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Donald W. Robinson

1921 - 2014 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Donald W. Robinson Obituary

Donald Wallace Robinson, 92, of Avon, CT passed away peacefully at his home on Saturday, May 3, 2014. Married to his lifelong love, Pauline Louise Ries Robinson, they have shared 67 years together in a life rich with love, family and many interests. Don was born in Minocqua, Wisconsin on September 28, 1921, an only son to Donald Wallace Robinson and Ina Mae Edwards Robinson of Somerville, MA and Unionville, CT. His faith and family was most important to him. He leaves his wife Polly, daughter Louise Talotta and her husband Bruno of Farmington, CT, son Douglas Robinson and his wife Dana of Greenlawn, NY, son Gordon Robinson and his wife Tina of New Port Richey, FL and daughter Paula Robinson of Avon, CT. Don will be sadly missed by his 9 grandchildren and great-grandson; grandchildren Erik Person of New Britain, CT, Michael, Daniel and John Robinson and Giles Rutson of Greenlawn, NY, James Graham of New Port Richey FL, Kevin Robillard of Tulsa, OK , Jessica Rubin of West Hartford, CT and Michael Rubin of Avon, CT and great-grandson, Jacob Person of Syracuse, NY. Don graduated with High Honors from Northeastern University in 1947 with a BS degree in Mechanical Engineering. His college education was supplemented with specialized classes in helicopter stability and management development at Texas A&M University and MIT. Receiving his MS in Management from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1963, his lifelong pursuit of learning and professional contributions to an aerospace career included holding 3 patents and publications in notable journals such as the Office of Naval Research Symposium and the Journal of American Helicopter Society. His early education was paused by serving in WW ll with the U.S. Army Air Force from 1943 - 1946. Don was awarded the Good Conduct, WW ll Victory and ATO medals. He graduated from flight school, was an instructor for the Radio Mech AAF 754th and played in the Army Air Force Band. His professional career began in 1947 at Chance Vought Aircraft, where he and his wife worked in Fairfield, CT and later in Dallas, Texas until 1950. Joining Kaman Aircraft Corporation in Bloomfield, CT in 1950 to support new helicopter innovation, Don worked in engineering, management and marketing roles until his retirement at age 65 as Sr. Vice President of Marketing for the company. His responsibilities included working with international military leaders and the Pentagon. He was a member of many organizations including the American Helicopter Society and American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. Don's family and friends have many memories of his interests and talents that include membership in the Valley Collector Car Club where he would show his 1969 Buick Electra convertible and Gazelle kit car that replicates a 1927 Mercedes Benz SSK racing car. Playing the saxophone, clarinet and bagpipes, music was an important part of family life. Most recently, Don played the tenor saxophone and sang as he led a small swing band, 'The High Tones'. He also served as Pipe Major playing the bagpipes with the Stewart Highlander Pipe Band for many years. His musical talent across the years generated many opportunities from playing in Boston jazz clubs paying for his college tuition to sitting in with the great Tommy Dorsey Band. His love of nature and the sea was important, sailing from the time he was a young boy. He provided many sailing experiences for his children when they spent summers on the Maine coast. His personal values were grounded in strong faith, serving as Eucharistic Minister at St. Mary's Episcopal Church in Hazardville, CT where the family lived from 1950 to 1965. Moving to Avon, he and Polly joined Christ Episcopal Church where he continued to serve until 2013 before becoming a member of Saint Matthew Lutheran Church in Avon. A service honoring his life will be held at Saint Matthew Lutheran Church, 224 Lovely Street, Route 177, Avon, CT on Saturday, May 10, at 11:00 am. Following the service, burial with full military honors will take place at Greenwood Cemetery at 644 Lovely Street, placed near his beloved parents. Charitable contributions in Don's memory, rather than flowers, are encouraged to be made to the Connecticut Junior Republic at http://www.ctjuniorrepublic.org/ in Litchfield, CT or the Fidelco Guide Dog Foundation at https://www.fidelco.org/ in Bloomfield, CT. Arrangements are being handled by The Ahern Funeral Homes, Inc., 111 Main St., Rte. 4, Unionville, CT. For online condolences or to share a memory with the family, please place messages at www.ahernfuneralhome.com.

Published in The Hartford Courant on May 8, 2014
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