Wilkes Coleman Robinson

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  • "I served with Wilkes on the Court of Federal Claims and as..."
    - Loren Smith
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The Honorable Wilkes Coleman Robinson, 89, of Destin, Florida entered The Kingdom of Heaven on May 11, 2015 in the comfort of his home. He was born September 30, 1925, in Anniston, Alabama. Wilkes graduated from Anniston High School in 1943 and served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He attended the University of Alabama where he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in history. He was a member of the Kappa Alpha fraternity and had membership to the Phi Eta Sigma and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies. He excelled at weightlifting winning heavy weight and middle weight titles in the SEC and tumbling which, along with his outgoing personality, earned him a position on the Crimson Tide Cheerleading Team. Wilkes went on to attend the University Of Virginia School Of Law and graduated in the top third of his class. While attending Law School he continued weightlifting and was runner-up Mr. Virginia in 1950 and 1951. Wilkes returned to Anniston and began to practice law with the Firm of Bibb and Hemphill. He was appointed Municipal Judge of Anniston and then accepted the appointment of Judge for Calhoun County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Wilkes was licensed to practice law in the states Ala., Mo., Kan., Va. and the District of Columbia. Judge Robinson spent the next part of his career practicing corporate law beginning with the Gulf Mobile and Ohio Railroad in Mobile, Ala., the Seaboard Coastline Railroad in Richmond, Va. He moved to St. Louis, Missouri to practiced law for Monsanto Chemical Company and then onto Marion Laboratories in Kansas City, Mo. where he was Vice President and General Counsel. He became President and Chairman of Great Plains Legal Foundation. The Foundation was a conservative based effort to provide legal aid to cases where the government regulations infringed on the rights of people. One of the key cases that Robinson supported was won at the United States Supreme Court and involved equal access to campus facilities at public universities for religious student organizations. Great Plains Legal Foundation eventually became the now well-know, Landmark Legal Foundation. Wilkes Robinson was appointed to the Court of Federal Claims in Washington, D.C. by President Ronald Reagan in 1987. Judge Robinson presided at the Court until 2003. Wilkes was preceded in death by his parents, Walter Wade and Catherine Elizabeth Robinson (Bessie Coleman); his brother, Walter Wade Jr.; and his first wife, Julia Von Poellnitz Rowan of 48 years. Wilkes is survived by his loving wife, Dorothy Anne Robinson, of Destin; sons, Dr. Randolph C. Robinson (Ginger), of Denver, Colo.; Peyton H. Robinson Esq. (Chanté), of Salt Lake City, Utah; Dr. Thomas Wilkes (Elizabeth) Robinson, of Dothan, Ala.; stepsons, Brian A. LaVictoire Esq. (Jennifer), of Howell, Mich. and Benjamin D. (Allyson) LaVictoire, of Crestview, Fla.; grandchildren, Eric, Scott (Melody), Anna, Thomas, Caroline, Carter, Emmett, Jameson and Harper; great-granddaughter, Emily Kate. Wilkes was a member of Immanuel Anglican Church and a committed believer in Jesus. He was a member of the Rotary, the ROMEO's, Kelly Plantation Bible Study and the Scottish Rite. Wilkes loved to work out and was a lifelong fitness buff and advocate. He had a lifelong love of both tennis and golf. A great lover of music, who played the guitar and loved to dance, Wilkes enjoyed these activities well into his later years. A funeral service will be held at Immanuel Anglican Church on Saturday, May 16, 2015. A visitation for family and friends of Wilkes will be held at the church beginning at 10 a.m. A celebration of Wilkes life will be held at 11a.m. with a reception to follow. A graveside service will be held at the family site in Edgemont Cemetery in Anniston, Ala. at a date yet to be announced. In lieu of Flowers please make donations to Immanuel Anglican Church Building Fund or Gentiva Emerald Coast Hospice. Wilkes was a great and good man who leaves a wonderful legacy. By his very nature he was a humble and unassuming man who had great warmth and charisma. He brought grace and diligence to all of his life's assignments and he rendered the most distinguished service in everything he ever did- soldier, lawyer, foundation executive, federal judge and devoted husband and father. He shared a great love of people by making friends wherever he went. His kindness and generosity touched the lives of many. He will be greatly missed by his family and the multitude of friends he made throughout his life. It is with sadness we say goodbye, but with great joy we celebrate his entrance into God's Kingdom. Please visit www.daviswatkins.com to sign the guestbook, express condolences and share memories.
Published in The Anniston Star on May 13, 2015
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