Gertrude D. Roberts, a homemaker and avid gardener who was a member of Fulton Baptist Church for 61 years, died of complications from an infection Sept. 8 at Bon Secours Hospital. She was 86.
Born Gertrude Davis in Forest City, S.C.. she graduated from Rutherford County, N.C., public schools.
She came to Baltimore in 1945 after her marriage to Iredell Roberts, a Bethlehem Steel Corp. steel worker. He died in 1998.
A resident of McKean Avenue, Mrs. Roberts was a homemaker who was know for her cooking and gardening skills.
"She loved to cook, and her yeast rolls, which she made with real yeast and potato water, were out of this world. Her sweet potato pies and cakes were also so good," said a daughter, Marva R. Street of Washington.
"Her rose garden behind her McKean Avenue rowhouse looked like something out of England. They were the prettiest roses you ever saw," Mrs. Street said.
Mrs. Roberts had been an active member of Fulton Baptist Church since 1946. A soprano and soloist, she was a longtime mainstay of its sanctuary choir.
"She had such a beautiful voice and was still singing with the choir. She sang the Sunday before last. At my birthday party last year, she sang 'Great is Thy Faithfulness,'" said Madge Cannon, a Fulton Baptist Church parishioner.
"My parents believed in education and that their seven children went to church every Sunday. And if you didn't go to church, you didn't go anywhere else except school for the rest of the week," her daughter said.
She enjoyed attending the theater and traveling.
Services for Mrs. Roberts will be held at 10 a.m. today at her church, 1630 W. North Ave.
Also surviving are three sons, Iredell Alan Roberts and Timothy S. Roberts, both of Baltimore, and Larry J. Roberts of Detroit; three other daughters, Patsy A. Stepney, Sheila G. Roberts and Aleta Gail Snowden, all of Baltimore; three brothers, James Davis, Charles Davis and Alfred Lee Davis Jr., all of Detroit; four sisters, Marie Oliver, Ollie Wilkerson, Hazel Durham and Helen Lloyd, all of Detroit; 10 grandchildren; and nine great grandchildren.