Obituary of James Clifton “Jim” Roberson |

Obituary of James Clifton “Jim” Roberson

James Clifton “Jim” Roberson, 73, of Penn Valley, CA, died on Monday, June 4, 2018, at Sierra Nevada Memorial Hospital. He was born April 30, 1945, in Reno, NV, to Alvin Clifton “Smoke” Roberson and Beverly Lena “Jean” (High) Roberson.

Jim’s first passion was music. He began playing drums as a boy in Nevada and was active with local jazz bands and the music departments at both Sparks High School and University of Nevada Reno. He began playing clubs and hotels, particularly the Mapes Hotel in Reno, at 14. He toured with the Diplomats, a barbershop quartet with a showroom flare. In the South, they were known as the Sunshine Boys, a gospel group that had collaborated with Elvis Presley.

Jim’s passion continued into retirement, where he played locally and attended jazz festivals and workshops around the country. He served two years as president of the Sacramento Traditional Jazz Society and was a member of the Hilton Head (SC) Jazz Society Board. Jim recently served as treasurer of the Sacramento Jazz Education Foundation. At Sparks High, Jim was a gifted athlete, winning the Nevada high jump state championship during his senior year in 1963. After graduation, he hit the road with The Diplomats for two years.

Jim married first wife, Karyn, mother to sons Jimmy (b. 1966) and Stephen (b. 1970), in 1965. Jim entered UNR in 1968 to study accounting. He earned his degree in business administration in three years with a 3.92 GPA and quickly began a business career that would take him around the world. He started as a CPA with Haskins and Sells in San Francisco in 1971. In 1980, he went to work at CP National, where he served as CFO and VP of Finance. He later ran his own business consulting firm and worked in various financial roles throughout his career. Immediately after retiring to Lake Wildwood in Penn Valley, Jim joined McSweeney and Associates as a CPA in Grass Valley part-time in February 2004. Jim was a member of Nevada City Elks Lodge #518.

Jim married Yvonne Marijoan (Govias) Hill, in Walnut Creek, CA, on June 2, 1990. They celebrated their 28th wedding anniversary two days before his death.

He is survived by wife Yvonne; son James A. Roberson; son Stephen Roberson; daughter Tia Marie Sciretta; sister Beverly Roberson Moncrieff and brother-in-law Robert Moncrieff ; seven grandchildren; one great-granddaughter; multiple nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews. Jim is preceded in death by his father Alvin (1968); mother Beverly (1980); and brother Wayne McClure (1945), who was killed on Iwo Jima during World War II.

A Celebration of Life is planned for Sunday, Sept. 30, 2018, from 1-4 p.m. at the Nevada City Elks Lodge, featuring music performed by many of the artists with whom Jim shared a stage. The event is open to everyone. Please RSVP to Yvonne Roberson at Type “Celebration” in the subject line. Please send photos for a slideshow presentation to Stephen Roberson at by Sept. 23, 2018.

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