James L. Robertson Jr.
James L. Robertson Jr. lost in his 6 1/2 years of battle with esophageal cancer on Sept.19, 2017.
Born on June 23rd, 1943, in Butler County, Missouri, literally on the banks of “Ten Mile” Creek as brought into this world by a Chippewa Indian midwife to Lloyd and Faye Robertson of Poplar Bluff, Missouri, both of whom preceded him in death.
He is survived by his wife of more than nine years, Maria Eloisa Cruz Robertson of the household; three sons, Anthony James Robertson and wife, Amy, of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Kevin Mark Robertson and wife, Tia, of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, and Wade Cole Robertson and wife, Jennifer, of St. Louis, Missouri; one stepson, Lt. Americo Cruz Perez Jr. and wife, Juvy, U.S. Navy stationed at Groton, Connecticut; one stepdaughter, Yvette Perez Gomez and husband, Jason, of Uvalde, Texas; one brother, Bill Robertson and wife, Connie, of Wappapello Lake, Missouri; one sister, Betty Craft and husband, Herbert, of Oglesville, Missouri; another sister, Helen Burpo of Phoenix, Arizona, preceded him in death.
Following high school, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and served four years. This was at the onset of the Vietnam War. He was stationed at Naval Air Station Beeville, TX, N.A.S. Lemoore, CA, and aboard the Aircraft Carrier U.S.S. Coral Sea. He is a member of American Legion Post 479 here in Uvalde.
Following his U.S. Navy service years, he was commissioned a police officer with the St. Louis Police Department. Several events occurred during the nine years he spent as a police officer. He and fellow officer Patrolman Floyd Pendleton became the first ever uniformed black officer/white officer team to man a marked police unit. This historic 63 day trial program assignment was simple: be visible, go anywhere, and respond to any call we wanted. Just be seen. We were seen, and the program became a success in 1965, but not without incidents. Both officers discovered prejudices from both races.
After making detective, he was one of the original six detectives involved with the war between the “Black Liberators” led by the Rev, Charles Koen and his bodyguard, Leon Dent. This war lasted over two-three months, garnered national news coverage, and led to the machine-gunning of the 9th Police District Headquarters, then to the fire bombing of the Liberator’s headquarters and their patrol vehicle, a black checker with a large red fist painted on each front door. This war also led to the founding of the St. Louis Police Officers Association, an organization which still exists today. The Liberators folded after Koen and Dent were sentenced to jail time for their involvement after one detective received career-ending injuries in this fight.
Other accomplishments include being selected as the inside Presidential Security Guard for the Senator Hubert H. Humphrey and again for Governor George Wallace during their run for president in the United States. When Frank Sinatra brought his road show to St. Louis for a national event to be televised live from the Fox Theatre, he was selected as security for Nancy Sinatra. Performers included Dean Martin and Sammy Davis Jr., to name a few.
On Jan. 8, 2008, he moved to Uvalde. This move was chosen due to the size of the town and the golf course. Shortly after arriving he was introduced to his future wife and they have been together ever since.
The preceding is a paid obituary.