UMWA mourns passing of Evelyn Roberts


MARCH 15, 2019

[CHARLESTON, W.VA.] The entire membership of the United Mine Workers of America (UMWA) is mourning the passing of Mrs. Evelyn Roberts, mother of UMWA International President Cecil E. Roberts. Mrs. Roberts passed away February 19, 2019 and was laid to rest on February 22.

She was born in Eskdale, W.Va., on July 7, 1919, and lived her entire life in the coalfields of West Virginia. She was the daughter, wife and mother of coal miners.

She was married to Cecil, her beloved husband of 68 years, before his passing in December, 2007 at the age of 91. Together they raised three children: Becky, Cecil and Lucille. Before marrying Cecil, Evelyn spent a majority of her time working with her grandmother, the legendary Mother Blizzard, a union activist and a close friend of Mary Harris “Mother” Jones. She is also the niece of Bill Blizzard, who led the Paint Creek-Cabin Creek Strike of 1912 and also led the miners at the Battle of Blair Mountain in 1921.

After living in a company-owned house for several years, she then moved into the house that Cecil built for the family. Cecil used lumber from the company house they previously lived in to build the home, and she lived there for 60 years. In an interview in 2017, she said she was proud to be a coal miner’s wife. Her husband started working in the mines at age 16 and was a miner for 48 years. She also stated she’s been provided a good life because of the United Mine Workers of America. Evelyn was an Associate Member of the UMWA.

Donations may be made to UMWA Miners Aid Fund, 18354 Quantico Gateway Drive, Suite 200, Triangle, VA 22172 to the attention of Bob Scaramozzino.