Mr. Stanley Heber Robinson, 85, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, June 4, 2014, at Vidant Medical Center, surrounded by family. The funeral service will be held at Wilkerson Funeral Home on Sunday at 2 p.m. Burial will follow at Pinewood Memorial Park Mausoleum.
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Mr. Robinson was a lifelong resident of Pitt County. He was born on Sept. 4, 1928, on the family farm in Ayden. He was the first son of ten children born to the late Willie Heber and Gladys Stox Robinson. He was predeceased by his siblings, Wayland (Winnie) W. Robinson, Clifton (Bo) L. Robinson, Frances J. Briley, Nina L. Helms, Lillian J. Gurganus, and Dewey A. Robinson.
He was educated in the Pitt County school system and thereafter, served his country in the 2nd BN of the United States Marine Corps. After service in the Corps, he began working with Ace High Towers as a tower erector. There he found his calling and passion. In 1957, he and his wife, Verona, started Robinson Tower Company that later became Robinson Tower, Inc. He erected towers and turnkey installations for AM and FM radio, two-way radio, microwave, TV, and cellular sites in almost every state and several countries outside the US. He was an ardent perfectionist for each site and took great pride in his company's work. He was especially proud of installing the first TV tower in Puerto Rico, the first educational TV tower in eastern North Carolina, the first TV tower for Channel 12, the radar Doppler system for Channel 7, the first cellular towers in North Carolina, and the tower for the microwave service and AM radio system for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. He designed, engineered and manufactured many of the tools and equipment of his trade. He gave numerous relatives their start in life as an employee in his company. His brother, Kenneth Robinson started with the company in 1965 and remains there today. He considered all his employees extended family members.
He dearly loved his family and was quick to brag about each of them. He never met a stranger, only a new friend. He was always interested in who you were and where you were from, and often replied, "I put up a tower there!" He came from humble circumstances, believed that God blessed him with a successful company, and that he was required to share those blessings with those who had fallen on bad times. He was a "true character" with a tremendous heart and would begin most of his stories with "you won't believe...." In his early years, he owned cars that raced on the dirt tracks that preceded NASCAR. Later, he would act as crew chief and mechanic for his son who raced motorcycles on the East Coast. He remained an avid racing fan watching the weekend races while reclining in his favorite chair. His greatest joy was visiting with his many friends and large extended family.
He is survived by his beloved wife of 62 years, Verona Whichard Robinson; daughter, Jackie LeFever of Fayetteville; son, Les Robinson and wife, Vonda, of Greenville; grandchildren, Lisa and Eva LeFever of Fayetteville and Caroline Lassiter, Clay and Kate Robinson, all of Greenville; sister, Pauline Tetterton and husband, Al; brother, Pete Robinson and wife, Betty; and brother, Kenneth Robinson and wife, Marye, all of Greenville.
The family will receive friends tonight from 5 to 7 at Wilkerson Funeral Home.
Flowers are welcomed or memorial contributions may be made to Sweet Gum Grove Original Free Will Baptist Church, Building Fund, P.O. BOX 156, Stokes, NC 27884.
Online condolences at www.wilkersonfuneralhome.com.
A.C. Robinson & Son Funeral Home
1100 Southern Avenue Elizabeth City, NC 27909
Published in The Daily Reflector on June 7, 2014