Roberta Wagner Hennessey, 88, of Camillus, passed away Tuesday at Upstate Community Hospital. Born in Schenectady to Charles and Sophie (Godell) Wagner, she graduated from Nott Terrace High School. In 1956, Roberta earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education from Syracuse University where she was elected to membership in Eta Pi Upsilon, Pi Lambda Theta, Alpha Kappa Delta, and Phi Kappa Phi honorary societies. She was a member of the Lambda Chapter of Theta Phi Alpha sorority. Roberta began a teaching career in Eloy, AZ, where she was a member of the Junior Women's Club, Music Club, and Garden Club. She received a master’s degree from the University of Arizona and undertook additional studies at Arizona State University. Roberta returned to the Upstate New York area upon receiving a fellowship for doctoral studies at Syracuse University, settling in Camillus in 1963.
A communicant of St. Joseph's Church, Roberta was a member of the funeral guild and a money counter for the church. She served on the Board of Directors of Fairmount Nursery School for ten years and was the national rush chairman of Theta Phi Alpha sorority. Roberta was active in many children's activities, including serving as a leader for 4-H for many years, a Brownie troop, and Cub Scouts.
Roberta was predeceased by her son-in-law, Christopher Nichols in 2022.
Surviving are her husband of 60 years, Thomas; children, Michael (Mary Jo Wexelberg) of Delton, MI, Dr. Mary Nichols of Tucson, AZ, Dr. Matthew (Dr. Lori Staley) of Dallas, PA, Martha Hennessey of Baldwinsville, Mark (Michele) of Williamsport, IN, Maureen (Robert) Wight of Camillus, Marie (Justin) Hennessey Lowman of Austin, TX, Michelle (Brett) Swofford of Seattle, WA, Margaret Sammons of Tucson, AZ, Martin of DeWitt, Myles of Buckeye, AZ, and Dr. Morgan of Cheyenne, WY; 17 grandchildren; three great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends may call Monday, February 27 from 9 to 10 a.m. at the Buranich Funeral Home, 5431 W. Genesee St., Camillus.
A Mass of Christian Burial will follow at 10:30 a.m. in St. Joseph's Church, 5600 W. Genesee St., Camillus.
Roberta will be laid to rest in St. Mary's Cemetery, Cortland.