Frank M. Roberts

Published 10:13 am Thursday, March 23, 2017

HERTFORD – Frank Marvin Roberts, 88, of 146 Riverwood Drive, Hertford, NC, passed away on Wednesday, March 15, 2017 in Sentara Albemarle Medical Center, Elizabeth City, where he was surrounded by his family.

Mr. Roberts was born in New York City, NY on November 8, 1928 and was the only child of the late David Roberts and Sophia Bainder Roberts Ginsberg. Two months after graduating from Bentley School in Manhattan, he joined the Army, taking basic training in Fort Dix, NJ, and later was stationed in California and Washington state. Serving in the Signal Corps as part of the Technical Service Unit in Nome, Alaska, in the evening he was part of the Armed Forces Radio Service, broadcasting over WXLN, The Voice of the Arctic. After discharge, he took advantage of the G.I. Bill, attending the School of Radio Technique in New York City. With that in hand, he worked for stations in New Jersey, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia, New York, Iowa, and Edenton, NC. Later he turned to television, and did work in Waterloo, Iowa, Washington, NC, and Virginia Beach, VA.

A free-lance writer, he had regular contributions for Grit, Country Weekly, and other publications, and later worked with the Virginian-Pilot, the Daily News, the Suffolk News-Herald, the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, and other local North Carolina papers. For many years he did interviews and music show reviews, and met many famous stars, including Roy Acuff, Faron Young, Julio Iglesias, Patti Page, Shirley Jones, Conway Twitty, The Statler Brothers, The Oak Ridge Boys, Willie Nelson, and Alabama. With all these years in the music industry, his collections of pictures and records grew in number to over 3,000, which are now housed in the Jefcoat Museum in Murfreesboro, NC.

A veteran of World War II, he enjoyed membership in the American Legion, and had been a faithful member of Hertford Baptist Church for many years.

Surviving are his wife of nearly 57 years, Valeria White Roberts; a daughter, Jennifer R. Mercer and husband Mike of Elizabeth City; two sons, David N. Roberts of Edenton and Clavis B. Roberts of Hertford; four grandchildren, Jessica Stokely (Chris Stanton), Christy Whedbee (Chuck), Steven Roberts, and Josh Roberts; and four great-grandchildren, Madison Applegate, Trinity Stanton, Faith Roberts, and Teagan Whedbee.

A memorial service was held Saturday, March 18 in Hertford Baptist Church and was conducted by the Rev. Don Carter. A private burial was in Cedarwood Cemetery. Contributions in Frank’s memory may be made to Hertford Baptist Church, P.O. Box 34, Hertford, NC 27944, or to any chapter of the SPCA.

Miller & Van Essendelft, Funeral and Cremation Providers, 1125 Harvey Point Road, Hertford, assisted the family with arrangements, and online condolences may be made by visiting