Public memorial service announced for Doncaster community stalwart Bobbie Roberts

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A public memorial service to pay tribute to one of the city’s biggest community stalwarts is to be held at Doncaster Minster later this month.

Bobbie Roberts MBE, a Freeman of Doncaster, former chair of the Doncaster Magistrates bench and recipient of Doncaster Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement award in 2015 and who served Doncaster Deaf Trust for more than 42 years, died at the age of 85 in February.

Scores of tributes poured in following the news of her death and friends, family, colleagues and members of the public will all have the chance to pay their respects at the memorial service on June 13.

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The service will mark the remarkable life of Bobbie, who along with her MBE, was also a freeman of the city, a lifelong volunteer, serving as chair of the Doncaster bench of magistrates, chair of

A public memorial service is to be held for Doncaster community stalwart Bobbie Roberts.A public memorial service is to be held for Doncaster community stalwart Bobbie Roberts.
A public memorial service is to be held for Doncaster community stalwart Bobbie Roberts.

Doncaster Deaf Trust, board member of Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust and trustee at Firefly Cancer Charity, among other roles.

People are asked to be seated in the Minster for 11.50am for a 12 noon start.

Her tireless work and campaigning for the rights of deaf children and young people saw her briefing government departments, welcoming Royal visitors and working across a number of European countries.

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She stepped down from the Deaf Trust’s board of trustees in 2020 after 13 years of heading up the trustees and after more than four decades involved with the organisation.

Tributes poured in from across Doncaster following the announcement of her death.

Alexis Johnson, chief executive of Doncaster Deaf Trust said: “Bobbie was Doncaster Deaf Trust’s longest standing volunteer with 42 years of dedicated service.

"As an organisation we’ll be thinking of ways to mark Bobbie’s tremendous contribution to the Trust and the Deaf children and families from across the region.”

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Her husband John was a consultant radiologist at DRI and Montagu Hopsital in Mexborough and served in the RAF as a doctor during National Service.

They were married for more than 50 years and had two children, Adrian and Catherine.

Added Alexis: “She was well loved by many in the city and led an extraordinary life.”

Dame Rosie Winterton, former MP for Doncaster Central, said: “I am deeply saddened to hear the news about Bobbie.

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"Bobbie was a truly wonderful woman who I have worked with for many years, known best for her work as Chair of Trustees for Doncaster Deaf Trust but equally a champion for charities such as Firefly and Friends of Doncaster Mansion House.

“Bobbie's decades of volunteer work was felt across our city, for which she received an MBE, the Doncaster Chamber Lifetime Achievement Award, and made Freeman of Doncaster.

"She was well regarded in our communities, including the Gurkha community where she was adored.

“Bobbie was much loved and will be sadly missed.”

Andrew Burden, chair of trustees at Doncaster Culture and Leisure Trust said: “We are all deeply saddened by the death of Bobbie Roberts.

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“Bobbie was a long standing member of the trust board who dedicated her time, expertise and wisdom to the Trust.”

A spokesman for Firefly said: “A fantastic lady that helped out many and always put others first. A person we all looked up to and she will be sadly missed.”

Former Don Valley MP Nick Fletcher said: “I am shocked by the news that we have lost this wonderful lady. Everyone who knew her will miss her so much. My thoughts and prayers are with Bobbie’s friends and family.”

In a joint statement, Mayor Ros Jones and civic mayor Coun Duncan Anderson said: “We are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Bobbie Roberts MBE.

"Bobbie was a well respected figure, recognised for her selfless service to Doncaster and devoting her life to helping others.”

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