Mildred C Roberts - age: 82
(May 06, 1937 to September 22, 2019
A Memorial Gathering will be held Sunday, September 29, 2019 at 2:00 pm at the Visalia Friends Meeting House located at 17208 Avenue 296, Visalia, CA 93292
Mildred McConnell Roberts Criswell left this world on Sunday, September 22, 2019. She was surrounded by the love and presence of her children, grandchildren, husband, and close friends as she peacefully passed over to be with our Lord.
Mildred Clara McConnell was born in Birch Tree, Missouri, May 6, 1937 to Thomas Jefferson McConnell and Nora Donley McConnell, the middle child of 9 siblings. Her family moved here and there about the area, but it was when they lived in Fifty-Six, Arkansas, that her life-long passion for music and singing was kindled. Eventually the family moved to Exeter, California where Mildred met her husband, Nolan Roberts. Together they raised four children, with everyone participating in the family beekeeping business at their Lemoncove property. Mildred was also an excellent fruit packer, and worked at several of the many fruit-packing houses in Exeter. Eventually she and Nolan moved their beekeeping business up to Yokohl Valley.
After Nolan’s death, Mildred found a new love, bluegrass musician Sam Criswell. Together they played as the band “Groundspeed” at different Bluegrass Festivals, including the Hobbs Grove Kings River Festival in Sanger, California. Bluegrass, Gospel, and “Mountain Music” defined the heart and soul of who Mildred was. Her clear voice rang out across a crowded festival of bluegrass jammers, causing the people who knew her to cock their heads and say, “Mildred’s here!” She transferred this love of the music to her children, grandchildren and many friends.
Mildred is survived by her loving husband, Sam Criswell, children Sharlene Roberts-Caudle (Rex) of Yokohl Valley, Carolyn Roberts Faubel (Wes) of Redding, Nola Roberts Petrick (Randy), and Welch A. Roberts, both of Colorado Springs; grandchildren Jalene Vincent Welch, Jimson Vincent, Erin Vincent, Eleanor Roberts-Caudle, Amelia Roberts-Caudle, Melinda Faubel Newton, Loreleigh Faubel, Tristan Faubel, Brian Petrick, Delaney Petrick Harrell, and 8 great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her stepchildren Beth Criswell Millsap, Kenneth Ray Criswell, Kim Criswell Jones, and Billie Criswell Rabe.
Mildred was preceded in death by her parents Thomas and Nora McConnell, siblings Wanda Bales, Wallace McConnell, Betty Jason, Roy McConnell, Ida Lou Fair, Carl McConnell, Shirley Carter, and Leta House; husband D. Nolan Roberts; grandchildren Russell Petrick and Bethany Faubel, and stepsons Troy Criswell and Samuel Criswell III.