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.




Cowart, Donald Earl

Donald Earl Cowart, 80, of Soddy Daisy passed away on Saturday, November 18, 2017, in an area hospital. Don was a United State Army veteran and was a brick mason for many years in the Chattanooga area. He was preceded in death by his wife, Melba Cowart. Survivors include his daughters, Cecelia Medford and Angie Cowart; grandchildren, Brooke (John) Banco, Chuckie ... (click for more)

Crawford, Duane Roy

Duane Roy Crawford, 57, of Ooltewah, Tennessee, passed away on Thursday, November 16, 2017. He was preceded in death by his father, Roy Calvin Crawford. He is survived by his loving wife of 28 years, Louisette Crawford, daughter, Jill (Bryce) Reading of Spokane, Wa., son, Corey Crawford of Ooltewah, sister-in-law, Carol (Harold) Lasley of Ooltewah, grandchildren, Clara ... (click for more)

Dowdey, Julia Lorene (Dunlap)

Julia Lorene Dowdey, 87, a loving wife, mother and grandmother, passed away on Friday, November 17, 2017. She was a homemaker and member of Chapel Hill Methodist Church for 40 years. She also was a member of the Red Hat Society and Golden Club Travel. She was preceded in death by her husband, Floyd Dowdey; parents, Samuel and Liza Horton; sisters, Inez White and Irene ... (click for more)

Brown, Mary Jane Joyner (South Pittsburg)

Mary Jane Joyner Brown, 84, of South Pittsburg, Tennessee, died on Friday, November 17, 2017.   The daughter of the late James Raymond and Lydia Mae Shubirg Joyner, she was a longtime member of the Kimball Church of Christ, and was the owner/operator of the Shoe Barn for 25 years. She was active at Richard Hardy Memorial School for many years serving as Room Mother ... (click for more)

3 People Shot Early Saturday Morning; 1 Is Killed; 2 Victims Are Known Gang Members

Ladarius Cross, 28, Terrance Careathers, 26, and a juvenile were shot early Saturday morning. Cross was killed.   Chattanooga Police responded to a motor vehicle crash at 5:16 a.m. in the 1400 block of Roanoke Avenue.   Upon arrival, Chattanooga Police Officers located the single vehicle crash with two people suffering for apparent gunshot wounds. The driver, ... (click for more)

Longest-Serving County Official Knowles Is First In Line To Sign Up For New Term

Bill Knowles is one of the longest-serving officials in Hamilton County history, and he's not through yet. County clerk since 1974, he was the first in line on Friday morning to pick up his petition for re-election. Then he beat everyone back with the completed form. Mr. Knowles said, "I ran in 1974 on a campaign of ending the long tag lines. We put in a tag by mail system ... (click for more)