In Memory Of
Roberta Saunders Johnston Brantley - Carmi, IL

Roberta “Bertie” Saunders Johnston Brantley passed away peacefully on June 3, 2020, at 1:01 p.m. at Village East in Pell City, AL. She was 101 years old!

Roberta was born in Carmi, IL, on Dec. 1, 1918. She was the youngest daughter of eight children born to John and Loutisha Saunders, who lived and farmed west of Carmi. She will be laid to rest just down the row from her Pop, Mom, and other siblings at Bruce Chapel. Her nickname came from her Pop, who called her his little "Bertie.” Some of her favorite memories were playing on the farm with her younger brother, Arthur. They spent hours exploring and getting into “mischief.”

Roberta moved to Evansville, IN, after her high school graduation from Carmi Township High School in 1937 and then went on to beauty school. She was writing to several young men overseas during WWII. Our Dad was the lucky one that came home first, and on Nov. 19, 1944, they were married. Mom told us he wrote good letters! His career took them to several places, including Illinois, South Carolina, and Alabama, until they finally settled in Indiana.

Roberta was involved in her church and loved to sing the old gospel songs. Billy Graham Crusades were a highlight for her and not to be missed. Roberta had a beauty shop in their home for some time. And then she worked for ten years in the Indiana University Theatre Costume Department, teaching the theater students how to sew and getting ready for their plays and performances. She continued working in that field at Indiana State University when Don’s job took them to Terre Haute, IN. After retirement, she and Donald spent 20 years being snowbirds to the tip of Texas, then back to their home in Indiana. Roberta was married to Donald for 57 years until his death in 2001.

Two years later, she was contacted by an old boyfriend, Claud Brantley, and they went on their first date on July 4, 2003. Their first date was to a garage sale, which was one of her favorite things to do. Two months later, they were married in Kentucky and spent seven wonderful years together until his death in 2010.

She was always active and loved working in the yard, planting a garden, and swimming, and she was even on a competitive tennis team after she retired. Roberta also picked up painting after retiring and became an accomplished painter. People who knew her believe Roberta’s love of life, her love for Jesus, and her desire to help others was the reason for her good health and longevity.

Roberta is survived by her four children: Donna Johnston, Karen Walker (George), Linda Wallenfang (Peter), and Tish McCoy; Claud Brantley’s three children: Jim Brantley (Jamie), Sid Brantley (Cathy), and Patsy Todd (Lee); four grandchildren: Carrie Flynn (Dan), Ashley Radecky (Bill), Jodi Lynn McCoy, and Adam Johnston; and three great-grandchildren: Eden Flynn, Phoebe Flynn, and Billy Radecky. She is predeceased by her husbands Don Johnston and Claud Brantley, her parents John and Loutisha Saunders, seven brothers and sisters, and son-in-law Mac McCoy.

Services will be on Friday, June 12, 2020, at Cook Funeral Chapel, 101 Edgewood Lane, Carmi, IL. Visitation starts at 10:00 a.m. and the service at 11:00 a.m. Burial will be at Bruce Chapel following the service. We encourage you to bring with you your favorite story or memory of Roberta to share!

*All obituaries are submitted by family and friends of the deceased.

Please enter the amount you would like to give and click continue.

Where Most Needed