Roberta Jean Okley of Albion, MI, died peacefully in her sleep Wednesday, November 28, 2012 at the Willows of Spring Arbor Assisted Living, at the age of 86. She was born November 24, 1926 and was raised on the Centennial Family Farm with her father Howard, mother Donna (Eldred) Wing and her younger sister Ardith. Donna died when Roberta was just seven years of age and Howard remarried and had three additional children, Martha, Norma and Paul.
After graduating Bellevue High School in 1944, Roberta entered the United States Cadet Nurse Corps as a student nurse in September of that year and worked at Community Hospital School of Nursing in Battle Creek. She was sent to Wayne State University in Detroit where she was given a one-year course in one semester because of the shortage of nurses. She returned to Community Hospital for training in surgery, emergency room, obstetrics, nursery, and other branches of nursing. Roberta spent three months at Ypsilanti State Hospital for the mentally ill for their psychiatric affiliation. Then they went to Children's Hospital in Detroit for their pediatric affiliation. Roberta graduated in September 1947, but lacked three months of reaching her 21st birthday, so she had to work another few months until she was eligible to write State Boards. In Michigan one must be 21 years of age to write State Board Exams. There she passed the following February, and became a Registered Nurse. March 12, 1949 Roberta married
Leo Thomas Okley of Albion and he died in April of 1989. Roberta worked as a nurse for 40 years, in a hospital, doctor's office, as a visiting nurse, and as a foundry nurse. She was Director of Nursing at Albion Community Hospital for four years before retiring. Roberta enjoyed traveling and loved to work with her flowers and plants and spending time outdoors, golfing with the ladies and spending time with the Vivians of the Albion Elks Lodge. Roberta often remarked that she would not trade her experience as a Registered Nurse for anything. Survived by four children , Jan (Chan) Deigert of Homer, Jo Ann (Orien) Wetzel of Concord, Susan Katz of Tallahassee, FL and Sam (Deb) Okley of Albion ; ten grandchildren, Damien, Mark, Michael, Brad, Jesse, Vicky, Abby, Lisa, Cody and David; nine great-grandchildren, Michaela, Seth, Olivia, Hannah, Bryce, Grace, Brock, Tavian and Delanie.
Visitation for family and friends will be Saturday, December 1, 2012 from 12:00 (Noon) until 1:00 P.M. at the J. Kevin Tidd Funeral Homer, 811 Finley Drive, Albion, Michigan 49224.
Funeral Service will be Saturday, December 1st at 1:00 P.M. at the funeral home with Orin Wetzel officiating. Per her wishes, Roberta will be cremated
The family of Mrs. Okley would especially like to thank Dr. Chris Sloffer, Neurosurgeon of Bronson Methodist Hospital of Kalamazoo, MI and Spring Arbor Assisted (The Willows) for all the love, compassion and care shown our mother.
Assistance with Memorial Contributions to: The Vivian's of Albion Elk's Lodge or to the Charity of your choice is available at the funeral home.