Roberta Jacobs Butera (Bertie) passed away after a brief illness at Providence Hospital on December 19, 2022. The first born of Captain Robert Jacobs and Doris Mohlenkamp, she was born and raised in Louisville Kentucky. She attended Assumption high school from 1963-67 where she met Jill O'Daniel, her dear friend for over 55 years. She attended the University of Louisville where she received a baccalaureate degree in Allied Health for Microbiology. After a brief period working in hospital labs, Roberta joined the Allied Health Department at Duke University in Durham North Carolina as a microbiology instructor. There she met Philip, the man who would love her dearly for 43 years. The two were married on April 21, 1979 and relocated to San Antonio Texas during Phil's USAF medical residency and fellowship. During this time, Roberta joined the University of Texas at San Antonio Allied Health department first as an instructor and then as director of the department for the next 4 years. Following her husband's orders, they moved to Biloxi Mississippi where she received a PhD in higher education at the University of Southern Mississippi. In 1985, they moved to Mobile where they have since resided.
While in Mobile, Roberta worked as the administrative director of education for the University of South Alabama College of Medicine Department of OB/GYN's residency program for 10 years. Following this, Roberta then devoted her time to volunteer work in the community. As a breast cancer survivor, she organized, trained, and directed an American Cancer Society program called Reach to Recovery for 12 years. This organization paired survivors of breast cancer with newly diagnosed breast cancer patients. These volunteers mentored and supported these patients during their treatment and demonstrated that survival without obvious disfigurement and a normal future was possible. In fact, many of these patients profited so much from this support that they themselves later became volunteers in the program. Roberta also served as chairwoman of the local board of directors for the ACS for 2 years. In 2005, she was awarded the prestigious Saint George National Service Award by the American Cancer Society.
Most recently, Roberta became active in Our Sister's Closet. This organization provides counseling to women to become more independent by providing them the instruction and the resources necessary to complete a successful job interview. Roberta organized the jewelry section of the Closet, a very popular booth, at the Closet's fundraising efforts throughout the year.
Roberta's more relaxed activities included finding treasures at weekend flea markets
and estate sales for which she had an amazing knack. An accomplished seamstress, she made exquisite draperies. Her talent with color and decorating made her a resource for friends and her house a beautiful home. Always cheerful, she could light up the room with her smile and energy. She had a soft heart for stray animals and has adopted many homeless cats. Her gentleness in caring for these animals and their loving response to her has always been one of heartfelt amazement to her husband and friends.
Roberta is survived by Philip, her husband of 43 years. She is also survived by her sisters Dr. Jill Jacobs, Beckie Ramsey, Janet Jacobs, and Connie Huber, her nephews Jacob (Brittany) and Matthew (Alix) and their children and her niece Alexandra (John). Roberta will be dearly missed by all whose lives she touched.
Visitation will be at Saint Dominic's Murphy Center on Wednesday, December 28 from 9:30 to 10:30 AM followed by a requiem mass at Saint Dominic's church at 11 AM. At the conclusion of the service, she will be buried at Mobile Memorial Gardens. If you wish, memorial donations can be made to: Best Friends Animal Society, the Mobile SPCA or the city of Mobile Animal Shelter.