Joan Ferguson Roberts, 89

Joan Ferguson Roberts, age 89, passed away, on May 24, 2022, at The Groves at Oak Ridge.

She was a graduate of Vanderbilt University in Nashville, where she received a Bachelor of Arts degree in English. She taught 7th and 8th grades at Parmer Elementary School in Belle Meade, near Nashville, for several years before moving to Oak Ridge in 1966. She worked as a technical publications editor for what is now the Department of Energy’s Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) and later for Martin Marietta at Y-12, where she trained staff before retiring in 1996.

Joan was a member of Alpha Delta Kappa, retired teachers’ sorority, the Society for Technical Communication, and one of the initial members of the Energy Valley Chapter of Toastmasters, where she stayed active for many years. She attended New York Avenue Church of Christ in Oak Ridge and taught adult reading at Scarborough Community Center. She enjoyed reading, especially mysteries, and loved cats, often caring for stray ones. One of her favorite pastimes was getting together every Friday night for dinner with a small group of friends until three years ago.

She was preceded in death by her parents, William Sevier and Nina Belle Ferguson, and sister, Marjorie Freeman.

Survivors include son and daughter-in-law, Tom & Clara Roberts; grandson, Andre Roberts and wife, Shayelyn; niece, Jennifer Duckwall-Burns and husband, John Bowman; great-nephews, James and Johnathon Bowman; and longtime friend, Nancy E. Hardin.

The family wishes to extend special thanks to caregivers and staff at The Groves at Oak Ridge, where she resided for the last 3 ½ years, and the team at Avalon Hospice-Knoxville for their care in the past month.
The family will receive friends 5 -7 pm Tuesday, May 31, 2022, at Weatherford Mortuary. Interment will be at Maury City Cemetery in Maury City, TN. Online condolences may be left at

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Joan, please visit our floral store.

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