We lost a shining light on October 27, 2021. Sarah Carolyn Holle Roberts was born in Brenham on February 1, 1928 to Walter Henry Holle and Geneva Housley Holle. She and her brother, Walter Housley “Buddy” Holle, who was born about four years later, were blessed while growing up to have extraordinary close and loving relationships with their grandparents, as well as their aunts and uncles and cousins.
They moved from Brenham when she was eight, living for a time in San Antonio, Monroe Louisiana, and then Lake Charles, before returning to Brenham when she was 13 years old. One of her classmates related recently that when she first saw her walking down the hall of the junior high school on the first day of school, she thought to herself: “I’m looking at Snow White.”
She enjoyed her school days as a cheerleader and serving every year in various positions as a class or student council officer. During her senior year she received a note from a junior asking whether she would consider going with him to the Junior Senior Prom. Her response in returning the note was: “You bet!”. And there began a romance, and ultimately a lifetime partnership, second to none.
After graduating from Brenham High School in 1945, Blinn Junior College in 1947 (wonderful photo in that year’s annual as “Most Beautiful”) she then graduated from TCU in 1949. (There’s a wonderful page in that year’s annual deeming her to be the “TCU Sweetheart.”) The junior boy from high school, Pierre Nicholas Roberts, Jr., was able to hold on to her and graduated from TCU in 1949 as well. This past September 24th they celebrated their 72nd anniversary, having been married on that day in 1949. Sarah worked in the business office at TCU until sometime before the arrival of their first child, Gary William, on December 14, 1950. Six weeks later they returned to Brenham and Pierre went to work for the Duncan Coffee Company, taking over the territory that his father had covered before his promotion to District Manager. They loved being back in Brenham and, over the next four years, like so many of their friends, they added to their family with the arrival of Donald Glenn (Donny) in 1953 and Nancy Carol on June 1, 1955.
Pierre and Sarah caught the eye of the top people in the company. So, just seven months after building a house in Walnut Hill, they moved to Houston in 1957, and bought the first house on their block in Meyerland. In 1966 they moved to the Tynewood subdivision in Piney Point Village. She enjoyed the Houston years, making many friends and being able to continue to be very close to her brother’s family and other family members who were very dear to her who also lived there. In addition to riding herd on all of the typical kid activities, she enjoyed the friendships made and the activities involved in various groups and organizations, including the Tynewood Garden Club, the TCU Women’s Association, and her churches, first at St. Phillips Methodist Church and then at Chappelwood Methodist Church.
Pierre did well in his business career, and she played no small part in that success with her support in many ways. Many others played a big role in that success as well, but none more than Charles W. Duncan, Jr. and his brother John. Sarah appreciated how fortunate the Roberts family has been to have had their families’ influence and friendship for many years.
In 1970 they bought a beautiful farm near Brenham and, in 1971, decided to move back to Brenham and build a house at “Spring Hill Farm,” where they have been now for 50 years. Soon after moving, tragedy struck when their daughter Nancy died in an automobile accident at the age of 16 years. She never got over that, and wouldn’t have wanted to, but her faith was not diminished, and she never allowed that pain to affect her determination to continue to live a good and meaningful life, providing a role model for all who knew her in how to persevere despite adversity and tragedy. With support from friends and family, Sarah and Pierre were able to play a role in the improvement of Brenham’s public library, undertaking those efforts as a legacy of Nancy, knowing how important books and learning were in her life. Sarah was very proud of their part in contributing to those improvements.
In the 50 years since returning to Brenham, Sarah has loved and been loved by so many people. She has enjoyed observing wildlife (with a special fondness for and knowledge about birds), cooking, sewing, painting, quilting, photography … you name it. Active for many years in the Brenham Fine Arts League, she enjoyed very much learning to paint. She loved her tennis group and her birthday lunch group. Countless friends and family members were the happy recipients of baby blankets quilted by Sarah when their families grew. And Sarah was always a hard worker, helping in all aspects of life on the farm, and spending many hours tending to the flower beds. Always busy, but always trying to help others in any way that she could, she has touched so many lives and been such a great example of a life well lived. Somewhere along the way someone came up with the moniker “Saint Sarah,” and there is a reason that it stuck and is still used frequently. Although she was astonishingly beautiful, her wonderful inner spirit was even more special.
In addition to her husband, sons and brother mentioned, she is survived by Gary’s wife Sabrina and their children Will Tyler and Olivia Leigh Roberts; Donny’s wife Melanie; Elizabeth Beeton and her and Donny’s daughter Sarah Elizabeth (Sarah Beth) Roberts; Sarah Beth’s husband Stakely McConnell, and their sons Quinn, Colt, Andrew and Liam; Melanie’s son Broc Ryan Bosse; Donny’s and Melanie’s daughter Katherine Nancy (Kate) Roberts; Buddy’s wife Lynn and their three sons’ families; and many other cousins and extended family members whom she loved dearly.
There will be a private family graveside service, pursuant to her wishes.
Sarah remembered the Bible verse that was her favorite when she was confirmed: Psalm 90:12. “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Her family and friends know that she lived her life accordingly. We will all miss her dearly, but we will persevere as she taught us to. Recognizing that we are biased, we are still going to assert that she was the best wife and mother ever, and be certain that God has blessed her soul.
Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Memorial Oaks Chapel, 1306 West Main Street, Brenham, TX 77833.