by Hunter Dawkins, Publisher/AP Member –

Following a career of nearly three decades as a social worker, Dorothy Roberts opened a small retail store seven year ago in her family hometown of Pass Christian and named it Robin’s Nest, honoring her sister Robin, the host of nationally-syndicated Good Morning America (ABC).  Earlier this year, Dorothy opened a cafe right next to the shop named The Roberts Place and devoted each room to her late parents; Colonel Lawrence and Lucimarian, along with the accolades during their lifetime.

Last Friday, September 16, the Mississippi Gulf Coast Chamber of Commerce hosted a ribbon cutting for The Roberts Place followed by a Saturday 7th year anniversary of Robin’s Nest where each family sibling were present to celebrates the stores and their family.

“I really appreciate the support from everyone in the community,” said Dorothy Roberts at the chamber’s ribbon cutting event Friday afternoon.  “I honestly appreciate anyone that has helped us on this journey in any way.”

After Dorothy Roberts finished her thanks, sister Robin grabbed the microphone to state “I mean she’s not going to talk about herself without letting me mention that this is all possible because of her.  She embodies our parents so much and had this vision for a cafe, but she has always been the creative one in the family.  We cannot thank you enough and what you said is so true about our parents and trying to continue their legacy.”

The Roberts family is rich in history, starting with Colonel Lawrence Roberts, a member of the 1944K of the Tuskegee Airmen and serving in the military for 32 years.  As an Air Force pilot, the colonel flew in three different wars:  World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War.  Receiving 18 medals for his military service, later was a founding member of the Keesler Air Force Base Gospel Service in Biloxi.  Colonel Roberts posthumously received the Congressional Gold Medal and a sculpture dedicated to him sits at War Memorial Park in Pass Christian.

Lucimarian Roberts was devoted to education through most of her life, graduating from prestigious Howard University in Washington, D.C., and becoming a social worker.  Mrs. Roberts was the first African American chairman of the Mississippi State Board of Education, founding director of Leadership Gulf Coast, former chair of the Mississippi Coast Coliseum Commission, and many additional advisory boards.

With all of the community service and philanthropy from the Roberts family, the celebration of last weekend’s events show a continued path in the Roberts family legacy to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and Pass Christian.