CAMDEN ?? BY PATRIC FLANNIGAN
The Camden News learned that longtime education and civil rights attorney Allen Roberts, 81, has passed away.
Roberts has represented the Camden Fairview School District since consolidation in the early 1990s and was the district’s chief counsel on its desegregation case.
Roberts had an extensive client list that ranged from other surrounding school districts to companies like Armtec Defense Technologies and Byars Oil Company. He was very familiar with his profession in the areas of general, civil rights, personal injury, family and corporate law.
The Camden News reached out to Fred Lilly, Superintendent of the CF School District, after learning of Robert’s death. Lilly spoke highly of Roberts and his work for the district.
“Mr. Roberts has done many good things for our school,” Lilly said. “He was a champion in our desegregation and has done a lot of hard work over the years. Our thoughts and prayers go with his family.”
Roberts was born in Dallas and raised in Houston, where he graduated from Lamar High School in 1957. He attended the University of Arkansas, where he graduated from law school in 1964. In 1966 he moved to Camden, where he practiced the rest of the time as a lawyer.
According to his obituary, Roberts attended racially segregated public schools as a child, which influenced his decision to be an advocate for the integration and desegregation of multiple school districts. He believed that all children, regardless of race or economic status, were entitled to quality education. He was also an early supporter and defender of the civil rights movement in the south and devoted his life to breaking the legacy of racial and ethnic discrimination.
Roberts was known as a family man, a proud member of the United States Marine Corps, and an avid runner.
He is survived by his wife Pam from Camden; his children Paul Roberts, Susan Roberts, Stella Roberts Dobson (Larry), Allen Roberts Jr., Allison Roberts Lawson (Craig), and Nathan Roberts; his brother Mike Roberts (Jay); his grandchildren Kalie Roberts, Gavyn Roberts, Ranlett Godfrey, Kevin Dobson (Samantha), Celia Roberts, Lincoln Roberts, Dakota Lawson, Max Lawson, and Emmette Lawson; and many good friends. Before him, his parents and two young sons, John and Mark, had died. In recent years, he has also mourned several close friends, notably Harry Barnes and John Walker. Allen was a dedicated member of the First United Methodist Church in Camden, where he loved to sit in the back row, watch his grandchildren as they preach, and support the pantry and Sue’s table ministries.
A private funeral will be held for Roberts and friends are encouraged to share their favorite memories and stories by mail at P.O. Box 280, Camden AR, 71701, or by email at [email protected]