Cover photo for Orva Lee Roberts's Obituary
Orva Lee Roberts Profile Photo

Orva Lee Roberts

July 23, 1930 — August 23, 2021


Orva Lee Roberts

WEAVERVILLE - Orva Lee Roberts, age 91, passed away August 23, 2021. He was born July 23, 1930, in Flat Creek, NC and was a life-long resident of Buncombe County.

He graduated from Flat Creek High School, then joined the Army in 1951.  While in the Army, he graduated from leadership school and obtained skills that served him throughout his life.

Orva Lee founded Roberts Auto Sales located on Patton Avenue in September 1956.  He continued as a dealer on Patton Avenue for the next 64 years.  His love of automobiles began at the age of 15 when he traded the family sedan for a new Chevrolet.  A few years after starting Roberts Auto Sales he was joined by his brothers, Charles and Don, and for  the past 35 years, he was joined by his two sons, Dean and Robin, where they worked together until his retirement. All of those years in business enabled him to develop many, many lifelong friendships.  He fulfilled his lifelong passion in the automobile industry and retired due to health reasons in November 2019 as the longest used car dealer in North Carolina.

Roberts Auto Sales was not his first job.  As a young boy he churned butter for his mother, Nola for 10 cents/week.  He sold “The Grit” and punch board candy from his bicycle throughout the community.

He was a lifelong business leader in the Asheville community.  His small business ventures included several Hungry Bull Steakhouses, retail produce, gift shops in Maggie Valley, Dixie Cream Doughnuts and Service Stations.

Some personal passions included playing golf with his buddies every Wednesday, as well as the annual golf outing to Myrtle Beach and vacationing with family and friends.

Orva Lee loved to give.  He was known for giving fruits and vegetables from his garden to his friends.   Every year at Christmas he delivered special fruit cakes to many members of the community.  He and Betty also took yearly trips to New York to pick and purchase grapes to share.

He was a member of Locust Grove Baptist Church for 80 years and served as a church Trustee since 1988 to the present.  He began attending with his parents when he was 2 weeks old and joined the church at the age of 11.

Orva Lee was preceded in death by his father, James Daniel Roberts; his mother, Nola Atlas Crawford Roberts and his bothers Charles and Don Roberts.

Orva Lee is survived by his lifelong love and wife of 61 years, Betty Lou Hollifield Roberts.  He is also survived by three sons, Rusty (Lisa) of Mooresville, NC; Dean (Becky) of Asheville, NC; Robin (Kem) of Weaverville, NC; five grandchildren (Austin, Madison, Peyton, Camron, Josh) and two great grandchildren (Wyatt and Forrest).  

A graveside service will be held at 2:30pm on Sunday August 29th at the cemetery of Locust Grove Baptist Church in Weaverville NC.  Rev. Wesley Pike and Rev. Dr. Harry Culbertson, Jr. will officiate the service. 

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the Locust Grove Baptist Church cemetery fund, 305 Locust Grove Rd. Weaverville, NC 28787.

West Funeral Home, 17 Merrimon Ave., Weaverville, is handling arrangements. Condolences may be sent to the family through the website, www.westfamilyfuneralservices.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Orva Lee Roberts, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Graveside Service

Sunday, August 29, 2021

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Locust Grove Baptist Church Cemetery

305 Locust Grove Rd, Weaverville, NC 28787

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