|Birth: ||Mar. 2, 1919|
|Death: ||Aug. 11, 2002|
Alpha Robertson, who lost her youngest child in a racist church bombing in 1963 and testified decades later against two Ku Klux Klansmen convicted in the blast, died Sunday. She was 83.
Robertson, who had battled cancer and other illnesses, was hospitalized two weeks ago and had suffered her third stroke.
She was the mother of Carole Robertson, 14, who was among four black girls killed when a bomb went off at Sixteenth Street Baptist Church on Sept. 15, 1963.
Robertson testified about that Sunday morning during the trial last year of Thomas Blanton Jr. and the case this year against Bobby Frank Cherry, the last two suspects in the bombing.
``It was just an awful sound, like something shaking the world all over,' Robertson said during Cherry's trial in May, testifying from a wheelchair. Robertson was at home getting ready for church when the bomb went off.
Both Blanton and Cherry were convicted of murder and sentenced to life imprisonment. A third Klansman was convicted in 1977 and died in prison, and a fourth suspect died without being charged.
Dianne Braddock, Robertson's surviving daughter, said she was glad her mother lived to see the men found guilty.
``She had lived the courage of her conviction. She was forgiving,' Braddock said. ``She fought a valiant fight considering all the struggles she's had in her life.'
Special prosecutor Doug Jones called Robertson an ``amazing lady.'
``We referred to her as the moral center of the universe,' he said. ``She just had that presence and aura that brought you in and cradled you.'
Robertson, a retired school librarian, was featured in ``4 Little Girls,' director Spike Lee's documentary about the bombings. When it came out in 1997, she said it was ``just beautifully done. He covered quite a bit of territory. It's something that we can look at and be proud of.'
Robertson's husband, Alvin, died in 1974. Besides her daughter Dianne, she was survived by a son, Alvin Robertson Jr.; three grandchildren; and six great-grandchildren. A memorial service was set for Wednesday.
Alvin C Robertson (1915 - 1974)
Carole Rosamond Robertson (1949 - 1963)*
Created by: MadameB (inactive)
Record added: Feb 13, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 13339229