In Memory of
Phyliss Marguerite Roberts

Phyliss Marguerite Roberts passed away peacefully in her sleep on September 16, 2022, at the age of 100.

She was born on July 9, 1922 to Charles Eugene and Helen Caroline Lotreck, the second of four children, and their only daughter. She was preceded in death by her parents and her three brothers, Richard, Charles (Ted), and Robert Lotreck.

At the onset of World War II, Phyliss and her three brothers made the decision to join the U.S. Armed Forces. She enlisted in the Marine Corps, serving from 1943-1945, and attaining the rank of Staff Sergeant. After the war, she enrolled at Boston University, where she received her Bachelor’s degree. She would later go on to earn her Master’s degree from Bridgeport University in Connecticut. 

While at Boston University, Phyliss met her future husband, Donald Theall Roberts. They were married from 1950 until his death in June 1995. Phyliss is survived by her three sons, Keith, Bruce, and Douglas Roberts, and her two daughters, Cynthia Chatagnier and husband Michael, and Diane Ybarra and husband Richard. She is also survived by her six grandchildren—Justin Dunford, Tyson Chatagnier and wife Susie, Cameron Dunford and wife Madison, Cody Chatagnier and wife Lindsay, Kenneth Roberts, and Brandon Ybarra—and her nine great-grandchildren.

Services will be held on September 27, 2022 at Houston National Cemetery. The family has decided on a private graveside service.


Message from
Richard Ybarra
Thu, 09/22/2022

Phyliss was truly a one of a kind , she was a great person in life and will be remembered as our family’s last member of the greatest generation. RIP Granny.

Message from
Diane Ybarra
Thu, 09/22/2022

Anyone who had the privilege to truly know my mom knew how unusual she was. She left a lasting impression on everyone who met her. I am happy to say at the end of her life she accepted Jesus Christ as her personal Savior, so I will see her again.

Message from
Brandon Ybarra
Thu, 09/22/2022

My grandmother was a unique person. From the vocabulary she used when she spoke, to her sense of humor (those of you who knew her, know what I'm talking about), to her well-rounded intellect, to her surprising compassion.

She took such great care of me when I was growing up. I can honestly say she was one of the greatest people I have ever met. Not just because she was family, but for all the things she did that she didn't have to do.

Because of how wonderfully she took care of me, I felt compelled and honored to take the best care of her when she needed it the most. Even still, I never truly feel as if I could have repaid her for all that she has done for me. She was a monumental part of my life and left an indelible mark on me that I will never forget.

I love you Granny

Message from
Susan Lotreck-Winkle
Thu, 09/22/2022

It has been many decades since I last saw my aunt. It would appear that the vivacious person with a great sense of humor that I remembered continued to be so throughout her life. She might have been the only girl in her family, but she held her own among those boisterous males. I don't know if she liked to bake or not, but I remember that her contribution to family get together was always a frozen Pepperidge Farm cake. We loved them! RIP Aunt Phyllis.

Message from
Cameron Dunford
Thu, 09/22/2022

Our grandmother was an amazing woman. My brothers and I were fortunate enough to be with her through most of our upbringing and her influence shaped much of who we are today. She was not the traditional grandmother and I mean that with great respect and admiration. She was intelligent, sweet, and generous with her time. I remember she would always help me with my grammar homework, with the assistance of a red pen that was frequent with my work. She taught me about history, perspective, and led to my love of investing. Her upbringing and life taught me about real struggles and life in a way no other teacher was able. Her love of classical music is something that as a child I would dread when she picked me up in her car from school but over time I came to appreciate. I never found myself adapting to her other love of Paloma Picasso perfume however, but to this day if I smell that perfume I am instantly transported back in time to my moments with her. I loved the way she always wanted the corner piece of every birthday cake. I loved her view of the world and the opinions she expressed. She is a primary reason I feel my life has turned out the way it has in all the best ways. I will miss our talks around the stock market and politics. I will miss her quick wit and unique takes on all different issues. I will miss asking her what new book she is reading (which there were countless). She lived a long and wonderful life and I am so happy to have shared in that with so much of my youth, but I will miss her more than words can express. I am so grateful that she was able to meet my daughter and sad she was unable to meet my other two children but know her legacy will endure with the stories I share of them. I love you Grandma! -Cameron

Message from
Keith Roberts
Fri, 09/23/2022

When I was 3 years old living in White Plains New York I was playing with another 3 year old kid when a much older kid maybe 11 years old said he wanted us to go with him to "show us something". I didn't know any better so I was going to follow him, just then my mother arrived and wanted to know where he thought he was taking us. He was kinda vague on answering. Mom REALLY snarled at him and he left very quickly. I have always been very thankful she was there to protect her brood. I miss her so much.

