"Roberts Family History " 






Written by Flora Tessie Butts Roberts

With inserts by His Sister, Delores ( Dee ) Roberts Schultz




Daniel Crawford Roberts was born 6 May 1930, in Salt Lake City , Utah . He was a frail baby, born three months premature and not expected to live. Dee relates “ His Mother had made a pot of soup for her sister and went to take it to her. Laura was at the top of the stairs and her husband pushed her and she fell over the banister and fell down the stairs and knocked Thelda the rest of the way down the stairs, hot soup going everywhere. Two days later she had Crawford. She kept him alive by keeping him in a shoe box in the oven to keep him warm and feeding him with an eye dropper.” It was only by the faith, determination and prayers of his devoted mother that he ever survived those first delicate, touch and go days, weeks and months. The care and the vigil she gave this tiny soul will always be remembered by her family as one of the most outstanding examples of faithful motherhood and devotion.


Crawford was the first child in the family. Next came Delores ( Dee ) Roberts Schultz, Thelda Kay Roberts Bowers and Frank Crawford Roberts.




Crawford & Dee


Crawford grew to childhood, but not without problems. His birth had left its' mark upon him and he had several handicaps. This never did harm him in any way from his determination. At age 12, he was working in a grocery store as a delivery boy. He mowed lawns in summer and shoveled walks in winter. His mother refused to let him surrender to self pity or discouragement. By her fortitude she encouraged him and helped him in every way to succeed. Two things she taught him very well. “Whatever you do, do it well, and Your word is as good as your bond.” In all this she was assisted by her father and mother, who for some time while Crawford and his sister were small helped with their care. Thelda had to go to work to support them. This maternal grandfather and grandmother were some of the finest people in the whole world. Their care and concern for the welfare of others, particularly their family is another great example of love and devotion. Crawford often went to his grandfather for advise on a great many matters. His grandfather always had time to comfort him and to talk to him. Many times since his grandfathers' death, Crawford has felt his grandfather very close to him, still guiding, directing, and talking to him. Many times on the job, in personal problems and sometimes for no real apparent reason, Alphonzo Crawford has been there, still comforting Crawford.


Crawford acquired a testimony of the Gospel when he was 12 years old. It was at a Stake Conference one Sunday evening and he was listening to one of the General Authorities were speaking. A voice suddenly came to him and whispered, “The Gospel is true.” It hit him with such force and power that he was almost dumbfounded. He began to cry. Many times he wondered why his testimony was given to him in such a wonderful way. Most people have to work and study for it. It was soon evident, however, that this wonderful gift was given for a special purpose. Satan tried every possible way to take this testimony away during the next six years. The hardships which he endured are almost indescribable. If it has not been for his marvelous testimony, he would not have been able to survive these difficulties. He had always been a personality of courage and conviction. Part of this he inherited from his mother and grandfather, and part he developed on his own volition due to their teachings. His sister Dee, remembers when he got up in testimony meeting and bore his testimony and there was an aura over his head and he bore such a strong testimony that everyone was in awe and commented of a boy so young having such a strong testimony.


Dee remembers, “Crawford and I used to walk to the temple after school once a month and do baptisms for the dead. The lady in the Stake always asked us because she knew she could depend on us to show up. We would go in, change our clothes, get baptized and confirmed 150 or 200 times, go back in the locker room, change our clothes, shake the water out of our hair and walk home. Those times I spent with Crawford were very special to me.”


Dee also remembers what a kind, considerate and compassionate brother. We would get into our arguments sometimes but the minute we walked out the door where we were around others Crawford always stood up for me and never allowed anyone to pick on me. As teenagers if I wanted to go somewhere , a reception or party of some kind and I needed a partner I would just call Crawford at work and ask him to go with me and he would hurry home and get ready and go.


The very greatest thing that ever happened to him occurred when he was 19. This was his call to the East Central States Mission in April, 1950. Prior to this time, he worked as a paper boy for the Salt Lake Tribune, carrying 180 papers. He also worked about two years delivering telegrams for Western Union . Dee relates, “He did this on his bicycle. One day as he was on the west side of town crossing the railroad track, he looked and a train all of a sudden started to back up. He could see that he could not pedal fast enough to get away so he leaped off his bike and his bike was cut in two. He went to a phone and called home and Dee answered the phone. He asked for Mother and learning that she was not home he told Dee to tell her he had been in an accident. Dee told Mother when she returned and Mother asked her if he was hurt, where was he and she didn't ask.”


