury Common, with Pastor Kim Larose.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Craftsbury Community Care Center (4 C's) by mail at 1784  E. Craftsbury Rd. Craftsbury VT 05826.


Family Information

Family and friends who were were part of her life include:

Her husband Robert M Alexander.

Her father Gerald (Jerry) K Spaulding (1908-1995 ), her mother Gladys W Spaulding (1912 to 2007), her brother Gerry who died February 25, 2013 and her two sons Peter M Alexander of Manchester New Hampshire and John R Alexander of Milton Vermont.

Her nieces and nephews include: Jessica E Spaulding of Stowe and her daughter Lili, Travis D Spaulding of Stowe and his wife Rebecca and their children Mena, William and Bryer.

Two sisters in-law in Rutland are Jean Hinson and Janet Alexander.

Friends include Lou (Simmons) King and Joan Simmons of Craftsbury, Lauren Handrahan, and David Rowell at the Watson agency, Brenda Menard at Choice Real Estate. Also, Annette Burgess of Concord NH.

Friends who departed before her include: Claire Renasco in R.I. in 2016, Phyllis (Simmons) Harrington of Craftsbury in February 2020, Anne Wilson of Craftsbury in November 2020 and Pat Smith of Montpelier in April 2021.

Submitted by:

Peter Alexander
[email protected], [email protected]


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