Roberta Louise Serena Phillips (“Bobbie”), age 80, died at home surrounded by her family on Monday, June 19, 2023. Roberta was born March 23, 1943 in Hill City, Graham County, Kansas, the daughter of Everett Wayne and Mary Serena. The family moved to Boise, Idaho in February 1944 when Roberta’s father was sent to Saipan with the U. S. army. She attended Boise schools: Whittier, Roosevelt, East Jr. High, and Boise High. She graduated in 1961. After high school, with 3 small children to support, she completed a business course at Meridian High School under the MDTA training program. She was then employed by the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare, Crippled Children’s Service. In the late 1960s, Roberta attended Boise State College and in just three years received her degree in Secondary Education in 1971. She then taught at North Junior High until her retirement in the early 1990s. During that time, Roberta earned a Master’s Degree in 1981 and her Specialist in Education Administration in 1991. During a sabbatical in 1987-88, she studied for the chaplaincy at Sacred Heart Hospital in Spokane, WA, becoming a member of the National Association of Catholic Chaplains.
With her strong background in history and research, Roberta pursued genealogy as a hobby and completed a book on her family’s history, which is on file in the Library of Congress.
In her spare time, Roberta enjoyed learning about landscape architecture under the tutelage of her dear friend Margaret Leaman and putting what she learned to use in her own yard. She loved plants and never failed to give “the tour” of her yard to her visitors. She was an avid reader, enjoying works on history. Her last book read was Goodwin’s Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. She also loved the cinema and attended regularly. Her favorite films were My Fair Lady and Mary Poppins.
Roberta loved to travel. In the 1970s she made trips to Europe and Russia and continued her travels for the rest of her life. During the last decade of her life, she and Rich went on 31 cruises. They traveled numerous times to Alaska, to the Caribbean, to Mexico and to Europe. Every year she and Rich spent two months at South Padre Island in Texas reading, walking the beach, and relaxing.
Roberta is survived by her companion of 30 years, Richard Albertson, her son Jerry Wilson and her daughter Cherise E. Phillips, both of Boise, three grandsons, Christopher Phillips, Derek Johnston (Sandra), and Aaron Lee (Anna) and her granddaughter Amanda Alley (Jon) as well as three great grandchildren, Maxwell, Aspen and Hudson. She is also survived by her sisters Edith Burrows, Linda Smith and Carol Serena and numerous nieces and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her daughter Tamara Lorraine Johnston Lee and her three brothers, Robert Lenhardt, Louis Serena and Johnny Sachleben.
Roberta’s ashes will be interred at Morris Hill Cemetery in Boise. Memorials may be made to a favorite charity.