Della Lee (Dowdy) Roberts, 96 of Battle Creek, MI passed away Sunday, May 4, 2020, at The Oaks at NorthPointe Woods. She was born February 25, 1924 in Osceola, Arkansas the daughter of the late Walter Lee and Ora Lee Dowdy. Her family moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan. She married Jerry R. Roberts, Sr. on February 20, 1949 in Chicago, IL. She and Jerry moved to Battle Creek in 1955.
She is survived by her children, Jerry R. Roberts, Jr. and Darrell Roberts; grandchildren, Eugene Anthony (Stacy) Roberts; Darrell Banks; Damien Banks of Battle Creek and Eric (Elsy) Roberts of Chicago, Illinois; a host of great grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law.
Her memory will be cherished by her brothers; Walter (Roberta) Dowdy of Sun City Center, Florida, Joe (Mattie) Dowdy, North East, Maryland and sisters; Vivian Robbins, and Cecelia Taggart of Battle Creek, Ora Rhodes of Sylvania, OH and Abbie Gray of Laurel, MD.
Della was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, Jerry R. Roberts, Sr. and daughter, Gail (Roberts) Morford; brother, William “Bill” Dowdy and sister, Rosie Wright.
She graduated from Benton Harbor High School. A mural that she painted at the high school is still displayed today. After graduating from high school, she received a scholarship to the Art Institute of Chicago. As an accomplished seamstress Della was employed for many years at the former Imperial Tile and Carpet store in Battle Creek. She made custom draperies for many prominent clients. She was a member of Second Missionary Baptist Church and the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women Clubs, Inc. Della was known to children in the neighborhood as the “Freezy Cup Lady”. She enjoyed fishing with her family, cooking and gardening.