Antique Vintage 01
Official Obituary of

James F. Roberts Jr.

March 28, 1936 ~ March 29, 2024 (age 88) 88 Years Old
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James Roberts Jr. Obituary

James "Jim" Fuller Roberts, Jr. was born on March 28,1936, being the fourth child of 15 children to James F. Roberts, Sr. and Bertha Elizabeth (Platt) Roberts. As a small child James survived rheumatic fever under the devoted care of his mother and grandmother demonstrating a will to live and thrive. James was always ambitious, studious and eager to learn, working alongside his brothers in the early morning hours before school, helping their father with a laundry business. This early morning assignment taught James the importance of hard work and being attentive to detail. James quickly became a favorite of his parents, especially to his mother, and a brother to whom his siblings looked to for direction and advice. 

James graduated from Boston Technical High School where his studies focused on becoming a draftsman but his life took a sharp turn at the age of 17 when he joined the U.S. Marine Corps. After serving active duty for two years (1954-56) in the Marines where he became a gunner, James spent the next six years in the Marine Corp Reserves working with planes at the Quincy airfield. 

Following his time in the military James studied at an MIT lab involved in developing the high-speed film used in atomic bomb testing. This career path allowed him to work as an engineer for Edgerton, Gemeshausen, and Grier, Inc. and also allowed him to work on government contracts. James especially loved recounting his travel to Hawaii to work on one of his many engineering assignments. 

In the mid-1960s despite the difficulties facing a person of color to obtain financing to start and or purchase any business, James and two partners (both family members) went into business together and under the moniker of ‘We Three”, owned and operated six liquor stores over the next 20 years. It was during this time that Jim was able to help others realize their dreams helping them to make a difference in their family’s lives. Jim’s desire to help others and assist those less fortunate to pull themselves “up” motivated him to transition out of the liquor store business into one that would be just as profitable but be more impactful to the community. This transition began Jim’s investment in his first McDonald’s franchise which quickly grew to include five locations at Codman Square, Dudley Station, Egleston Square, Warren Street and Roslindale. The McDonald’s franchises flourished under his leadership where he encouraged employees to become owners and entrepreneurs. 

In the mid-2000s Jim retired from McDonalds’ and began to contemplate what would be next. That ‘next’ would be a UPS Store where along with his niece Sharna, Jim continued to work tirelessly not wanting to actually retire. But retire he eventually did although he managed to keep himself busy with employment at a local rental car company.

Hard work, earnest employment, all the while caring for others less fortunate, is how Jim lived his life. Along the way he received acknowledgements from community and civic organizations alike and has embodied the pillars of community building through his philanthropic activities.

In 2019 Jim was recognized by the state of Massachusetts and 12th Suffolk District as Person of the Year citing his achievements in giving, entrepreneurship and being man who believes in family.

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, James and Bertha Roberts, his siblings Joseph, Martha, Clarence, Shirley, Timothy, Mark, and his daughter Tasha Ene, & son Dana. James leaves to mourn his passing his remaining siblings Charles Sr, Betty, David, Lawrence, Rosetha, Donna, Helen and Marlene, his former wife Marcella Furey, sons Derrick & Kevin, daughter Dia Roberts-Tyler (Darrell), grandchildren Vanesha, Dana, Daria, Jakwon, Tamia & Kourtney, great grandchildren Nashanti, Naeem & Norrell, a host of nephews, nieces, cousins, and friends. 

A special word of acknowledgement and heartfelt love and appreciation is given to Dia and Darrell from Jim’s siblings and family for their many years of dedicated love and attention to Jim’s care and well being. Jim will be greatly missed by all who knew and loved him.


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Greeting Hour
April 8, 2024

10:00 AM
Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church
108 Seaver Street
Dorchester, MA 02121

Memorial Service
April 8, 2024

11:00 AM
Berea Seventh-day Adventist Church
108 Seaver Street
Dorchester, MA 02121

Interment following funeral service

Mount Hope Cemetery
355 Walk Hill St.
Mattapan, MA 02126


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