Cover photo for Jan Rochelle Roberts's Obituary
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Jan Rochelle Roberts

May 13, 1944 — May 2, 2024

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Jan Rochelle Roberts

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Colonel Jan Roberts, US Army Retired, died peacefully surrounded by his family on May 2, 2024, just shy of his 80th birthday.  A dedicated American patriot, he lived his life with a strong love of God, country, family, and the Tennessee Volunteers.

Jan was born on May 13, 1944 in Nashville, Tennessee to parents James and Dorothy (Lanz) Roberts.  He graduated from Donelson High School in 1962 and from Tennessee Technological University in 1966 through which he was commissioned Second Lieutenant, U.S. Army, into the 11th Armored Cavalry Black Horse Regiment.

Following his service in Vietnam, for which he was awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart, Jan attended the Advanced Chemical Course at Fort McClellan, Alabama, where he met Mary Ellen Roberts, First Lieutenant, U.S. Womens Army Corps.  They married on September 6, 1969 and over the next ten years, they welcomed four children.  Jan continued his education through the U.S. Army, earning a Master of Science in Microbiology from Colorado State University in 1972.  He completed the Armed Forces Staff College in 1977, and the Army War College in 1989. Jans Army career involved numerous assignments including the US Army I Corps in Seoul, South Korea and Commander, Milan Army Ammunition Plant, Milan, Tennessee.  He retired with the rank of Colonel in 1994 following his final assignment as Director of Training, U.S. Army Chemical Corps, Fort McClellan, Alabama.

Jan is survived by his wife, Mary Ellen; children Jon, Kristi, Katie, and Annie; his daughter in-law Sonya; sons-in-law Clark, Alan, and Dennis; his grandchildren Jaxton, Annelise, Joy, Gianna, and Callie; step grandchildren Matt, Aiden, Ava, Caleb, Caralyn, and Jacob; nieces and nephews and other family and friends. He is preceded in death by his sister Drusilla Tsonos of East Providence, Rhode Island.  

To his children and grandchildren, Jan passed on his love of backpacking, fishing, photography, coin collecting, NCAA March Madness, and SEC football.  They will remember catching bass and bluegill in the lake behind their home, splashing in the pool, learning about their family history, completing their basketball brackets, and studying his coin collection.  Appropriately, Jan heard Rocky Top one final time just before taking his last breaths.

Funeral services will be held Tuesday, May 7, 2024 at St. John the Baptist Catholic Church, Madison, Alabama. Visitation will be at 11 a.m., with the funeral mass following at 12 noon.  Burial will follow at a later date at Arlington National Cemetery.   In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in his name to The Disabled American Veterans Charitable Trust or a charity of your choice supporting U.S. veterans. The family would especially like to thank Dick Smith, Patty Lilly, St. Johns Church, and Dr. Rahman Nallamala for their love and support during this time.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jan Rochelle Roberts, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Visitation

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

1055 Hughes Rd, Madison, AL 35758

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Mass

Tuesday, May 7, 2024

Starts at 12:00 pm (Central time)

St. John the Baptist Catholic Church

1055 Hughes Rd, Madison, AL 35758

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

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