Frandsen, Robbie
Passed away peacefully at her home after a long illness, surrounded by loving friends and family. Born Robyn Kimbro Herron in Vallejo, CA, Robbie spent her childhood in Osening and Poughkeepsie, NY, Los Angeles, CA, and Tacoma, WA, before settling in North Hollywood and graduating in 1971 from Grant High. She became a born again Christian in 1971, a source of great strength through drug and alcohol addiction, decades of hard-won sobriety, the arrest and incarceration of her son and serious health challenges. Through it all, Robbie maintained a super-human resilience. She was best known for her joy in a well-turned phrase and for her fierce love of her son Benjamin. She was tough, caring and loyal to her friends. At 42, Robbie graduated Magna Cum Laude from USC with a B.A. in Applied Urban Social Science and went on to receive an MPA in Criminal Justice and Corrections from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government as a Litauer Fellow. In 2005, Robbie won a PEN-USA Emerging Voices Fellowship to write a memoir of her experience as the mother of a young man with no criminal record charged with two counts of first-degree murder. Robbie worked hard to tangibly improve lives, serving as Director of the Education Department at the Union Rescue Mission on Skid Row in Los Angeles and developing a GED and Tutoring Program for the Delancey Street Foundation. She founded PREP Solutions, Inc., the Post-Prison Employment Project, in Boston, for which she was an Echoing Green Fellow in 1999. Robbie also worked as Operations Manager at Harvard Business School and served as a Criminal Justice Research Assistant at the Kennedy School of Government. At the time of her death, Robbie was nearing completion of her memoir. Her loved ones are committed to seeing it published. Robbie is survived by her son Benjamin Frandsen, her ex-husband and friend Tom Frandsen, her niece Rain Perry, and a huge, diverse group of devoted compatriots. She is preceded in death by her parents Bob and Kae Herron, and her sister Melody Perry. There will be a brief memorial service in her honor followed by a potluck and sharing of stories and music on February 26, 2013 at 11 a.m. at the Hermon Community Church, 5718 Monterey Road, Los Angeles.

Published in The Boston Globe on Feb. 23, 2013