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James Gary Robinson
James Gary Robinson, 82, of Prunedale, passed away peacefully at his home at 10:10 a.m. on Tuesday, August 20, 2013, with his family at his bedside.
He was born November 7, 1930, in Oklahoma to Calvin Calhoun and Verial Orinda Goddard Robinson as the Great Depression was growing in force across the country. A child of the Choctaw Nation, Jim ("Gary" to his many friends and family members) was descended from James Alexander Loran Robinson, one of the original Dawes Enrollees of 1905-1906 in Oklahoma.
His family moved to Salinas in 1942 shortly after the outbreak of World War II. Gary graduated from Salinas Union High School in 1948, attending Hartnell Junior College for his Associates degree. He enlisted in the Air Force in 1950, after the outbreak of the Korean War, later transferring his service branch to the Army in 1951 to complete Officer Candidate School as a member of the Army Field Artillery. He would serve his country in the Army until his retirement from the service as a Major.
Gary married his long-time love, Dorothy Clark Evans, in the Salinas Presbyterian Church in September 1952, upon his being commissioned 2nd Lieutenant in the U.S. Army. After his early release from active duty in 1953, they returned to California for the completion of his BA degree in Business at San Jose State.
Gary joined Kaiser Industries in 1956, and progressed through the company rapidly. Showing great promise, ambition, and a remarkable work ethic, he was promoted through a series of escalating assignments in Louisiana, Alabama, Tennessee, and California. The pinnacle came when he was named President of Kaiser Aluminum of Brasil, Ltd. (KABL) in 1970, a position that he excelled in, and one that remained his favorite assignment in his career.
He returned to Kaiser Center in Oakland, taking his retirement from Kaiser in 1985. He then relocated to Prunedale to go into real estate, and to be close to friends and family. An avid hunter, shooter, natural conservator, reader, and man of many interests, Gary brought a scientific approach to everything that he did. His many family members and friends were richly blessed by his active and generous life.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Mary; his brother, Philip; and his wife, Dorothy.
He is survived by his children, David W. Robinson, Vicki R. Robinson, Rondi L. Robinson, and Matthew S. Robinson; as well as five grandchildren, James, John, April, Holly and Joshua; plus nine great-grandchildren.
In accordance with the wishes of James Gary Robinson and his family, there will be no public funeral services. He will be buried as he wished with full military honors in the San Joaquin National Cemetery in Santa Nella, where his brother Philip is also interred, in the presence of his close family and friends.
Funeral arrangements by Struve and Laporte Funeral Home. Online condolences to www.struveandlaporte.com.
Published in The Salinas Californian on Aug. 23, 2013