302-478-7100 Wilmington & Hockessin, DE

Roberta Chance Conrad

Roberta Chance Conrad, 95, quietly left this life Tuesday, July 3, in Wilmington, the city she had called home since 1977. Born in 1923 in Matthewstown, MD, to Charles A. and Frances Knotts Chance, this farmer’s daughter could scarcely imagine she would be a world traveler someday.

Before her Easton High School graduation in 1939, “Bert” met “Jimmy.” They became Mr. and Mrs. James C. Conrad in 1944 while he was on leave from the Army Air Corps. Thus began a partnership honored in 2016 when Worldwide Marriage Encounter named them Delaware’s longest married couple, with 71 years as of September 2015.

Bert was open to exploring the world, and showed much dedication and courage in making any new situation work. After Jim graduated from University of Maryland in chemical engineering, Bert supported Jim’s DuPont career through multiple relocations while they raised 4 children. The most exciting and challenging relocation was four years in Tokyo, Japan. In each new home, she participated in the local PTA, and enjoyed golf, bridge and dancing as their family grew up. Throughout these years, Bert began to share her boundless energy and good nature with organizations lucky enough to have her as a volunteer.

Bert developed a career of volunteering that lasted over 30 years in Wilmington hospitals and libraries after their move here for Jim’s retirement. Christiana Care recognized her for 31 years and 6,400 hours of volunteer service at a May 2010 volunteer event. During the same timeframe, she volunteered at Concord Pike Library and thereafter spent several days a week at Brandywine Hundred Library, retrieving books for reader requests and reserves. She received a special county “spirit of volunteering” award for 25 years of service. She also volunteered in Saint Paul’s United Methodist Church library for many years.

While the Conrad couple travelled in Europe, Southeast Asia, South Africa, Costa Rica, Mexico and the Soviet Union, Bert found time to garden, swim at the YMCA, play Bridge with many groups including Sellers Senior Center, and play golf with the DuPont Country Club Ladies Group. For Bert, golf was an 18-hole walk with her bag on her shoulder, although it held fewer clubs when she left the fairways for good a few years ago.

She loved the outdoors and nature and made sure her family learned to love them, too. She enjoyed tent camping trips to many states and visits to national parks. Until recently, Bert still did yard work and took special pleasure listening to wrens in their backyard. She maintained certification to land a single engine Cessna in case Jim had trouble while piloting.

Roberta’s friends and family appreciated her optimism and quiet perseverance, and called her the “energizer bunny”. Her mottos were “Enjoy!” and “Keep it moving!” She stayed very active until late in life.

Roberta was preceded in death by her parents and siblings as well as the couple’s son, Bruce Conrad, 64, in 2013. She is survived by her husband and three daughters: Charlotte Grant (Roger) of La Crosse, Wisconsin; Barbara Conrad, of Glen Arm, MD; and Nancy Conrad, of Cornelius, NC.

Friends and family who wish to honor Bert’s memory may make gifts to St. Paul’s United Methodist Church, Brandywine Hundred Library, or the charity of their choice.

Funeral Services

A celebration of life will be held at a later date.


    Janet L. Hassel writes,
    My condolences to the family. Bert was a joy to know first through Cardiff Ladies Bowling League and then as a neighbor. She always had a smile and warm personality. You will be missed by so many. Janet Hassel
    07/08/2018 11:51 am
    Prashanth Menon writes,
    Please accept my deepest condolences for your mother's loss, Nancy! I know how dearly you loved her. May the passage of time heal your grief. Warm Regards Prashanth
    07/09/2018 08:58 am
    Jean Kaufman lit a candle and writes,
    Roberta always brought joy into my life when she came to the library. Her boundless energy to help with our library holds lists (even when the list was in the hundreds) helped all of us to keep our perspective on what we can do, and not focus on the enormity of the task, although when the list got long she did "volunteer" Jim to help out. She will always hold a special place in my heart. Jean Kaufman
    07/09/2018 09:02 am
    Sajeev M lit a candle and writes,
    Dear Nancy, my deepest condolences to you and your family at this time of tragic loss. You are in our thoughts and prayers , and sincerely hope that the love of family and friends will comfort you in the days ahead.
    07/09/2018 09:16 am
    Suzette Baldwin lit a candle and writes,
    Thinking of you Nancy and wishing you hope in the midst of sorrow, comfort in the midst of pain. My sincere condolences.
    07/09/2018 12:55 pm
    Barbara Carr lit a candle and writes,
    Nancy I am so sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. You and your family remain in our prayers.
    07/09/2018 04:30 pm
    Maggie butler writes,
    I met Bert many years ago at the Memorial Hospital. I was a rehab nurse, she a much appreciated volunteer. We soon discovered our mutual love of golf. She invited me to the DuPont member-guest, many times. We had a great time! Later, I realized we attended the same church! Our church has been our contact lately. I will miss Bert.
    07/09/2018 07:08 pm
    Jignesh R Shah writes,
    I pray to GOD for peace to her holy soul.
    07/09/2018 11:44 pm
    Lanre and Sola Ladipo lit a candle and writes,
    I am sorry you had to lose someone so important and special in your life. My family will be praying for you and the rest of your family. Moms are special people, especially ones like yours. Good mothers hold a special place in their hearts for their children and most children hold a special place in their hearts for their mothers. I’m sorry for the hole that you have now. Please accept my condolences for the loss of your mother.
    07/11/2018 06:17 pm
    Deb Horn lit a candle and writes,
    Dear Nancy, the loss of the first parent hits especially hard. Let the memories and the kind words from your friends carry you through. I am so very glad to have met your parents a few years ago. Your mother never stopped smiling and your father had some great stories. They were such precious people. It isn’t hard at all to see a lot of your mother in you. God bless you all. I’ll be praying for your family.
    07/22/2018 07:53 pm
    Kenichiro Uehara writes,
    Keiko and I are deeply sorry to hear Bert passed away. Please accept our sincere condolences. We come to know you had the honor of Delaware's longest married couple. We are also convinced you were Delaware's happiest couple. We are hoping the sadness will not undermine your health and you will stay healthy and active. Affectionately, Keiko and Ken Uehara
    07/25/2018 04:23 pm

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