IN MEMORIAM: Mary Gordon Roberts

by Jane Ahrens

Mary Gordon Roberts, 81, of New York City died at New York Hospital on July 29, 2019 after an overnight hospitalization during which she received Last Rites of the Catholic Church. At her bedside when she died were her husband for 41 happy years, Donald M. Roberts, and both her children, John A. Roberts of Brooklyn, NY and Martha G. Roberts of Washington, DC. She died from the effects of Alzheimer’s, a disease she gallantly endured for over 15 years. In addition to immediate family, she is survived by three siblings, Sarah F. Gordon and John R. Gordon of New York and Daniel F. Gordon of Philadelphia, PA and two grandchildren. Her older brother Albert F. Gordon, with whom Mary was very close, died just two days before her. She was predeceased by her mother, Mary R. Gordon, and father, Albert H. Gordon, and a son, Edward Roberts.

Mary was a graduate of The Chapin School where she served, as her mother did, as Chair of its Board of Trustees. She graduated as a history honors major from Smith College, Class of 1960. In 1985, Smith honored her with the Smith Medal, the citation for which reads, “Awarded to those who exemplify in their lives and service to community or to the College the true purpose of a liberal arts education.” She also had advanced degrees from New York University and Stanford University. She was a successful investor and business woman at Chase Manhattan Bank and Kidder, Peabody & Co., Inc.

Mary was a magnificent athlete with high finishes (one, a top 15%) in two Boston Marathons and three holes-in-one at golf. In her youth she spent two years living and teaching in Argentina, traveled in Cambodia and Iceland, and hiked the Alps and Pyrenees. She was an important benefactor to The Chapin School; to Smith College, including its art museum to which she bequeathed her substantial collection of George Bellows paintings and lithographs; to several Catholic Churches; and to the Abbey of Regina Laudis, Bethlehem, CT. More important than the above, Mary was a Christian: She did justice; she loved mercy; and she walked humbly with her God.

A Funeral Mass will be held at Church of St. Ignatius Loyola, Park Avenue at 84th Street, New York, NY, on Thursday, August 8th at 10am with private interment to follow at Locust Valley Cemetery, Long Island. Friends may call Wednesday, August 7th from 2-4pm and 7-9pm at Frank E. Campbell “The Funeral Chapel” 1076 Madison Avenue at 81st Street, New York, NY. A fall memorial service is planned.

Published in The New York Times on Aug. 1, 2019

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