Tracy Defa Roberts, of Hanna, Utah, passed away May 15, 2020, at 100 years old in Tabiona with her daughters by her side. She was the last of her generation.
She was born December 6, 1919, in Hanna, Utah to Maria Giovanna Porreca and Frank Defa. She was the youngest of 5 children; Joseph, Leo, Alfonzo and Rosie. She married Lloyd “Snooks” Roberts on May 21, 1938. They had 4 children; Al (step-son), Dixie, Bonnie, and Ginger.
From the time Tracy was 11 years old she wrote the Tabiona/Hanna news for the Uinta Basin Standard every week, which she continued to do for 75 years. Tracy drove the US mail route from Hanna to Highway 40 to meet the mail truck going to Salt Lake City. She did this for 14 years. She had various jobs at different times cooking at the Hanna Café, Current Creek Lodge, and the Bug Camp at Soap Stone. They were co-owners of the Ells Motel in Duchesne for 10 years.
Tracy was a loving Mother, Grandmother, and wife. She always kept a big bountiful garden; they raised chickens, sheep, cows and potatoes. They farmed for a living and she helped Snooks on the farm in winter and summer. Tracy was a good cook and always made three home cooked meals a day for her family and the hired hands. When her grandkids started working on the farm, she fed them all a big lunch, which they looked forward to, after working hard all morning on the farm. She taught her daughters and granddaughters how to cook good food and how to garden. She carried on many family dishes from her Italian upbringing such as May Day dish, cavatelli, pizzzells and Italian bananas. She passed these dishes on to her daughters by making them together over the years. It wasn't until later in life that the recipes were written down. She delighted in spending time with her family and fixing their favorite meals. She found great joy in being a Grandmother.
Tracy was always busy, she liked gardening, music, playing card games, reading, dancing and quilting. She and Snooks spent 32 years as Snowbirds in Mesa, Arizona. They liked the warm weather there and the opportunity to meet and socialize with people from all over the world. They made lifelong friends during their time there. During winters in Arizona, Tracy sang and performed in the traveling Bazooka Band.
After Snooks passed away in 2012, Tracy lived on her own until age 97. She has spent the last 3 years at the Villa Care Center in Roosevelt. While there, she was a little social butterfly. She never missed an activity, game, church meeting, Relief Society or music event. She received the Most Classy Lady Award; she liked having her lipstick on everyday and her nails painted. Governor Herbert presented her with The Century Club of Utah award for reaching 100 years of age and she became a Utah Centenarian. The COVID-19 virus didn't take her life but the social distancing and isolation from her family and friends did. The family is thankful for all the kindness, care and friendship shown by the Villa staff, nurses, and aids.
Tracy is survived by three daughters, Dixie (George) Coonradt of Vernal, Bonnie (Gene) Ostler of Roosevelt, Ginger (Leon) Casper of Tabiona, daughter-in-law, Karma Roberts, of Tabiona; 16 grandchildren, 40 great-grandchildren with one more on the way and 33 great-great-grandchildren.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Frank and Mary Defa; husband, Lloyd Snooks Roberts; son, Al Roberts; and grandsons, Chad Roberts and Tony Casper; her sister, Rosie; and brothers, Joe, Leo and Alfonzo.
Due to COVID-19, there will be a Catholic Mass for the family at the St. Helen’s Catholic Church and then a Graveside Service on Monday, May 18, 2020, at 1:00 p.m. at the Tabiona Cemetery for family and friends.
The family wishes to thank the Sr. Villa nurses, staff, residents, and the Home Health and Hospice nurses and staff for kind and loving care they gave Tracy.