Lucimarian Roberts, Robin Roberts' mother, dies

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Lucimarian Roberts, the mother of "Good Morning America" co-host Robin Roberts, has died a day after the anchor announced she was taking a medical leave for a bone-marrow transplant.

The 88-year-old Roberts died in Gulfport, Miss., on Thursday night, Jeffrey W. Schneider, senior vice president of ABC News, said Friday. The death also was announced on "GMA" Friday morning.

"Robin arrived home with her sister, Sally-Ann, forging through flooded and blocked roads to be with her beloved mother in time to see her," "GMA" Senior Executive Tom Cibrowski said in an email to the news division Thursday evening.

The Mississippi area was dealing with flooding from Hurricane Isaac.

Over the years, Lucimarian Roberts made numerous appearances on "GMA."

She was a Gulf Coast icon for more than four decades. She often was the first black woman to work with organizations and state and local agencies, and she was known for her ability to get things done.

She served as chairman of the Mississippi State Board of Education in the 1980s. She was the first black person to hold the post.

She also had a great passion for poetry and music. Lucimarian Roberts collaborated with her daughter on a book titled, "My Story, My Song -- Mother-Daughter Reflections on Life and Faith."

"I sing because the music of the church speaks my soul language," she wrote. "I sing because these songs are tightly woven in to the texture of who I am."

Besides three daughters, Lucimarian Roberts is survived by a son and eight grandchildren. Her husband, Col. Lawrence E. Roberts, died in 2004 at age 81. He was a member of the all-black Army Air Corps, also called the Tuskegee Airmen.

Lucimarian Roberts' death came on the same day Robin Roberts said goodbye to her co-workers and audience before starting her medical leave.

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