An Introduction of the Summerlee Foundation
Annie Lee Warren Roberts, philanthropist and historical advocate, was born in Terrell, Texas, in 1895, the only child of Annie (Cartwright) and state Senator Robert Lee Warren. Following graduation from high school in Terrell, Annie Lee attended Gunston Hall Women's College in Washington, D. C., and Monticello College in Geoffrey, Illinois.
On May 15, 1920, Annie Lee Warren married Summerfield G. Roberts, a Terrell native and a fifth-generation Texan who was just beginning a business career in Dallas. As the couple prospered financially through his banking, oil, and real estate ventures, they jointly pursued interests that improved the cultural, social, and literary life of their community.
During her lifetime, Mrs. Roberts championed causes that addressed the alleviation of fear, pain, and suffering of animals and worked diligently to improve the plight of homeless animals and captive wildlife. Throughout the nation she was known for her dedication and support of animals in need of sheltering, sanctuary and refuge, and emergency care. In 1984 she was a recipient of the Founders Medal for extraordinary service to animals.
In 1988, in association with the Animal Protection Institute and the United Animals Nations-USA, Mrs. Roberts founded the Annie Lee Roberts Emergency Animal Rescue Service fund. That same year, she received the award for excellence for extraordinary achievement in animal rescue and in 1989, was the recipient of the Animal Philanthropist of the year award from the Animal Protection Institute.
Preserving Texas History was an ardent interest Mrs. Roberts shared with her husband. In 1948 they established, through the Sons of the Republic of Texas, the Summerfield G. Roberts Award for the best book on the Republic of Texas. For her role in the creation of this monetary award, Mrs. Roberts was subsequently elected an honorary member of the Sons of the Republic of Texas. She and her husband were also responsible for numerous artistic and literary gifts to the Hall of State in Dallas and the State Library and Archives in Austin. Her civic memberships included the Daughters of the American Revolution, United Daughters of the Confederacy, Daughters of the Republic of Texas, and the Dallas Garden Club.
In her later life, after the death of her husband in 1970, Mrs. Roberts established The Summerlee Foundation to provide for the protection of animals and the study and preservation of Texas history. The name Summerlee is derived from Mrs. Roberts' middle name and her husband's first name.
Annie Lee Warren Roberts died in her Dallas home on April 22, 1990, at the age of ninety-four, and was buried at Hillcrest Mausoleum in Dallas.
Bibliography: Dallas Morning News, April 24, 1990. Dallas Times Herald, April 24, 1990. Southwestern historical Quarterly, Southwestern Collection, January 1991.
– Melanie A. Lambert