IN MEMORIAM: Janina ‘Paty’ Roberts

by Jane Ahrens

RAPID CITY | Janina “Paty” Roberts, 97, formerly of Middletown, RI, passed away Thursday, December 8, 2016. She was the wife of the late, Colonel Charles C. Roberts, retired.

Janina was born in New Bedford, MA. She was the daughter of the late Mr. & Mrs. Thomas Patykula. A graduate of New Bedford High School and St. Luke’s School of Nursing, New Bedford, MA. She was one of the first nurses in the community to enlist in the Army Nurse Corps in 1941. She served at Fort H G Wright, Fishers Island, NY, Camp Edwards, MA, and Camp Kilmer, NJ. After WWII, accompanying her husband, she served as a Registered Nurse in military hospitals in the Philippines, Japan, Alaska, Korea, Staten Island Public Health Hospital, and the Newport Naval Hospital, RI.

While in the Philippines she served as Chief Nurse at the 10th General Hospital, Fort McKinley, Manila. The patients were mostly Philippine Soldiers (Guerillas who hid in the mountains during the Japanese Occupation) and several Americans both male and female who were interned at San Thomas Concentration Camp suffering from the effects of malnutrition.

In Korea she was on duty at the Military Hospital, Yongson, when they received notice that President Kennedy had been assassinated on Nov. 19, 1963. All US Forces were placed on high alert status. Shortly thereafter, President Chung Hee of South Korea was admitted to the hospital for food poisoning given to him by his chef. They had to give him a lavage and Paty was assigned to take care of him for several days. She was also on the staff of the Booth Memorial Hospital, Flushing, NY, the US Naval Hospital, Newport, RI, and the St. Mary’s Hospital in Niagara Falls, NY.

She was a member of the American Red Cross, serving more than 20 years, and a member of the Middletown Historical Society.

She is survived by three sons, Dr. Charles C. (Lydia) Roberts Jr. of Rochelle, IL, Dr. Chester R. (Mary Lou) Roberts of Rapid City, and Nuclear Engineer Thomas E. (Kathleen) Roberts of Ridge, MD; six grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.

Mass of Christian Burial will be offered at 10:30 a.m. Friday, Dec. 16, at the Cathedral of Our Lady of Perpetual Help, with Father Steve Biegler as Celebrant. Visitation will be one hour prior. Burial will take place at Newport Memorial Park in Middletown.

A memorial has been established to West Hills Village Employee Appreciation Fund.

Family and friends may sign Janina’s online guestbook at Kirk Funeral Home.

Published in the December 15, 2016

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USCG Eagle passing the Race early morning March 18, 2023 on her return from the Chesapeake Bay . Photo Credit Marlin Bloethe

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