ROBERT W ROBIN
Rob passed away on December 1 from heart disease. Son of long-time San Bernardino residents Art and Grace Robin, he graduated from Pacific High in 1966. He received a bachelor's in Psychology from UC Berkeley and a PhD in psychology from the University of Papua New Guinea. Rob spent most of his adult life providing mental health care services to indigenous peoples. He provided psychological counseling to Papua New Guineans shortly after their independence in the 1970s. Rob lived on the Hopi reservation in Arizona for many years, managing the tribe's mental health programs. He teamed with researchers at Yale University studying alcoholism among native Alaskans in the Alaskan panhandle. And he was CEO of a non-profit providing health care services to native Americans in the Flagstaff, Arizona area. Rob most recently resided in Flagstaff.
In honor of the life and work of his wife, Dr. Barbara Chester, who predeceased him, he was instrumental in establishing with the Hopi Foundation The Barbara Chester Award, an award for outstanding clinicians/practitioners who treat victims of torture, their families, and communities. Since the award was first presented in 2000 to an honoree from Zimbabwe, recipients have come from Honduras, the United States, Turkey, and Rwanda. The selection committee is a world-wide group of individuals with a substantial lifetime commitment to human rights.
Rob's compassion, humanity, and charisma have resulted in many friends worldwide who will sorely miss his intelligence, humor, and his deep empathy for people. He was one of those rare individuals who had the dedication and strength of character to help disadvantaged groups of people, yet the personal touch to impact many, many individuals.
Rob is survived by his sister, Gail Zaritsky of Los Angeles, CA, his brother, Ken Robin of Oakland, CA, nephews and nieces, his Hopi family, and many, many friends worldwide.
Contributions to Rob's memory may be made to the Hopi Foundation at www.hopifoundation/support.
Published in San Bernardino Sun on Dec. 11, 2013