Fixed to the wall, outside of the sliding doors to her casita located in San Carlos, Mexico is a small hand painted wooden sign that reads, 'Roberta Mitchell ~ Lyman, Wyoming.' Her neighbors in the Loma Del Mar community in San Carlos all had origin signs just like hers, hanging on the front of their homes. She loved this small detail of her life, her neighborhood, and the stories that come from meeting people and friends from far away places. Roberta's neighbors were more than just her friends, "They are a part of my family," she said. Roberta Mae Mitchell died in the early morning hours in Tucson, Arizona on April 9th, 2022. She was 86 Years old.
One of Roberta's earliest memories took place on the Jarman Family homestead in Lyman, WY in the early 1940's during a brutal snowstorm. She was at or near the age of 6 years old when she asked her parents why she couldn't go outside to help her brothers with their chores. Her father, Samuel, wasn't going to allow it until she told them that she didn't want to be one of the boys, but rather she wanted to be treated and respected like them. Roberta understood her strength and the power of her words at an early age. Her father conceded and Roberta was not only invited to help that day and night, but was given her own set of daily chores that she was personally responsible for. Roberta remained accountable for her labors on the ranch and stayed with her family until she graduated highschool. Her determination and grit lead her away from Lyman and into the ranks of the military. Roberta joined the U.S. Marines and quickly earned the nickname, Bobbie. She was respected by her superiors and she proudly served her country for a number of years and remained close to USMC functions for the rest of her life. Semper Fidelis Bobbie.
The Marines provided Bobbie a place to expand her knowledge of the world, continue to serve the people and country she loved, and best of all meet new friends. She embraced differences and people of every background and this is when she met a lifelong friend, Alicia Greathouse, who was close by her side until her last weeks of life. During this time Bobbie also met a Marine, James Glendall Mitchell, and married him. Before she and Glen settled down they traveled the globe, often visiting and living in foreign cities, islands and tropical places. Bobbie had to give up her position in the military at the time as she was enlisted and Glen was an officer. She and Glen moved to Twentynine Palms, California, where she learned to love the desert landscape and learned about the geology of the American West. She visited a traveling gem and mineral show and soon became an avid rockhound. Although her marriage with Glen ended after a number of years she remained close friends with him and soon after their divorce permanently relocated to Provo, Utah where she turned her newfound passion for rockhounding into a silversmithing and lapidary business.
Bobbie opened "The Open Padlock," which was named after her family's homestead brand from Lyman, WY. Bobbie's talent for silversmithing was recognized by one of Utah's most notable Potters, Dennis Zupan. She used his studio at Provo High to teach silversmithing night courses to students and adults. Her classes became so popular that she began receiving invitations from the highschools of Orem, Lehi, American Fork, and most notably the University of Utah. Bobbie remained thankful for the use of Dennis' studio and told her friends and family how his generosity and patience helped her throughout the rest of her career. Bobbie's talent of silversmithing and lapidary gained even more attention when a prominent Utahn invited her to sell her jewelry at his Sundance Ski Resort. Some of her most admired pieces, The Buffalo Nickel, Indian Head Nickel, and Wheatback Penny earrings and necklaces gained her national recognition. Bobbie's talent and jewelry gained even more popularity through a growing airline in-flight magazine industry. Bobbie was so busy keeping up with orders that she enlisted the help of her past students.
Bobbie was a devoted daughter, sister and aunt. Although she never held the official title of Mother, Bobbie was a powerful matriarch in the Jarman Family. She provided a place for her multigenerational nieces and nephews to feel at home. She was an ally of acceptance and loved true to her family brand. To her, The Open Padlock always meant to be available for anyone in need. Her door was always open.
Although Bobbie’s schedule was mostly consumed with work and teaching, she consciously gave any of her available time to care for her mother, Mae Worthington Jarman. She visited her momma daily, keeping a watchful eye and heart over her health up until the day she passed away at the age of 85. Bobbie searched for places of solace after her mother's passing. The loss affected her deeply. One of the only ways she found peace and awakening was in Utah’s West Desert. "It’s a place where a body can go to get the rags out of your head and feel the yaw of the earth beneath your feet" She would explain. "Sometimes the desert is the only thing that helps."
