Roberts, Gene Davis Bryan

Former Mayor Of Chattanooga

Thursday, January 31, 2013
Gene Roberts
Gene Roberts

Gene Davis Bryan Roberts died on Thursday, January 31, 2013.

Born Aug. 17, 1932, in Chattanooga to the late William Henry Harrison Day Roberts and Pearl Davis Roberts, he was preceded in death by his brother, William H. Roberts, and his sister, Frances Elizabeth Diana Lytle.

Gene graduated from Chattanooga High School and the University of Chattanooga. In high school he won two Golden Gloves championships, was an all-city baseball player, honorable mention all-city football player, senior class poet, and president of the CHS Lettermen’s Society. At UC he was editor of the campus newspaper, a member of Blue Key National Honor Fraternity, Pi Kappa Alpha Fraternity, and the Alpha Society. Between high school and college, Gene played professional baseball with the Mountain States League and served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean conflict.

While at the university, he worked as a reporter for the Chattanooga Free Press. Between his junior and senior years at UC he represented his school as an exchange student in Paris, France. Following graduation, he worked as public information officer for the City of Chattanooga under Mayor P. R. Olgiati. In 1963, Gene became a special agent with the FBI, working out of offices in New Haven, Ct., Albuquerque and Roswell, N.M., and Los Angeles, Ca.

Returning to Chattanooga, he became assistant editor of the Chattanooga Times. In 1971, he was elected Fire and Police Commissioner of the city of Chattanooga. Under his tenure the department was modernized, including the construction of a new police headquarters, adding a state-of-the-art forensic laboratory and a computer database.

In 1979, Gene was appointed Tennessee State Safety Commissioner by then-governor Lamar Alexander. After serving four years in that capacity, he returned to Chattanooga where he was elected Mayor of the City, serving four terms. During his tenure as mayor, he spearheaded the revitalization of the waterfront, including the Riverwalk, Tennessee Aquarium, Walnut Street pedestrian bridge, Coolidge Park, and Southside renewal.

After leaving office, Gene Roberts joined the Herman Walldorf Company, where he enjoyed his career in commercial real estate until his retirement in 2010.

Gene was a charter member of St. Peter’s Episcopal Church. He was active on the boards of the Speech and Hearing Center, Siskin Hospital, Ft. Wood Mental Health Association, Big Brothers, Erlanger Hospital, Chattanooga Neighborhood Enterprise, and the Victim-Offender Reconciliation Program, among others.

He is survived by his wife of 49 years, Cherrie Catherine Morrison Roberts, sons Robert Brian and wife Debbie Roberts of Alexandria, Va., and William Mark and wife Cinda Roberts of Murfreesboro; daughter Amelia Roberts of Chattanooga; grandchildren Devin, Gianna, Katheryn, Katelyn, and Emily; brother Morris Roberts of Scottsboro, Al., and sister Helene June Marie and husband Billy Thames of Deer Park, Tx.; family friend Lisa Conner, and numerous nieces and nephews.

The family will receive friends from 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 2, at the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, and again from 10 a.m.-noon on Monday, Feb. 4, at St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 848 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, Tn. 37415.

Services for Gene will follow at noon on Monday at the church with Reverend Carter Paden officiating. Burial will be in the Chattanooga National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Gene’s name to St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, 848 Ashland Terrace, Chattanooga, Tn. 37415, Community Kitchen, P.O. Box 11203, Chattanooga, Tn. 37401, or your favorite charity.

Arrangements are by the North Chapel of Chattanooga Funeral Home, Crematory and Florist, 5401 Highway 153, Hixson. 

Please share your thoughts and memories at www.chattanooganorthchapel.com.



Morrow, Alice Joiner

Alice Joiner Morrow died on May 1,2016.  A lifelong resident of Lookout Mountain, Alice attended Lookout Mountain School before graduating from Girls Preparatory School in 1947.  She graduated from Briarcliff College and from the University of Mississippi where she was a member of Chi Omega Sorority and studied education.  Alice had a passion for teaching young ... (click for more)

Lucas, Tommye Sue Martin

Tommye Sue Martin Lucas died on April 30, 2016.  A lifelong resident of Chattanooga, she was born in East Chattanooga and graduated from Central High School. While she was working at Miller Brothers as assistant buyer in the jewelry department, she met a handsome, young Marine who would later become her husband and the love of her life.  She married Roy in 1946 and ... (click for more)

Westmoreland, Nellie Mae Davis (South Pittsburg)

Nellie Mae Davis Westmoreland, 92, of South Pittsburg, Tennessee died on Monday, May 2, 2016, in a Chattanooga health care center.   A native of Jackson County, Al., she was the daughter of the late John D. and Zelpha Marie Justice Davis, and a member of the Richard City Baptist Church.  She worked for 22 years as a creeler with Pittsburg Knitting Mills and for ... (click for more)

Morrison, Paul Earl Sr. (Rocky Face)

Paul Earl Morrison, Sr., 84, of Rocky Face, Georgia, passed away Sunday, May 1, 2016 at the home of his daughter, Paula Linville. Mr. Morrison was preceded in death by his loving wife of 63 years, Pauline Morrison; his parents, Paul and Annie Morrison; a sister, Mildred Cox; a grandson, Paul Jerry Morrison; and a great-grandson, Christian Linville.  He was a member of ... (click for more)

Kevin Muhammad Says City Programs Failing; More Attention And Funding Needed For Impoverished Inner City Youths

Nation of Islam leader Kevin Muhammad told a packed house at City Council on Tuesday night that a large segment of Chattanooga is impoverished, while parts of the city are enjoying a Renaissance. Given 20 minutes for a "State of the People" address, he said many city programs are failing, including the Violence Reduction Initiative and a Youth and Family Services reading program. ... (click for more)

County Commission Told To Fully Fund County Schools Improvement Request Would Take 28 1/2-Cent Property Tax Increase; 78 School Personnel Would Be Added

County Mayor Jim Coppinger told members of the County Commission at a budget workshop on Tuesday that it would take a 28 1/2-cent property tax increase to fully fund the county school budget request. The county schools are asking for $24,218,919 in new money for a focus on workforce readiness, literacy and low-performing schools. County Mayor Coppinger did not say whether ... (click for more)