Terri Roberts, the mother of Nickel Mines shooter Charles Carl Roberts IV, died Saturday after a battle with cancer.
Roberts, 66, was under the care of Hospice & Community Care when she died, according to an obituary posted Monday by Bachman Funeral Home.
The Strasburg Township woman was remarkably open about her son after he barricaded himself in a rural Amish schoolhouse on Oct. 2, 2006, killing five girls and wounding five more before fatally shooting himself.
Roberts wrote a book, “Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace,” which discusses the effect of her son’s actions on her family and the touching relationship she developed with the Amish community in the aftermath.
Roberts’ life changed when the Amish community told her family that they had forgiven her son.
It helped her resolve her own struggle to forgive him, she said in an LNP interview in 2016.
“If they’re forgiving my son, do I forgive my son? I was so angry with what he had done, and yet the realization that if I chose not to forgive him, I would have the same hole in my heart that he had,” she said.
“I had to forgive him, because I didn’t want to live with bitterness toward my son. ... It is not automatic or without pain when we forgive.”
Born in Columbia and a 1969 graduate of Lancaster Catholic High School, Roberts was a member of Living Faith Church of God. She was married 47 years to Charles Roberts III.
She worked more than 20 years for Sight & Sound Ministries, managing their food and merchandise programs, and was a motivational speaker after the shooting.