Roberta Louisa (Smithgall) Gwara


Roberta Louisa Gwara, age 74 of Avondale, AZ died May 7, 2019 in Avondale, AZ. She was born August 1, 1944 in Williamsport, PA to James and June Smithgall. Roberta was a great mom. Her life and love were centered in her family, and Rome, NY. She met the love of her life and became a mother at a very young age. She raised her children while her husband was attending school. Her children were her life and she was supportive of them in all their endeavors from Cub Scouts and Boy Scouts to music lessons and academic pursuits. When her “happily ever after” didn’t happen, she found the strength to endure difficult times in order to provide for her children. Her sacrifices were rewarded through the successful lives of her sons.

Roberta received an AA degree in criminal justice. She worked for The ARC in Rome, NY assisting people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, retiring when her health declined. She loved all animals, except snakes, and had a particular fondness for cats. She enjoyed collecting antiques and knick-knacks of which she had extensive knowledge. She was a good friend and kept up with those she left in NY as well as those she made in AZ. She treasured her children and grandchildren.

Roberta is survived by her sons, Scott, Joseph Jr, and Kerry Gwara; sister, Nancy Mathewson (Barney); brother, Jim Smithgall; and four grandchildren, Cassandra Gwara, Alyssa Gauthier, Theodore Gwara, and Isabel Gwara.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, June 1, 2019 at Christ Community United Methodist Church, 104 W. Western Avenue, Avondale, 85323. Condolences for the family may be left at


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