In the late 90's, Bobbie accepted an unexpected offer from a friend to purchase her business and home in Provo. With cash in her hand and nothing to hold her back, Bobbie pointed her compass due south and moved all of her belongings to San Carlos, Mexico. She savored the process of leaving, moving, exploring a foreign country alone. She quickly made friends, found the best saltwater fishing spots along the shores of the Sea of Cortez, connected with the locals, and enjoyed learning Spanish as a second language. Bobbie's was a permanent fixture in San Carlos among her snowbird friends who she would see come and go as the seasons changed. Bobbie would care for many of her friends' pets, plants, and entire houses while they were away. She built a small business out of doing this. She took great pride in her work and truly enjoyed caring for her friends' belongings. There was a brief 2 year period when Bobbie had to move to Tucson, Arizona to address issues with her health.
"My friends are my family." & "Sometimes the desert is the only thing that helps." She was a regular at the Veterans Hospital during this time and came to know the staff on a personal level. She loved and respected the VA and she would often tell her friends and family how great they were to her. With their help, Bobbie was able to regain her health and move back home to San Carlos, Mexico where she remained for the rest of her life. Now the only time Bobbie would travel to the US would be for health check-ups.
When Bobbie left San Carlos for a visit to the Veterans Hospital in Tucson, Arizona in early March, 2022 she was the only one who feared she might not make it back home. Bobbie had lost the ability to move her right arm and hand. She kept this mostly to herself as she never wanted anyone to make a fuss over her. A day or so before she left, she kept a positive attitude, and joked with her nephew over the phone about how difficult it has been to get dressed, brush her teeth, cook and clean, let alone make herself a rootbeer float – all with only the use of her left hand. She hoped this visit to the VA was going to be a quick one. However, upon arrival at the VA she tragically learned she had an inoperable brain tumor and her health worsened. Although Bobbie would not be able to rejoin her Loma Del Mar community she was happy with the thought of remaining in Tucson. It was always a place she admired and respected. For Bobbie, Tucson was her second home.
Bobbie was moved from the VA to Sapphire Estates Rehab Centre. She spent the last weeks of her life being visited by close friends and family members. She enjoyed stories full of laughter, prayer, and had mindful conversations about her life and what she had learned from it. The phone in her room would ring constantly from friends calling her to share their love and say goodbye. The nurses and assistants could be overheard saying that they had never heard someone's phone ring so many times. Although many of her family and friends couldn't physically be with her during this time, Bobbie told her nephew that she could feel the love from everyone and their presence was felt. Bobbie was full of love.
Bobbie's family wishes to thank Dr. Glenn Lippman and his family for befriending and caring for Bobbie. They are thankful for Dr. Lippman finding a loving home for Bobbie's beloved pet, named Cat. They would also like to thank a number of Bobbie's neighbors who helped transport her from San Carlos, MX to Tucson over the years to receive treatment at the VA. They would also like to thank those at Sapphire Estates who helped Bobbie through her last stages of life.
Bobbie is preceded in death by her Father, Samuel Orson Jarman, Mother, Mae Worthington Jarman, Eldest brother Boyd Orson Jarman, Brother Lloyd Lee Jarman, and her beloved Sister Lela Ann Phillips.
A celebration of her life will be held Saturday April 30, 6:00 pm at the L.D.S. Church at 50 South 800 East, Orem, Utah
Funeral services and interment will be held in the coming weeks at Arizona Veterans' Memorial Cemetery at Marana.
Celebration of Life
- Preceded in Death By
- Samuel Orson Jarman, Father
- Mae Worthington Jarman, Mother
- Boyd Orson Jarman, Brother
- Lloyd Lee Jarman, Brother
- Lela Ann Phillips, Sister
Life Story Info
“In lieu of flowers...”https://www.avmc-foundation.org/
Cause of Death
Religion and Beliefs
- Marine Corps
- The Open Padlock
My Auntie was a second mother to me. She was the most kind, supportive, loving, caring person you will ever meet. She was self-supporting, hard working, and knew what an honest days work meant - even up until she was hospitalized. I will truly miss you!! I LOVE YOU TONS!! We will definitely see you on the other side.
Jan 8, 1936
Born in Lyman, Wyoming "The Jarman Family Homestead"