He had sold his car and with this money and the help of his adopted father, Frank Harold Roberts, he left on that mission and served well in Kentucky and West Virginia for the space of two years. Many of his companions, as well as his mission president were thrilled with his testimony, his hard work, and his devotion to the Gospel. He was humble and presented his message well. He has always been an outstanding missionary. From that time to the time of this writing (1973) he has brought approximately 30 people into the Gospel. Some of these have remained his very dearest friends. Dee remembers “ Crawford liked to joke and have fun also. When he was ready to come home from his mission he shipped two tortoises from the hills of West Virginia . They poked holes in the box so they could breathe and they made the trip fine. Crawford met another boy in the Mission Home and he was going to a neighboring mission so they traveled there together in his friends car(Bud Eatchel). When they were released they traveled back home together, and that car putted up in our driveway and they stopped and it never ran again.”


He had received a patriarchal blessing prior to his going on his mission for the church wherein he was told that when he finally goes over to the other side, there would be hundreds there to whom he had brought the Gospel.


After his mission, he married Flora Tessie Butts, on April 9, 1954.





Of this union were born the following children:


Camille Dee May 5, 1955

Tessie Ann Nov. 19, 1958

David Crawford April 19, 1960 - 11/2006

Jonathon Clifford April 19, 1960

Rebecca Anne December 24, 1961

Harold Fon December 11, 1964

Matthew Harold December 6, 1968

Mary Elizabeth June 24, 1971

Flora Elizabeth Roberts June 20, 1976 - 3/1978


Crawford also took into his home to love, raise and teach,

Dale Harvey Jorgensen November 11,1960


This little foster child has been with the Roberts family for three years (1970 to 1973) and is loved and cared for as their own. He is a lovely blonde headed boy of Danish extraction. He cares for the younger Roberts children in the family with a devotion that is unequalled.


The children are all choice spirits as was again promised in Crawford's blessing. Camille is without a doubt the sweetest, most helpful and obedient person in the world. She gets along with everyone and has no enemies. Everyone loves her and likes to have her around. Tessie Ann is musically inclined and has inherited her father's hard driving determination to do well. She plays the piano for Jr. Sunday School and various church and school programs. The twins work hard to gather wood for the family. It is not often people see 12 year old boys cutting and hauling, and splitting logs for their family in this day and age. They are deacons and attend well to their priesthood duties, often going out to do missionary work with their father. Rebecca is the little spit fire. Her strong will and determination gets he most anything she wants. She usually wants only those things which are right for her, so it has been a blessing. This is another little spirit who has given her heart to the Lord at an early age and who is devoted to helping and serving others, especially for her family.


Fon was named after his great grandfather Alphonzo Crawford. He is sweet, gentle natured and has read 50 library books in the first grade. Matthew is his fathers' boy and is with his Daddy every possible moment. This is a special boy who came to our home only after the revelation by the Lord to Crawford that another child was waiting to come to his home. The two have been almost inseparable since the time of Matthew's birth. Mary was named after her maternal grandmother and is a blessing to the family.


Most of the positions which Crawford has held in the church have been connected with missionary work. .He was called as a stake missionary in 1968 until after 1970, whereupon he was made a Seventy and was made the group leader soon after. This made him in charge of all the Seventies in his area and he works very closely with the full-time missionaries. He was in the Branch Presidency as Second Councilor from 1963-to 1964.


His work has been with the Western Pacific Railroad from 1958 until the present (1973). He has worked almost every station from San Francisco to Salt Lake City . Several years after he was assigned a permanent position in Keddie , California . The last several years his position has been moved to Greenville , where he has performed virtually the same duties. His position and title is Train Order and Teletype Opr. Clerk. This includes a great deal of Agency work as well.


Besides all of this activity, Crawford has felt a real desire to improve his educational status. He finished High School in 1969 when he was 39 years old. He then enrolled in the local Jr. College and took college courses as well while working full time. He will be due to graduate in the near future. This is an event to which he is looking forward. It has been his determination and hard work that has kept him at this. Many nights have been studying lessons, writing papers and doing research. It has not been easy for him, but he has not given up. Crawford Roberts is an active Democrat and is a strong Union Man. He is a member of the Brotherhood of Railway, Airline, and Steamship Clerks.




It has been 25 years since this biography has been written. I have asked Crawford to write more on it and tell of his life for the past 25 years, but he has just handed the assignment to me, so here it is.


First of all, another child was born to us on 20 June 1976. This was a beautiful little girl we named Flora Elizabeth. She was named after her maternal grandmother. Alas, she was not with us even two years. In March, 1978, our house caught fire and she died in that terrible fire. This was the worst thing that had ever happened to us. We lost everything we had and our own precious little girl. Crawford was devastated, but was able to recover better than his wife. The town and the church people rebuilt our house for us and we were able to recover.


