NRMCA Notes Passing of Former Board Chairman John Roberts
NRMCA Notes with sadness the death of former Board of Directors Chairman John Roberts who passed away June 14 at the age of 97. Mr. Roberts' career in the ready mixed concrete and aggregates industries began with Southern Materials in 1947. Also that year, he founded Southern Lightweight Aggregate Corporation and became one of the leaders and innovators in the industry of manufactured lightweight aggregate. Solite® was at the forefront of the post-World War II building boom as it served the manufacturing community with multiple lightweight aggregate products. Mr. Roberts continued to stay active in the lightweight aggregate and building materials industry, serving as chairman of Northeast Solite Corporation up until the time of his death. In addition to his longtime service to NRMCA, including serving as chairman during the 1957-1958 term, he was past president of the Virginia Section, American Society of Civil Engineers, past president of the Virginia Ready-Mixed Concrete Association, past president of the Virginia Manufacturers Association and a fellow of the American Concrete Institute.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 70 years, Jane Martin Roberts; a daughter, Nancy Roberts Pope; and a son-in-law, Willard Cates Jr. He is survived by a daughter, Joan Roberts Cates; a son, John Martin Roberts; two grandsons, John Pinckney Pope (Dawn) and David Norford Pope (Katharine); two granddaughters, Deborah Cates Knighton (Tim) and Sarah Cates Parker (Andrew); and 11 great-grandchildren. Mr. Roberts was born on July 23, 1918, in Princess Anne, MD, and graduated from Swarthmore College in Swarthmore, PA, with an engineering degree in 1939.
A funeral will be held Friday at 1 p.m. at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church, 1627 Monument Avenue, Richmond, VA, 23220. Interment in Hollywood Cemetery will follow. Memorial contributions may be made to Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church.