Roberta Benson Chevillon passed on peacefully Aug. 24, 2012, near her San Antonio home. She and Manuel “Frenchy” Chevillon were devoted parents to their two children and to their children’s families. Roberta had three grandchildren and three great grandchildren she especially loved.
Her strong family roots began in the Alpheus Benson Family (her mother was Roberta Clarke) in Fulton, a small logging town in south Alabama where she was born at their homeplace on June 3, 1919.
She had three sisters and two brothers, though one of her brothers died as a child. Roberta’s family ties were the centerpiece of her life and our lives. As we grew up she made sure all the cousins and their families stayed connected. She was a family ambassador full of love, grace and caring.
She moved away from home in 1936 with one of her sisters to Butler, attended business school and got a job as a bank clerk. She met Frenchy, who was on an aerial photography assignment in Butler. They were married in Butler on June 3, 1940 and then moved to San Antonio.
They founded and operated a small tool and die business there, where Frenchy pursued contract manufacturing and his mechanical research and inventions career with Southwest Research.
They had their two children in San Antonio and then moved north to the Washington D.C. area, pursuing a defense contract industry contracts and jobs. Roberta joined the National Security Agency (NSA) and eventually became a budget officer there. Frenchy, too, eventually joined NSA as Senior Design Engineer.
They both retired in 1974 and they traveled the U.S. and Mexico before moving back to San Antonio. Frenchy passed at home in 1985 and his ashes were scattered near the Silver Spur Dance Hall in Bandera, Texas, one of their favorite places.
Roberta was outgoing, friendly with a joy of life and love that was inspiring. She made many lifelong friends who she was devoted to and who were devoted to her. She had a sense of adventure and curiosity that she shared throughout her life. Her honesty, integrity and knack for calling things as she saw them was clear, always.
Those around her thrived on her independent and enthusiastic approach to life and her focus on family and friends. She made you think, not by what she said, but by what she did. She wished to be remembered, in full stride, living life to its fullest, with her family and friends.
In early August she returned to her San Antonio home from a two month solo road trip, visiting her family and friends in the southeast, including, what turned out to be, her last trip to Fulton where her first best friend and some kinfolks still live.
On Sept. 9, 2012, her close family and some San Antonio friends gathered near the Silver Spur Dance Hall site and scattered her ashes on a sunny, peaceful Sunday afternoon, with yellow roses and Frenchy’s ashes that had gone before her. Rest in peace Roberta, we learned from you and you will be with us still.