Crawford retired when he was 57 from the railroad on disability. He had problems hearing and has had very bad headaches. He has tried very hard to continue his church work inspite of his health and hearing problems.


He was Ward Mission Leader for three years. This was the third time he had been called to this position, spending five nights a week preaching the Gospel to his neighbors and friends. He was also First Counselor in the Stake Mission Pres.. He grew a beard and looks very distinguished and handsome. His friends call him Brigham Young.


In 1993, he was called to be the Stake Clerk, for the Quincy Stake. He loves his association with the brethren and is devoted to his work. It is exhausting when he must spend most Sundays in meetings all day long. He travels great distances to attend to these meetings. Quincy Stake covers about 80 miles from one end to the other.


Our children have all married and left home. They are all doing well. We miss them, but we enjoy visiting with them often.







Your Aunt Dee asked me to add an addendum to your fathers Biography that I sent you some time ago.


Dad retired when he was only 57 years old. He began to have some very serious health problems and was in a great deal of pain. His hearing went, He had severe back pain. He had arthritis, osteoporosis. He suffered from terrible headaches. He gained considerable weight and it was very hard for him to get around. Because of this he was on a great deal of medication, and that further limited his mobility.


Then we were called on a mission. I told him I would not sign the papers until he got down to 200 lbs. He was angry, but I just shrugged my shoulders and told him it was his choice. Well he did loose the weight. It took him 6 months, but he stopped eating and lost 65 lbs. I signed the papers and his health began to improve.


We went to the Florida Keys in 1999 until 2001. It was the greatest experience of our life. It was very hard work, but we spent time tracting, teaching people the Gospel, and doing a great deal of humanitarian work with the Salvation Army, The school district, Senior Citizens. We must of taught 100's of people. We really felt the spirit, and so did our contacts. That is the greatest feeling in the world, to feel the spirit working through you to reach our fathers children. Many times we would come home from our appointments just floating on air.


Even though we taught all those people, only 10 were baptized. But we were very proud of those 10. We tried to keep in touch with them and show them our love at all times. Crawford was determined that we would not lose them, but some of them did fall away. When we would pray about it, the Lord would just say, “Your work with these people is not over.” I guess that means “in the next world.”


You must understand about the people we were called to work with. Most of them were alcoholics, drug addicts, homosexual, homeless, abused, or all 5 of the above. Five of them went to jail when we began to teach them. It was a blessing because at least they sobered up in jail. I don't know how many visits we made to Key West to the jail! Our kids would say, “Mom and Dad, why don't you teach someone who is straight.” We would reply “You don't understand. We are in the Florida Keys . There isn't anyone who is straight!”


We began to pray that the Lord would let us find someone straight. We finally found Grandma Blanco. She was a little 72 yr old lady with 13 kids who lived with her. She accepted the Gospel right away and was baptized. Her kids came to the baptism, but we would not get through to any of them.


One thing about these poor people. They were all so humble and willing to listen. The rich people we taught were not nearly as receptive. We really learned to love these people.


Another thing about that mission. Crawford and I finally learned to work together. Our marriage had had its problems. Crawford inherited his mother's temperament and strong will. I got a big mouth. That combination kept our neighbors entertained for about 40 years. The mission helped us learn to communicate.


After our mission was over, Crawford's health problems began to appear again. We worked in the Reno temple every week for the last 6 years. Because Crawford could not stand, we just did endowments, sealings, and initatories. We really enjoyed that. Crawford got a cane and was able to get around with that.


His health problems kept getting worse. It was hard for him to go visit his children. We bought a big recliner chair and he moved out of his bedroom into that big chair by the stove where he could keep warm. He was on heavy medication all the time. He could not go more than 2 hrs, without a handful of pills. He began to pray that he would die. Many times I would get up at night to find him praying and studying his scriptures. He had taken so many notes and marked his scriptures so well that they were almost all worn out.


I know he had many spiritual experiences. He was so humble and repentant for all his failings. I knew he was ready to meet his Savior.


April 13, 2007 he died in the Reno temple. I know that God answered his prayers. We had done our days work and were having a bite to eat before returning home on the bus. I looked out and saw the bus and told Crawford to hurry, the bus was waiting. He stuffed his sandwich in his mouth as he got up he choked on it and went into a coma. He was taken to the Reno hospital where he was overnight and the next day 14 April 2007 he passed away.