Terri Roberts, Nickel Mines Shooter’s Mother, Passes Away

Terri Roberts was the mother of Charles Carl Roberts IV, the man responsible for the Nickel Mines Amish school shootings in 2006. Terri passed away this weekend following a 13-year battle with cancer.

I met Terri briefly on one occasion, at the Forgiveness conference at Elizabethtown College in 2011. She seemed full of life and a lot more energy than you’d expect despite the disease she had been living with for years. Not to mention the cross she had to bear in the aftermath of her son’s actions.

In a 2016 interview with Lancaster Online, she reflected on her journey to forgiveness: “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.”

Terri wrote a book called Forgiven: The Amish School Shooting, a Mother’s Love, and a Story of Remarkable Grace. I did not know her, but she had to have been a big-hearted person.

Here is a video of Terri talking about forgiveness and getting to know Amish families in the community.

Rest in peace.

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    1. Carol Holstein

      My heart breaks as I hear of Terri Roberts' passing.

      I have been following Terri Roberts’ story for a couple of years now. I was aware of the Nickel Mines shootings and remember when it happened. It was a terrible tragedy. When things like this happen, I always feel sick for the victims, and their families. But my heart also goes out to the family of the perpetrator. It was on one of the anniversaries of the murders, that I saw a story on Terri Roberts. I immediately was drawn to this tiny, kind, and strong woman. I felt badly, to hear that I had missed meeting her when she was in Berlin, Ohio, signing her books. I had hoped that she would return someday. But sadly, she kept getting weaker, and weaker. Coincidentally and sadly, my longest and dearest friend crossed over to Heaven, the same day that God called Terri Home My friend also had cancer. Both Terri and Carole fought the battle, and now they are both at peace in Heaven, with their Savior, Jesus Christ. No more suffering, nor heartache. Yes, Terri is at peace. Her husband, children, and family are in my prayers.

      1. Wow. Thanks for sharing Carol. And I’m sorry for your loss.

        1. Carol Holstein
    2. Alice Mary

      Teachng forgiveness

      My condolences to the family and friends of Teri Roberts. I felt so deeply for her at the time of the shooting, wondering how a mother could cope with the aftermath of a crime committed by her own child. To also be dealing with cancer only complicates dealing with life on a daily basis. She proved to be an incredibly strong woman who has become an inspiration to many of us. May God bless her and may she rest in peace.

      Alice Mary

      1. I think “incredibly strong” is a good description for this woman. I have not read her book, just interviews. But no doubt her faith was part of her strength.

    3. Considering the impact...

      The world has lost an amazing woman… There is so much we can learn from this event and people’s reactions to it. I think it’s easy to miss the fact that there are many “shadow” victims when violence happens–people who we might not necessarily think about and might not realize they too have been affected. I know this incident had a profound effect on me and, I suspect, on others who we might think are quite removed and not directly affected.

      Terri’s story provides yet another dimension. As much as violence impacts us, so does forgiveness and kindness. And just as there are people who we might not realize have been affected by the event, there are people who we might not realize have been affected by the forgiveness.

      1. Shadow victims

        Great points Walter, thanks for this.

    4. So strong and so faithful

      Terri Roberts was so inspirational, so godly and gracious. The Amish community, in turn taught so many of us true forgiveness. I wish many leaders of our present country could read her book, Forgiven, to understand what it truly means to be a Christian in these times, and to think of the “other person”. i met Terri Roberts at a Whoopie Pie Festival in Lancaster. i felt drawn to her. Her story could have been mine. I related so much, as a relative of mine had evil in his heart and i so understood her trauma. I was so honored to get to know Terri. Blessings to her family.