Roberta Beck Harkins obituary photo
 
In Memory of

Roberta Beck Harkins

July 5, 1922 - January 7, 2018

Obituary


Roberta Beck Harkins, of Mountain Brook, passed away Sunday, January 7, 2018 at age 95, surrounded by her family. She is survived by her two granddaughters, Patricia Shook Harkins and Virginia Harkins McCary (John); her daughter-in-law, Harriet Nelson (Harkins) McElroy and husband John McElroy; and an endless list of adoring and loving friends. Roberta was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Samuel Walter Harkins, Jr., and her two children, Walter Stewart Harkins and Carol Ann Harkins.


Roberta, affectionately known by her grandmother name of "Mimi" to many, was a treasure...

Roberta Beck Harkins, of Mountain Brook, passed away Sunday, January 7, 2018 at age 95, surrounded by her family. She is survived by her two granddaughters, Patricia Shook Harkins and Virginia Harkins McCary (John); her daughter-in-law, Harriet Nelson (Harkins) McElroy and husband John McElroy; and an endless list of adoring and loving friends. Roberta was preceded in death by her husband of 64 years, Samuel Walter Harkins, Jr., and her two children, Walter Stewart Harkins and Carol Ann Harkins.


Roberta, affectionately known by her grandmother name of "Mimi" to many, was a treasure to all who knew her. Born in Birmingham and raised in Carrollton, AL, Roberta moved back to Birmingham as a young adult where she and her husband Walter bought their first and only home together in 1948. Roberta loved that home and stayed in it until her death. She was the first woman hired by PanAm Petroleum company, and her job as Vice President in Charge of Railroad Reservations put her in a position to handle the gas rations for the state during World War II. She went on to work for a land surveying company handling the office affairs before venturing into business for herself running estate sales. This was truly one of Roberta's passions. She loved finding treasured antiques, silver, old photos, and anything else that would turn up connecting present day to another time in history. She met so many friends along the way in these sales, and was always very grateful for those people. She enjoyed reading historical biographies, watching Atlanta Braves baseball, and eating Chilton County peaches! More than anything, though, her greatest joy in her later years was being a grandmother.


Roberta was a member of Shades Valley Presbyterian Church since 1950. During her time at the church, she served as Sunday School Secretary for many years. She was a faithful member of the Fidelis Sunday School Class and Esther Circle at the church, and formed many cherished life-long friends through both. Her family would like to acknowledge the support of her loving caregivers that made it possible for her to be in the comfort of her own home in the last few weeks


Visitation will be held Tuesday, January 16, at 10:00AM with a memorial service afterwards at 11:00AM, both at Shades Valley Presbyterian Church. The memorial will be followed by a graveside service for the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Shades Valley Presbyterian Church. Services are being handled by Johns-Ridouts Elmwood.