Robbin W. Harvey, 78, died December 12, 2012 after battling cancer.
A life resident of Akron, she was co-valedictorian of Garfield High School and went on to get her dental hygiene degree from the Ohio State University
. In his best-selling book, The Road Less Traveled, Writer/Psychiatrist M. Scott Peck, M.D. asserts that Love is action; it is "effortful." Robbin W. Harvey exemplifies such a definition of active love. Since 1972, she has initiated and actively participated in the implementation of numerous Akron Area Community service programs which would not have come about without her initiative.
The driving force behind her many achievements is the church, and Robbin's belief in its traditional role to reach the community need. From the volunteer/outreach office of St. Paul's Episcopal Church, she has worked to bring together the leadership, resources and thousands of volunteers necessary to establish new community programs that serve individuals and families in need, especially those who are most likely to "fall through the cracks" of government assistance; the poor, the hungry, the homeless, the sick or mentally ill. As a young mother and PTA President, she learned of her ability to inspire group action as she led the initial fundraising activities for improvement of the recreational facilities at King Elementary School. As the Chair of the first Future Planning Committee of the Junior League of Ohio, she initiated long range planning. As a Board member of what is now the Volunteer Center, she responded to the needs of shut-ins by establishing a Friendly Visitors Program. As the first woman Board Member of Edwin Shaw Hospital, she recognized the need for a Woman's Auxiliary and brought in community leaders to launch the initial Woman's Auxiliary of the hospital.
Robbin has led and inspired such groups as the Volunteer Care Givers to offer respite to the "care givers" bound to their homes. Her work with the Salvation Army Advisory Board led her to see the need to provide a "day-time resource center" for the homeless. This resulted in her assuming the Chair position on a committee of concerned community leaders who, with the Salvation Army, were able to transform this idea into reality.
Robbin recognized the housing needs of the working poor and with the active support of her church and other churches in the community, she was able to bring together leaders from the religious community to create Habitat for Humanity of Greater Akron. From her office at St. Paul's, she launched the program and oversaw its operations in the initial stages. While serving as its first president, she presided over the establishment of the criteria and guidelines for the organizations and saw the first home completed.
As one of the original Board members of the Ohio Center for Family Development, she worked to promote the concept that people can be helped to become financially independent by working with the whole family. The concept has been proven to work and Family Development continues to work with families in Canton, Columbus and Cleveland. The model has been adopted by agencies in Akron although the parent agency has closed its doors.
In 1992, Robbin became a Deacon of the Episcopal Church as a member of its first Deacon class and was ordained on November 13, 1992; an unpaid member of the Clergy whose role is to carry the Love of God into the World with one foot in the Church, one foot in the Community.
Robbin served as President of Community Support Services and the Cuyahoga Valley Youth Ballet and served on the boards of Akron Area Association of Churches, Children's Concert, Junior League of Akron, and Interfaith Volunteer Caregivers. At St. Paul's she was a Sunday school teacher, director of Stephen Ministries, Junior Warden, EMC Chair and served as Director of Outreach and Missions. In the Episcopal Diocese she was President of Episcopal Church Women, Delegate to two Triennials, Alternate to General Convention, member of the Standing Committee and various commissions and committees. She served as Deacon at St. Paul's, Akron for one year, Christ Church, Hudson for five years and Christ Church, Shaker Heights for six years.
Robbin was preceded in death by her brother, William Whitestine. She is survived by husband, Frank H. Harvey, Jr.; daughter, Mary Earlene Harvey of Cuyahoga Falls; son, R. Scot Harvey of Akron; daughter, Char Harvey Glatley of Shaker Heights; grandchildren, Mary (Patrick) Bulford, William Harvey, Elizabeth Harvey, Michael Harvey, Melanie Harvey, Blake Glatley, Spencer Glatley; and brother, Robert Whitestine of Waynesville, Ohio.
Funeral services will be held 1 p.m. Saturday, December 15th, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 1361 W. Market St., Akron 44313 with the Rev. Mark J. Pruitt officiating. A reception will follow. Friends may call Friday, 4 to 7 p.m. at the Billow FAIRLAWN Chapel, 85 N. Miller Rd., Akron 44333. In lieu of flowers memorials may be made to the Robbin W. Harvey Fund of St. Paul's Episcopal Church. FAIRLAWN Chapel