Another one of Don's onetime friends has recently passed away.
Blanding did the illustrations for her 1948 book Command The Stars.
I talked to her on the phone a few years back, but she was in her
late nineties, and didn't remember who Blanding was.
Here is a lengthly obit from the Southwest Times:
RUBY ALTIZER ROBERTS
CHRISTIANSBURG - Ruby Altizer Roberts went to be with the Lord on
Monday, May 24, 2004. She was born on April 22, 1907 to Waddie
William and Dana Cummings Altizer. She was preceded in death by her
husband, Laurence L. Roberts and her brothers, Ernest, Herman, Eslie
(Billy) and Frederick Altizer. Mrs. Roberts' family has lived in the
area for more than two hundred years and she is survived by many
relatives and friends. Among these are her daughter, Heidi and her
husband, Charles E. Altizer of Christiansburg. She was the proud
grandmother of four grandsons, Charles Edward II (Chuck) and his
wife Karen and son Brandon of Christiansburg; Laurence Frederick and
his fiancé Eileen Lozada of Virginia Beach; Stephen Emera and James
Henry of Christiansburg.
She is also survived by three nieces: Thelma Altizer Body of
Roanoke; Linda Altizer Martin of Spring, TX; and Jeanne Altizer
Weintraub of Penfield, NY and two nephews Philip J. Altizer and Jack
V. Altizer both of Roanoke.
Mrs. Roberts was named Poet Laureate of the Commonwealth of Virginia
in 1950, the first and only woman ever to hold this honor. In March
of 1992 she was given the added title of Poet Laureate Emeritus of
Virginia. Among the many recognitions she received were: The
Bellaman Award for
distinguished poetry; citations by the Senate of Virginia and by the
Khalsa College of Amritsar, India "for distinguished poetry on both
sides of the Atlantic." She owned, published and edited The Lyric, a
magazine of poetry, for more than twenty-five years. She also
received an Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters from William
and Mary in 1961. She was an honorary life member of the
International Sorority Beta Sigma Phi and in 1977 was chosen Woman
of the Year in Creative Arts of Montgomery County. The author of a
number of books and magazine articles, her writing was enjoyed by
young and old alike. She was especially proud of the children's book
she wrote entitled The Story of Buzzy Bee. Mrs. Roberts wrote about
Montgomery County's Revolutionary Heritage which was incorporated
into the Virginia
Historical Society Publication and The Virginia Magazine of History
and Biography. Mrs. Roberts co-wrote a book of genealogy on The
It was during this research that she discovered that the first
Altizer that came to the United States, Emera V. Altizer, was at
Cornwallis' surrender at Yorktown.
Mrs. Roberts will well be remembered by the people of Christiansburg
as the lady with the bright hat that walked wherever she needed to
go whether it was to the bank, post office or Hardee's and in all
kinds of weather. If she was not seen, her telephone would begin to
ring to see where she was.
One day she missed because her front door was frozen shut. She was
an integral part of her hometown and her spirit will be with those
whose life she touched always. She was active in civic organizations
especially in programs for the aged and children. She could be found
at St. Paul United Methodist church most every Sunday. She had the
talent to be able to play whatever she heard and she used this
talent in Sunday School opening exercises for many years. In 1993,
she was selected to represent The Spirit of Virginia by the media.
Visitation will be held from 6-8 p.m., May 26th at Horne Funeral
Home and all other times at Mrs. Roberts Home. The funeral service
will be held at the St Paul United Methodist Church on Thursday, May
27th at 11 with burial in Sunset Cemetery. Rev. Douglas Kanney will
lead the service.
There are some lines of a poem that Mrs. Roberts would like to share
that she learned from her Mother. ". . .count that day lost whose
low descending sun views from thy hand no worthy action done" and
adding "remember that we are the only Bible some people ever read."
The Roberts family is being served by Horne Funeral Service,