Alice Roberts, co-founder of Phoenix-based Chas Roberts Air Conditioning & Plumbing, passed away Sept. 1, 2013, at the age of 95. Alice and her husband, Chas, founded Chas Roberts in 1942. The company continues to offer HVAC and plumbing solutions in Phoenix.

Alice was born in 1918 in Bisbee, Ariz., and married Charles (Chas) Roberts in 1936. Since opening, the business has remained family owned and operated. In the early years, sales consisted of home appliances, coolers, furnaces, air conditioners, and service. Alice and Chas’s son, Charles, took over managing the company in the 1960s and, when residential construction began to boom in the 1970s, Chas Roberts grew to meet this need.

In the late 1990s, ownership and management of the company was transferred to Alice and Chas’ granddaughter, Roberta “Sissie” (Roberts) Shank. Under Shank’s leadership, the company has grown to seven locations in the Phoenix area and one in Tucson, expanded its HVAC services into New Mexico, and added residential and commercial plumbing services.

“My grandmother was a business leader in a time when smart, strong women were rarely appreciated,” said Shank. “It is from her that I learned to work hard and smart, honor commitments, and maintain a sense of humor. She will be remembered for her beautiful smile, infectious laughter, and by the well-respected business she founded with my grandfather more than 70 years ago.”

Alice was preceded in death by husband, Charles Roberts Sr., and son, Charles “Chuck” Roberts. She is survived by her daughter, Barbara Roberts Pine (David), five grandchildren, and 10 great-grandchildren.

Publication date: 10/28/2013