Roberta J. Atwood


Roberta J. Atwood, age 98, of Charleston, IL, passed away Wednesday, March 17, 2021, at the Charleston Villas of Holly Brook in Charleston, IL.

Funeral services will be held at 3:00 pm, Sunday, March 21, 2021 at Pulliam Funeral Home in Hutsonville, IL. Visitation will be from 2:00 pm until the start of the service. The graveside service will immediately follow at Hutsonville Cemetery, Hutsonville, IL. Arrangements are being provided by Pulliam funeral Home, Hutsonville.

Roberta was born on a small farm northwest of Hutsonville to Chauncey M. and Golden (Green) Rains. She and her husband, Reverend Ansel J. Atwood were married January 5, 1941 in Paris, IL. Ansel preceded her to Heaven on July 8, 2019. Roberta is survived by four daughters: Jeanie Atwood of Valparaiso, IN, Joan (Robert) Dresdow of Charleston, IL, Melissa Jane Spivey of Hutsonville, IL and Jennifer Golden (Gary) Rownd of Valparaiso, IN. She is also survived by eight grandchildren – Robert Ansel (Michelle) Dresdow of Delaware, OH, Daniel Mark (Chris) Dresdow of Kodiak, AK, Melody Joan Dresdow of Charleston, IL, Sarah Dawn (Jeffrey) Shaffer of Robinson, IL, Philip Andrew (Valerie) Rownd of Stanley, IA, Susannah (Chris) Schroeder, Kimmiyetta Rose Rownd, and Elizabeth Grace Rownd all of Valparaiso, IN – 14 great-grandchildren, and two sisters – Nancy Ann (Robert) Larsson of St. Ignatius, MT, and Patricia Green (Don) Maloney of Moon Township, PA, also eight nephews and two nieces.

In addition to her husband, she was preceded in death by her parents, one son-in-law Edward M. Spivey, one brother Harry E. Rains, and one sister Martha M. (John) Musgrave.

Roberta attended the one-room country school on Quaker Lane. In her 7th grade year, she won the State of Illinois spelling bee. She attended Hutsonville High School where she met her husband, Ansel J. Atwood. They enjoyed performing in several musicals and plays together.

Roberta was raised in the Southern Baptist Church not far from the family home. She accepted Christ as her personal Lord and Saviour at the age of 12 and was baptized in Lake Walton soon after. She taught Bible School and Methodist Youth Fellowship. But her real ministry was at the piano. She started playing piano by ear at the age of four and played for worship services, revival services, nursing homes, etc. the rest of her life. She and for several years, when their daughters were still home, the family did evangelistic singing in Crawford County and in several surrounding counties. She and Ansel were a team when he was in the pastorate. She continued playing for him when she could not for church anymore – just at home for his enjoyment.

Roberta was an accomplished seamstress. Her favorite hymn was “It Is Well With My Soul”. She had many favorite verses in God’s Holy Word, one of them being Psalm 18: 1-6 which begins: “I will love Thee, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower…..