In the Bible, Philippians says that, “Instead of being motivated by selfish ambition or vanity, each of you should, in humility, be moved to treat one another as more important than yourself. Each of you should be concerned not only about your own interests, but about the interests of others as well.” This verse epitomizes the life and standard by which Kris Roberts lived.
Kris was an incredible woman who had an impact not only in her church, but in her community as well. Her legacy of joy, kindness, and enduring faith will be remembered by the countless lives she touched. She put others before herself and lived like a true disciple of Christ through her service, kindness, and love for the community and the people in her life. Her impact on Gunter, Texas, will always be an integral piece of the memory of this town.
Kris was born and raised in the thriving city of Osceola, Iowa, and graduated from high school with the class of 1972. Her daughter said Kris often spoke of having to walk to school each day, even in the brutal cold of winter, and this led her to stay in the warmth of Texas once she moved. She and her husband Gane were married for nearly 30 years, her husband remarking, “We were made for each other, rarely argued, and agreed on most things.” The couple moved to Gunter when their daughter, Katie, was 18 months old; rooting them in the Gunter community for the past 21 years. During that span, the Robert’s house was a gathering place where Kris baked cookies for family, friends, and neighbors alike, and lasting memories were made that are not soon to be forgotten.
Kris’ contributions to the community perfectly demonstrated how much she loved Gunter. During Grace Bible Fellowship’s early days the youth would meet at Kris’ house. She was always willing and ready to open her home for community groups, and also sensitive to the needs to other needs of church members. In response to this her daughter, Katie Roberts, recalled: “She didn’t need motivation, she was just always trying to treat people the way Christ did.”
Perhaps one of the most memorable things Kris was known for is her business, A&K Product Specialties, which was started on her kitchen table in 1996, and continued to be a successful business for 20 years. Her items are still found everywhere – the local schools, churches, and businesses, showing just how far Kris was able to service the community. She enjoyed working with her customers and made everyone around her feel special.
Kris also enjoyed traveling and shopping. She and her husband went on many cruises, to Mexico and the Caribbean, and Gane also said that she enjoyed the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado. Katie fondly remembered shopping with her mom, not for any particular reason or items, just “to be able to spend time with each other…just us two.”
Kris’ service to her church and community was most realized in her love for the schools. She was a foundational member of the GIFT board that serves Gunter ISD students by providing scholarships to seniors. Kris also held an active real estate license and would help new families and their children settle into the community. She would bake for the football players, delivering sweets before every game and volunteered to help cook and set up for choral events. Kris always seemed to know when the teachers and office staff were needing that extra boost and would shower them with unexpected treats and goodies. Kris often would just ‘stop by’ the campus and administration offices to check in and see ‘if anyone needed something.’
Gane says, “That is just the way she treated people, she made them feel special.”
Kris was continuously involved in laborious volunteer positions, even in her most trying times of cancer treatment, but never once complained. One of her close friends, Shari Meyerdirk, recalled, “When you asked Kris how she was doing, she would turn the conversation around to you, because she cared for others more than herself and would rather talk about your life than hers. She taught me how to see the good in every situation. No matter how stressful or terrible something appeared, Kris was always there to reassure you everything would be OK, and that we could make something good come out of it.” Roy Layman further noted, “She was compassionate and secure… I think that she gave me an example of what it means to be a servant. Her accepting me, being more seasoned and wise, as her pastor was a great compliment.”
Above all, the greatest impact that Kris had on the Gunter community was her attitude of love. No one was ever left out or seen as any less important than the next person. No matter who you were, her love for you was personal, never faked or minimized. At Kris’s memorial service, Roy Layman confessed that just like her cookies “weren’t just for him, her genuine love wasn’t exclusive, but for every person she met.” Mrs. Tinna Hood recalled that in church she knew every single person, and took the time to go and greet everyone. When Kris came to church she would seek Tinna out, just to tell her that she was alright and feeling good and reassuring her “everything would be alright.” Tinna remembered herself thinking, “How is this happening, I am supposed to be telling her that it’s alright. How is it that she is the one consoling me? Although there is and always will be a hole where she was, she has left hope in my heart that I will never forget.”
For those who did not have the opportunity to meet her, Kris Roberts was a wonderful Christian woman, and certainly made a positive impact on our town. She leaves behind a legacy of service and love that inspires the Gunter community.
Kris Roberts led a fulfilling life, and is a prime example of enduring faith, ever present hope, and unconditional love.
Written by: Zach Magers, Will Martin, Taylor Smith, Cam Warren, Hannah Eldredge, Alex Hales, and Jonathan Avendano
Editor’s Note: A special thanks to Jill Dodd and Dr. Jill Siler for their assistance in having students research and write these types of articles. It is a win-win-win situation. It is honoring for the recipient(s) and their families, educational for the readers, and rewarding for the writers.
This article is extra special for me as the Roberts family was my 1st neighbor on Preston Glen (in 2001) and our family has spent many special occasions with this amazing family. Kris Roberts was a one-of-a-kind woman. I am honored to have met her, lived life near her, and to have called her a friend. TLT
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