Cover photo for Betty L. Roberts's Obituary
1935 Betty 2023

Betty L. Roberts

August 14, 1935 — January 25, 2023



Funeral services and Mass of Christian Burial for Betty L. Roberts, 87, of Davenport, will be held at 10am on Friday, February 3, 2023 at Sacred Heart Cathedral, Davenport.  Burial will be in Oakdale Memorial Gardens, Davenport.  Visitation will be 5-8pm Thursday at the Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home, Davenport.  Memorials may be made to Minnie’s Maison or the Jason Blair Roberts Memorial Scholarship at the QC Community Foundation.


Ms. Roberts passed away Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at Genesis East, Davenport.


Betty Lucille McGinnis was born August 14, 1935 in Mexico, MO, a daughter of Virgil McGinnis and Georgia (Vanes) Benford.  She was raised by her grandparents, James and Rebecca Vanes. Prior to moving to Rock Island, she was valedictorian of her 8th grade class in Fulton, MO.  While attending Rock Island High School she met her future husband, Simon Roberts, and they were married in 1957. To that union, nine children were born.


Betty or “Miss Betty” as she was affectionately known was the first African-American secretary in the Rock Island School District and worked at Hawthorne-Irving School.  Betty was a founding member of St. Martin de Porres Society at Sacred Heart Cathedral. She retired in 2001 from Von Maur after twenty years of service as a sales audit clerk.


She was soft-spoken and had a calm spirit.  She enjoyed listening to jazz, traveling, cruising, and spending time with her large family. She especially loved being “Granny” to her grandchildren.  Betty was an excellent cook who was known for her macaroni and cheese. She took pride in her appearance and was the epitome of class and elegance.


Those left to honor her memory include her daughters Paula McDowell, Dori (Byron) Canady, Melanie “Missy” Roberts, all of Kansas City, MO, Jodi (Maurice) Brown, Indianapolis, Kristen Roberts, Davenport; sons Anthony (Robin) Roberts, Davenport, Patrick (Aimee) Roberts, Moline, Bradley (Shelli Allen) Roberts, Des Moines; her children’s father Si Roberts, Kansas City; twenty-five grandchildren; ten great grandchildren; one great great granddaughter; sister Carol Steele, Mexico, MO; brother Forrest Benford, Gretna, VA; and a host of nieces and nephews.


She was preceded in death by son Jason Roberts, grandsons Bryan Roberts and Xavier Roberts, parents, brother Charles McGinnis, and sisters Beverly Thompson and Lillian Benford.


Online remembrances may be expressed at
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Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, February 2, 2023

5:00 - 8:00 pm (Central time)

Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home

614 Main Street, Davenport, IA 52803

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, February 3, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Central time)

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