Kathleen Roberts, 103

Sep 27, 2017

Kathleen (Ryan) Comiskey Roberts, 103, of Raynham and South Dartmouth, passed away on September 23, 2017 at Morton Hospital in Taunton.

She was the beloved wife of the late Sydney C. Roberts and the late James Comiskey.

She was born in Dartmouth, the daughter of the late Thomas J. Ryan and Ann (Whelan) Ryan, and grew up in Wellesley. She received a bachelor’s degree from Framingham State University and a master’s degree from Boston University.

Roberts was a classroom teacher and a teaching principal for 47 years. Her first position was in a one-room school in Milton, VT where she taught the eighth grade. In 1939, she joined Dartmouth Public Schools. While in Dartmouth she taught the fourth through seventh grades in the elementary schools. She also wrote a book for children on the history of Dartmouth, “The Secrets of Old Dartmouth,” which is still used today in the Dartmouth Public Schools and is also available to the general public.

She moved to Raynham in 1963 and became a teaching principal at the North School. She retired from teaching in 1984.

During her teaching career, Mrs. Roberts served as president of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, Bristol County Educators Association, Dartmouth Educators Association, and the Raynham Education Association. She also served on the Board of Directors of the National Education Association and the Massachusetts Teachers Association.

In her retirement years, she fulfilled her belief that a person should give back to their community. She was a founder of the Raynham Food Basket and a volunteer for 27 years. She was a member of the boards of the Raynham Library, Raynham Council on Aging and the Raynham Association of Volunteers for Education.

She was the first statewide chair for the implementation of the “Read Across America” program, which is sponsored by the National Education Association.

Roberts loved history. She served as President of the Raynham Historical Society for many years and as a member of the Raynham Historical Commission. She also did programs on Raynham’s history for the community cable channel and served as the co-chair of Raynham’s 275th anniversary celebration.

She was predeceased by her siblings Harriot Ryan of Middletown, RI and Matthew and Thomas Ryan, all of Wellesley, MA. She is survived by her niece, Catherine Bryant of Raynham, a nephew, Thomas Ryan of Wellesley, and a great niece and nephew.

Her funeral will be held on September 28 at 9 am. at the O'Keefe-Wade Funeral Home, 70 Washington Street, Taunton, MA. A mass of Christian burial will follow at St. Ann's Church in Raynham at 10 a.m. Visiting hours are Wednesday from 4-7 p.m.

Interment will be in St. Mary's Church in North Attleboro.

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her memory to the Kathleen Ryan Comiskey Roberts scholarship fund at Framingham State University or to the Raynham Historical Society.