Message from
Rosemary McGovern Wilkes
Fri, 09/23/2022

Dear Diane and all,
The Roberts family moved in the Summer of 1971. I was so excited to meet them, for they had a 7th grade girl and we had just moved in the Summer before and no kids on our street. From the day I barged over I felt welcomed. Always a nice hello and come on in. Mrs. Roberts was like a 2nd Mom. She included me on Sunday outings to Lillian's Crepes or Downtown to Alley Theater, being from 8 kids I never had that exposure. She invited us to her Church's Summer camp, Tallowwood Baptist being Catholic, I was again exposed to another religion which I enjoyed learning about.. Mrs. Roberts came to my bridal shower, My wedding, My baby shower. She was very supportive.and encouraging to look our best. She included me along with her girls to a Wendy Wards Modeling class in Montgomery Wards Store. When Mrs. Roberts came home after a long day from teaching she'd tell us on numerous occasions " Don't have kids, get dogs" that has stuck with me forever, for she was a class act and never said anything insulting. years later, When Diane came to San Antonio to visit, she gave Diane some beautiful tumbler glasses for a hostess gift for me. I loved them. For my baby shower, she gave me the cutest lamp with a circus clown with balloons.She just knew what to give a new momma and I thought of her. i used it with both boys and hated when they grew up and I had to put it away. She was always so calm. I relished being at their house where she loved to relax in her living room, reading, with soft music on. Such a great role model. I miss them both very much. Mr. Roberts was especially special to me as well.. She was a true testimony of a true Christian woman, and a good person.

Message from
Justin Wayne Dunford
Fri, 09/23/2022

The last few days I have been trying to find the right words or memories to try to encapsulate our amazing grandmother. Cameron mentioned two core memories I have of her. Riding in her car with the smell of her perfume with Enya (or classical music) playing on her stereo. The album in question seemed to stay in her cd player for at least a year straight. It would finish and the album would repeat again. I still can’t hear Enya without seeing her in my mind to this day. The same is true of “House of the Rising Sun” and the whole Casino soundtrack.

Grandma had amazing taste, an unmatched intellect, and a curiosity about the world that truly formed me into who I am. She was a fierce protector of things she believed in and loved. She was a trailblazer in (both) her professional life and her family life, a leader (with) great humility. She was a truly deep thinker and also a comedian of sorts(.) I cherish all the great talks we (had). She gave so much of herself to me and the family. She was selfless and kind and a true force. She was also generous to the pups of the world. She would have a cookie but half would go to the lucky dog that was nearest to her.

She was a constant in our lives. I never saw her get upset. In life she chose to laugh and kid around rather than to bicker or dismay. She was a rock for our family; the foundation. We all were so fortunate to have such a beautiful soul in our lives for so long. The grandsons will all know this, but every year grandma would send a card and her birthday wishes. The card said “BEST GRANDSON”. The first time I got this I was honored. I soon realized my younger brothers both received said card, as well as all my cousins! She must have had a stockpile of these cards. We still argue who is the best grandson, but we all had the best grandmother ever. I am so greatful to have really gotten to know you as well as I did.

The world will be a bit darker now that your light has left us, but the flame of your legacy lives in all of us. The things you taught me stay in my mind paired with your smile and the sound of your laugh. Each day I try to spread some of that light you gave me out into this world. (Open-hearted), (open-minded), humble and kind. Laughing more than crying. Sharing all you gave.

I love you (Grandma) Roberts.

P.S. This was professionally edited in your honor.

Message from
Cindy Chatagnier
Sat, 09/24/2022

When I think of my mom, I think of the things she liked:

Books,books and more interesting books
Cloud formations
A good sale and a great lunch
Babies with "big fat arms"
The journey to anywhere

She was a loved mother, grandmother and great grandmother. I will miss her.

Love you Mom

Message from
Joanne Lotreck
Tue, 09/27/2022

Reading all the previous messages you can see how loved this incredible lady will always be. I met Phyliss when I married her brother, Ted in 1978. I had the privilege/honor of becoming better acquainted with Phyliss when she joined Ted and me, along with our sister-in-law, Betty (brother Bob's widow) on a month-long tour of Asia in 1989. We shared many conversations, and I admired what an intelligent, caring woman she was with a quick sense of humor. I enjoyed her company on this trip as well as family visits over the years. Ted always said Phyliss would outlive everyone, and she did. I know Phyliss, Robert, Bob, Ted and their parents are enjoying a beautiful reunion wherever they all are, and we'll see them again someday. Love, Joanne

Message from
Jeanie Lalley
Fri, 02/24/2023

Mrs Roberts was a huge part off my childhood. I have so many great memories of her and of the Roberts. I am not one bit surprised that she lived to 100, and “just “100. She left a beautiful legacy…who could as for more? Love to you all. 760.590.7611. Send me your contact info if you want me to share some of those memories.