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.



Roberson, Lester "Butch" Earl

Lester "Butch" Earl Roberson, 75, of Chattanooga, died on August 26, 2016. He was a retired truck driver after 38 years of service and was a member of the Ware Branch Church of Christ in Harrison. He was preceded in death by his parents, Lester and Marie Roberson and his first wife, Elizabeth (Liz) Hodge Roberson. He is survived by his sons, Doyle and Joel (Brenda) ... (click for more)

Hatch-Harris, Carolyn Ann

Carolyn Ann Hatch-Harris, 82, of East Ridge, died on Sunday, August 28, 2016 at her daughter's home. A lifelong resident of Chattanooga, Carolyn was a member of Stuart Heights Baptist Church and served as a nursery worker for many years. She was a floral designer for many years and was formerly employed with Belvoir, Moore & King Pharmacy  and World of Handy ... (click for more)

Clayton, James "Jimmy" Clayton (Trenton)

James “Jimmy” Clayton, 80, of Trenton, Georgia, died on Saturday, August 27, 2016. Jimmy was a loving husband to his wife Della L. Clayton for 61 years. He was a member of White Oak Baptist Church, and a member of the New Home Volunteer Fire Department. Jimmy was retired from U.S. Pipe and Foundry Company, and an avid bluegrass musician. He was a wonderful man who touched ... (click for more)

Gordon, Judith Virginia (Cleveland)

Judith Virginia Gordon, 80, of Cleveland, Tennessee, passed away on Saturday, August 27, 2016 at her home. She was born on Feb. 28, 1936 in Bay City, MI to the late Ira Lisk and Elaine Evans. She was a graduate of Handy High School in Bay City, MI and went on to graduate from the University of Michigan. She worked for 20 plus years at the University of Michigan’s Children’s ... (click for more)

Residential Project At 1st And Cherry To Finish Out Units On Hill Above Market Street

More residential units are planned downtown near the riverfront on a steep lot at First and Cherry streets. The River City Company is currently seeking requests for proposals from developers for the steep 95-foot-by-65-foot lot behind the First and Market condos. River City officials said, "We are excited about how this parcel will put a finishing touch on this well established ... (click for more)

TBI Adds Jereme Little To Top 10 Most Wanted; Was Set Free By Judge Stern And Then Higher Court Overruled Her

The Tennessee Bureau of Investigation has added to its ‘Top 10 Most Wanted’ list Jereme Dannuel Little, who was freed by order of Criminal Court Judge Rebecca Stern, whose decision was recently reversed. Little is wanted by the Chattanooga Police Department and the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation for especially aggravated kidnapping. The TBI said, "Little has a history of ... (click for more)