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Across the Fence 2007

ROBERTS, DOUTHIT, MESSNER, ZAHS

Posted By: Misty Christner (email)
Date: 6/20/2018 at 13:52:26

Source: Iowa City Press Citizen 2/21/2007

Across the Fence
Jim & Chris Roberts
They Pitch in Wherever They're Needed

Age: He's 54. She's 50.
Occupation: Jim is a custodian for the University of Iowa. Chris is assistant licensing director of UI's Hall of Fame Licensing Office.
Family: Children Andy Roberts, 9, John Douthit, 28, and Amy Douthit, 31. Chris' mother, Clara Messner, lives with the couple.
Did you know? Jim collects Allis-Chalmers Tractors. He has two riding mower ones and several hundred toy ones. Chris has just gotten into collecting angels.

Helping out is simply part of Jim and Chris Roberts' nature. "We enjoy it," said Chris Roberts, 50. "It is something that Jesus wants us to do."
In fact, the two don't even check with each other first, Jim Roberts said.
If someone asks for help, one of them will say "Yep, we will do it," he said.
A large part of the Frytown couple's volunteering takes place at the Sharon Center United Methodist Church.
The two have been members for 16 years.
Chris leads a Sunday School class and is superintendent of the school as a whole. Jim serves on the church's administration board.
Both volunteer to help at the Wesley Foundation's Free Lunch Program in Iowa City.
In addition, they both pitch in to do roadside cleanup and with other church members run a concession stand at University of Iowa home football games.
They also give time to their son Andy's Boy Scout troop. In addition, the couple helped raise funds for Pleasantview, a nursing home in Kalona.
Until recently the Roberts lived in the country between Riverside and Kalona.
"There is no end to their caring and giving natures," said Patricia Zahs, a former neighbor. "They deserve a hearty pat on the back."
When Zahs had back surgery in September 2006, the Roberts organized friends and neighbors to bring in a meal each day for 10 days.
They also pitched in and helped cook and serve a wedding reception mean for Zahs' niece last year when Zahs was having back troubles.
"We enjoy helping," Chris Roberts said. "It doesn't matter who it is!"

written by Deanna Truman-Cook


 

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