April 21, 1936 - September 23, 2023
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Robert Andrew “Robbie” Robinson, on September 23, 2023, at Bradford Valley Care Community. Robbie is survived by his wife, Anne Allen, sons Jeremy and Derek, sisters Beth and Fran and is predeceased by his brother Shawn.
Born in Timmins, Ontario, in 1936, Robbie’s life was marked by a love for exploration, adventure, and lifelong learning. As a teenager, Robert’s family moved to Edmonton where his fascination with the wider world led him to join the Royal Canadian Sea Cadets and eventually serve as a part-time Naval officer. This allowed him to pursue his dream of discovering exotic corners of the globe over several summer tours —a passion that would stay with him forever.
After earning his undergraduate degree at University of Alberta and an MBA from the Ivey School of Business, Robbie went on to have a distinguished career in marketing and sales, working with industry giants like Proctor and Gamble and Alberto-Culver. In the late 1960s, he became enamored with cutting-edge printing techniques, leading him to establish a printing business. Later, he transitioned into academia, serving as a professor at Humber College and Ryerson University. His influence extended beyond the classroom as a trusted consultant to the printing industry, delivering keynote talks at conferences throughout the United States and Canada.
In the 1980s, Robbie's wanderlust drew him to the Far East, where he combined business and exploration. For five summers, he was part of a government partnership between Canada and China, teaching sales and marketing courses in regions where westerners were a rare sight. After fulfilling his teaching duties, he would embark on extensive journeys through the region visiting countries like Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia, Tibet and Burma, while collecting artifacts that enriched his home and inspired countless stories.
Robbie was not only an intellectual but also a lover of the arts, particularly jazz music. His passion for reading and boundless curiosity made him a wealth of knowledge on a wide range of subjects. His quick wit and penchant for humorous phrases endeared him to all who met him.
Robbie found enduring happiness and serenity with his second wife, Anne Allen, his devoted companion of nearly 25 years. Anne's unwavering presence provided comfort during Robbie's declining health, a testament to their enduring love.
Robbie's son Jeremy, daughter-in-law Catherine, and their children, Gretchen, Fisher, and Noah, found much joy in their visits to Smokey Hollow, Robbie and Anne's beloved home near Schomberg, Ontario. The owners, Marin and Geoff Guy, were more than landlords; they were cherished friends who made Smokey Hollow a place of warmth and welcome.
In retirement, Robbie cherished his winters in Coronado, near San Diego, where he served as a docent on the aircraft carrier USS Midway. This experience allowed him to draw upon his early days in the Canadian Navy, his love for history, and his passion for teaching as he gave tours of the ship, forging lasting friendships with fellow volunteers.
Despite his health struggles, Robbie maintained a positive outlook, especially during visits from Jeremy, Catherine, and the grandchildren he adored. He showered them with praise and encouragement, emphasizing the importance of love, which he believed was the ultimate priority.
Robbie’s family would like to express their gratitude to the dedicated and compassionate staff at Bradford Valley Care Community for their unwavering support and care during these past couple of years. Your tireless efforts and empathy played an essential role in ensuring Robbie's comfort and well-being in his final years.
In Robbie's passing, we mourn the loss of a man who inspired us with his thirst for knowledge, sense of adventure, and unwavering love for his family. He leaves a legacy of love, exploration, and laughter that will remain in our hearts.