James Travis Roberts, Jr., peacefully passed away after a brief illness surrounded by family on June 3, 2021. Travis was born in Alpine, Texas, on May 11, 1937, to James Travis Roberts, Sr., and Pauline Roberts. He was raised in Marathon, Texas, and grew up working alongside his brothers on the family ranch and the Catto Gage Ranch.
He attended Texas A&M University where he was a proud member of the Fightin’ Aggie Band. He graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering. After college, he served as a Lieutenant in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Reserves. After a short stint with the Texas Highways Department, he began his lifelong career with Hunter Associates as a professional engineer and registered surveyor. He designed and helped develop many of the cities around North Texas. Following retirement, he returned full time to the Maravillas Creek Ranch, just south of Marathon, where he continued to serve the area doing engineering and surveying work and enjoying ranch life.
His lifelong passion was the history of Texas, specifically the southwest region and Brewster County. He served as chairman on the Brewster County Historical Commission and Center for Big Bend Studies Advisory Board. He was past president of the West Texas Historical Association, and was on the board of Preservation Texas. He was a member of the Marathon Museum Board and the cemetery association, as well as many other associations related to history and engineering.
He received the George Christian Award for Outstanding Volunteer of the Year from the Texas Historical Commission, the Sammy Baugh Award for Outstanding Service from Sul Ross State University, and a letter of commendation from the governor for 50 years of outstanding service to the State of Texas as a professional engineer.
Travis was preceded in death by his parents and his brother, John Roberts. He is survived by his sister Betty Hargus of Fort Stockton, Texas; brother Ike Roberts of Marathon; son James Travis Roberts III and wife Katie of Sanderson, Texas; and daughter Teresa “Terri” Ann Harkey and husband Alan of McKinney, Texas. One of his proudest accomplishments was his grand sons Travis John Roberts, William Taylor Roberts, Jesse Laredo Roberts, Christopher Alan Harkey, and Andrew James Harkey.
The family has requested in lieu of flowers, a donation be made in Travis Roberts' name to the Brewster County Historical Commission, P.O. Box 1630 Alpine TX 79830, or Friends of the Center for Big Bend Studies, Box C-71 Sul Ross State University, Alpine TX 79832.
A graveside service will be held at Marathon Cemetery on Sunday, June 13, 2021, at 1 p.m., with a Celebration of Life following at 2 p.m. at Fort Pena Colorado Park (The Post) in Marathon.
Remembrances and condolences may be shared with the family at heritagefuneralhomeofthebigbend.com.