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Zepora Roberts, DeKalb County pillar, champion, warrior for children, passes

UPDATE: The service for Ms. Zepora Roberts will be held on Saturday, Jan. 28, 11 a.m., with repast to immediately follow at Green Forest Baptist Church, 3250 Rainbow Drive, Decatur. Viewing will be held on Friday, Jan. 27, 12-8 p.m., with family visitation 5-7 p.m. at Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Home, 4347 Flat Shoals Pkwy., Decatur.  A private burial will be held on Monday, Jan. 30, at her home church in Moreland, GA.

DEKALB COUNTY, GA—Former DeKalb County School Board member Zepora Roberts passed away on Saturday, Jan. 21, after a long and gallant battle with multiple myeloma cancer. She was 78, transitioning one day before her 79th birthday today.  

Ms. Roberts died early Saturday after driving herself to her 5:30 a.m. dialysis appointment. After she was unable to get out of her car, she called workers for help and was transported to Emory Hospital, where she was pronounced deceased around 7 a.m., said her daughter, Tracey Roberts, a retired assistant principal at Salem Middle School in DeKalb County.

“My mother was very independent, determined. She was still driving herself to places and getting around on her own,” said Tracey Roberts.

Ms. Roberts served on the DeKalb County School Board for 8 years as the District 7 representative from 2002 to 2010. She was also active with the NAACP DeKalb County branch for many years, serving as education chair and vice president, and the Headstart program. Ms. Roberts retired from AT&T.

Georgia Congressman Hank Johnson was among several leaders who lauded Ms. Roberts for her work in the community after learning of her death. 

“I am saddened to hear of the passing of warrior Zepora Roberts. She was a champion and a fighter for equity, inclusion, and fairness, especially for children. We will miss her tremendously,” Congressman Johnson said.

Johnson honored Ms. Roberts on Dec. 11, 2022 as an Unsung Hero, presenting her with the Pillars of Power Award. The award is given to an individual who has served as a former elected official, appointed official, or advocate who has given service to a constituency or cause.

Former State Rep. Stan Watson remembered Ms. Roberts as champion with unwavering support for students.

“She was a feisty leader, one of the greatest advocates for children. She worked to make sure that there was quality and equality in DeKalb County schools for students and teachers,” said Watson. “I am so saddened by the news of her death. She just gave me a hug at my January community breakfast meeting.”

DeKalb County Commissioner Larry Johnson also recalled Ms. Robert’s passion for students.

“We have lost a feisty fighter for our community. She was one of my most ardent supporters,” Johnson said.

Community activist Teresa Hardy shared her sentiments about co-laboring with Ms. Roberts as a “freedom fighter.”

“I am deeply saddened by the passing of our freedom fighter, Ms. Zepora Roberts. Her wisdom, guidance, and love for the community will forever be with me,” said Hardy.

Vivian Moore remembered Ms. Roberts not only as a freedom fighter with the NAACP but as a close family friend.  

“We met when our sons were 6 and they’re now in their 40s,” Moore said. “I have a picture of her holding my grandbaby. We went to the inauguration of President Obama together. I called and checked on her on a regular basis.  I am definitely going to miss her.”

Ms. Roberts, a Coweta County native, is survived by three children: Gregory Roberts, Chanda White and Ms. Tracey Roberts, all from Decatur; three sisters; and six grandchildren. 

Funeral arrangements will be announced when the family releases the information. Gregory B. Levett & Sons Funeral Home is handling the arrangements. 

 

 

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