Emily Taylor Roberts was born on Thursday, May 15, 1947 to Dorothy L. Taylor and the late Edward L. Taylor, Sr in Onancock, Virginia. She departed this life on Sunday, November 1, 2020 in Onancock, Virginia.
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Emily, affectionately known by family and close friends as “Em” and “Em Poo,” the latter generated many family laughs and stories to be told for generations.
Emily was educated in Accomack County Public Schools and graduated from Mary N. Smith High School in 1965. She continued her education and earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Norfolk State College (University). Emily’s commitment to education led her to earn her Masters of Arts in Education from Old Dominion University.
During her early adulthood, Emily was a member at Metropolitan United Methodist Church (Bayside), which she attended faithfully with her parents and siblings. She later became a member of Macedonia AME Church, after she married Leander S. Roberts, Jr., fifty-one years ago. She remained a faithful member until her passing.
Emily dedicated her life as an educator. She began her career in the Accomack Public Schools in 1971. Throughout her career, she advanced from student teaching to teaching, later excelling to assistant principal, principal, finally retiring as an administrator in 2009. Emily was always educating and assisting students in every setting that she was in, she managed to turn all interactions into a learning environment. She was known for her gifts of love to students and she often received letters and calls from former students expressing their gratitude for her encouragement and support for them while pursuing their educational and career goals. This extended beyond Accomack County. Emily was well-known and loved by students from Pocomoke City, Frederick, Virginia Beach and beyond. She was a major supporter for their teams, not just her family, but the entire team. They all knew she was their #1 fan. Those students knew “Ms. Emily” believed they were capable of achieving all of their academic and athletic goals.
After Emily retired, she spent time traveling, sewing, making creative arts and crafts, and cooking all of her signature dishes for family and friends. She loved to shop and family knew that the greatest enjoyment she received was giving to others. She was always ready for every birthday, holiday, special event, and celebration of all family members, especially the children in the family whom she referred to as her babies. She blessed each of them with gifts of love.
Emily was preceded in death by her grandparents, John & Sophia Riley and Clifton & Estella Taylor; her father, Edward L. Taylor, Sr.; and her older sister, Dorothy “Elaine” Taylor Blowe.
Left to cherish her memory and continue her legacy: her devoted husband of fifty-one years, Leander S. Roberts, Jr; beloved son, Leander S. Roberts, III (Monique); two darling grandchildren, Leander S. Roberts, IV and Iyana Smith; a committed mother and caregiver, Dorothy T. White; three sisters, Phyllis T. Wessells (William), Estella Taylor Robinson, Vanessa T. Copeland (Randy); one brother, Edward L. Taylor, Jr. (Angela); one aunt, Bernice E Anderson; cousins raised as brothers/sister, Roy Custis, Jr., William Lee Custis, and Maretta Custis Smith; one brother-in-law, Thomas W. Roberts, Sr. (Patricia); cousin who was like a sister-in-law, Pauline “Sweetie Pie” Bundick; and a host of nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews, special 1st cousins, other relatives, friends, and neighbors.