On Sunday, October 30, 2022 James Faust Roberts passed away peacefully at the age of 84 in Hospice House. He was surrounded by his family.
Jim was born in Christiansburg, Virginia on January 19, 1938 to James Griggs and Damaris Faust Roberts. Jim spent the first part of his life in Roswell, New Mexico as his father was an attorney in the oil and gas industry. At the age of nine, his dad suddenly passed on whereupon Jim and his mother returned to Christiansburg. There, his mother met and married retired Rear Admiral John Kay Clegg of the British Royal Navy. As the homefront vacillated between Christiansburg, London, and Cape Town, South Africa Jimmy found himself enrolled in boarding school at the tender age of 12 at Woodberry Forest in Madison County, Virginia.
Upon graduation from Woodberry, Jim enrolled at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in the fall of 1955. Two years later Jim married Virginia Heidt, a Savannahian, and made this city his home after graduation in 1959. He entered the commercial insurance business with Palmer & Cay where he remained until he retired as Senior VP in the late 1980’s.
An avid scuba diver, Jim and his dive group made the underwater rounds from Bonaire to Bimini, eventually “retiring” in the Florida Keys. Not one to remain idle, Jim obtained his PADI Master Scuba Diver certification and opened several dive shops throughout the Middle Keys. Along with his son Clegg, Jim also obtained his Florida real estate broker license and began a new company specializing in hotel/motel investments and brokerage. Home was a 1973, two-story 46′ Surfside Six houseboat which they moved around very sketchily and with wild abandon from Key Largo to Marathon living the American dream. He was a true islands-type guy, taking great delight in all the Florida Keys has to offer from amateur treasure hunting on weekends off Duck Key to late nights at Sloppy Joe’s in Key West. He read all of Hemingway’s books several times over and flipped through the beautiful pages of Leni Riefenstahl’s Coral Gardens endlessly. He loved rum drinks, palm trees gently blowing in the seabreeze, breakfast and Winston Churchill.
Jim is preceded in death by his parents and most of his buddies who dined regularly with him at Johnny Harris. He is survived by his first wife, Virginia Heidt Lee and their two children Clegg Roberts and Fran (Austin) Fleming; Sarah (Chelsea) Williams (daughter from second marriage to Jan Hendry-dec.); four grandchildren: Sam Stuber, Claiborne (Hugh) McLaurin; Elizabeth (Matt) McDivitt; Charlie Williams; and Duke his beloved Akita.
There will be a private service for immediate family members. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, please be kind to someone less fortunate.