GREENFIELD, Mass. - John Allen Robinson, 89, passed away peacefully at Buckley Nursing Home in Greenfield, on Nov. 22, 2011. His wife of 52 years, Norma (Chase) Robinson predeceased him in 2002.
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A military memorial service will take place at the New Hampshire Veterans' Cemetery in Boscawen, New Hampshire on Friday, Sept. 7, at 11:45 a.m.
John was born in Concord, New Hampshire on June 27, 1922, the son of Henry L. and Margaret E. Robinson. He graduated from St. John High School in 1938 at 15, where he was the school's sports reporter. He also was the official scorer and reporter for the Sunset Baseball League in Concord and coached Little League baseball.
In 1940, John entered the employ of the Boston and Maine Railroad, working in the Superintendent's office in Boston until enlisting in the U.S. Navy in June of 1942. He served until the end of World War II, attaining the rank of petty officer first class. He served in the Tunisia campaigns and participated in the invasions of Gela, Sicily, Salerso and Anzio, Italy and in the Gulf of St. Tropez in southern France. John was assigned to the USS YMS -226, a 126 foot wooden minesweeper. He was on the lead vessel in all campaigns. The ship personnel received a special action commendation from the Task Group Commander for their outstanding performance in the Anzio campaign. They rescued or recovered 57 living and perished men from sunken landing craft at Anzio in 1944.
John received the Good Conduct Medal, the World War II Victory Medal, and the American Campaign Medal . He also received the European-Middle Eastern Medal with four bronze stars, one for each invasion. John later received
recognition from the French government for Liberation of France.
After being discharged in 1946, John returned to work with the Boston and Maine Railroad. He transferred to Greenfield, Massachusetts from Concord New Hampshire in 1967, and became the Superintendent of Safety and Fire Prevention , teaching the new hazardous materials requirements to numerous emergency service personnel and railroad employees in New England and in New York. He retired in 1984.
John was a devoted family man with a great wit. He adored music and attending musical events of all types and traveling with his wife visiting 47 of the 50 states. He loved going to Saratoga to the racetrack and to see the New York
City ballet perform. He especially loved traveling to Alaska where his daughter and family live. John also enjoyed sports, especially the Red Sox. For many years, he owned a baseball which he personally had autographed by Lou Gehrig, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams. In 2005, he donated his cherished baseball to the ALS Foundation.
He is survived by his daughter Dency Dokoozian (Jim) of Anchorage, Alaska, his son Dana Robinson (Debra) of Roswell, Ga., and four grandchildren: Emily Welch (Brooklyn, N.Y.), Morgan Welch (Anchorage, Alaska), Nicholas Robinson (Whately, Mass.) and Katelyn Reardon (Erving, Mass.) and cousins.
In lieu of flowers, John would be honored by memorial donations sent to the ALS Family Charitable Foundation, 121 Main St., Buzzards Bay, MA. 02532
Published in The Concord Monitor on Aug. 31, 2012