Rachel Marie Roberson

Published 9:21 pm Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Beloved mother, grandmother, great-grandmother, and great-great-grandmother, Rachel Marie (McGaha) Roberson, age 88, died Jan. 20, 2020, at Chesapeake Health & Rehabilitation Center in Chesapeake.

She is predeceased by her husband of 21 years, Earl A. Pruitt, who died in 1971; and her husband of six years, Raymond Roberson, who died in 1984; and her special companion, Leon H. Ferrell, who died in 2008. She is also predeceased by her brother, Oliver McGaha, and sisters, Bonnie (Lowe) Dickerson, Pauline (Wyatt) Eure, Sylvia (Syverson) Casteel, Inez O’Neal, and twin sister Hazel McGaha.

She is survived by three children: Tim Pruitt (Sharon) and Earl A. Pruitt Jr. (Nancy), both of Chesapeake, and Margie Hawkins, of Elizabethton, Tenn.; stepchildren Jami Poehl and Carrie Wise (Phil); grandchildren, Sabrina Bullock, of Kittrell, N.C., and Tabatha Hallman (Todd), of Elizabethton, Tenn., and step-granddaughter, Lauren Thorne (Joe); three great-grandchildren, Selena Macias (Juan), Anderson Hallman and Carleigh Hallman; four great-great-grandsons, Greyson Goza, Dominic Macias, Mateo Macias and Maverick Macias; one sister, Doris Champion (James), of Ozark, Ala.; and one brother, Edgar E. McGaha Jr., of Reovista, Calif. Also close and surviving are Chris Jennings (Bob), of Chesapeake, and their children, Michael, Kathryn and Brian.

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Rachel was a daughter of Edgar and Frona (Henderson) McGaha, born in the hills of East Tennessee on June 20, 1931. Her impoverished family was removed from the mountains to eastern North Carolina in the 1940s, and she struck out on her own at a very young age to Virginia. She worked in many of the restaurants of the Suffolk area for years. In the 1960s, she worked for a time at the General Electric plant in Suffolk. In her later years, she painted houses and practiced photography to a professional level. She was a fixture in the Nansemond Gardens community in Suffolk for 44 years.

The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 23, at Smith & Williams Funeral Home, Kempsville Chapel. A funeral will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 24, at the funeral home. Graveside services will be private.

Rachel loved flowers, but in lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.