Jill Roberts (1950-2009)

Jill was born in South Wales in 1950. She started at Aberystwyth straight from Sixth Form in 1968. She studied Foreign Languages, specialising first in French. She spent the following year in France as an English Assistant at a French School: Lycée Thibault de Champagne, in Provins. In her second year back at Aber, Jill picked up Italian, which she would soon develop a deep and lifelong passion for. She spent the summer of 1971 in Florence, studying abroad and continuing to learn more about Italy as a whole. Her Italian was so fluent that locals were often shocked to find out that she was in fact Welsh, and not Italian.

After completing her degree in 1972, Jill started her first post that summer with Cosmos Travel as a tour guide. She met a party at Victoria, accompanied them to the Rhine, up the river, through Switzerland to Lido di Jesolo, Italy - not too far from Venice. After three weeks in Jesolo, she was expecting to return to pick up another party, but was asked to stay on as the local representative. Following this unexpected stay on the Italian coast, she would soon meet her first husband Luciano Baione. Daughter Laura was born in 1977, followed by Elena in 1979 (Elena went on to also study at Aberystwyth). They stayed living in Italy until 1984, when they moved back to South Wales. Upon this move, Jill would use her linguistic skills to help Luciano and their children to perfect their English.

Jill met Robin Roberts in March 1987, and they married three years later. Sons Owen and Rhys were born in 1990 and 1992, respectively. Luciano stayed amicably close to Jill, whose new family welcomed him with open arms. Living in Barry, South Wales with four children, a husband, and a kind-hearted Italian living nearby, Jill formed a large and loving family dynamic. She was an incredibly generous, intelligent, and caring individual. Jill had an eclectic and commendable music taste, everything from Pavarotti to Green Day. She even had the luck of seeing B.B King live in concert, who gave her a signed guitar pick. Jill was also an avid reader, who could get through a book a day. When daughter Elena started at Aberystwyth in 1997, Jill revelled in the chance to visit her University town again. She would bring the whole family along to visit Elena throughout the year, often taking sunny strolls along the promenade.

She was a grandmother to four children by 2008, ‘Nana’ as she was known. An expert cook and great company, the whole family relished the chances to visit Nana’s house for some food and a good laugh. After a long battle with Breast cancer, Jill sadly passed away in 2009, aged 59. She left behind an ever-growing family whom she nurtured and loved deeply - and that fact will never be forgotten. 

Erin Fahiya (Granddaughter)