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John S. Robinson

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John S. ROBINSON Born in Seattle June 25, 1921, died March 11, 2003, in Olympia. He was 81. John grew up in the Denny Blaine neighborhood with parents John S. Robinson and Edith Lind Robinson, and brothers Sam and Irving, all of whom preceded him in death. He graduated from Garfield High School in 1938 and pursued undergraduate studies at Stanford University and the University of Washington. During WWII he worked as a Japanese translator for the Navy In Pearl Harbor, and was part of the first reconstruction team to enter Japan after the war. In 1949 John graduated from Yale Law School, following in the footsteps of his father, a Washington State Supreme Court Justice. Over the next five decades John practiced law, for a time with the firm that is now Preston Gates and Ellis, and, after his move to Olympia, for the Attorney General¹s office. He also produced notable journalism for several Northwest publications, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Argus, and the Seattle Weekly. In his signature elegant and mannerly style, John composed an impressive body of writing on civic issues, the arts, local politics, and Northwest luminaries. He traveled the world: trekking in Peru, photographing turtles in the Galapagos, filing reports for the P-I from ports of call in Africa. He also worked to preserve green space and parkland in Olympia, fighting off developers on Cooper Point in the Œ70s and, more recently, helping to mastermind the creation of Watershed and Sylvester parks. He was a member of the Seattle Tennis Club, the Men's University Club, the Washington State Bar Association, and Alpha Delta Phi fraternity. John is survived by nieces and nephews Linda Robinson of Issaquah, Rob and Susan Robinson of Sammamish, Diane and Russ Haehl of Clyde Hill, Kathryn Robinson and Tom Braman of Seattle, and cousins Susan and Fred Jarrett of Mercer Island and Steve and Terry Lind of Olympia. He is also survived by admiring friends the world over, who will miss John¹s intellect, loyalty, strong will, and engagement with the world. Services will be held on Saturday, March 22, 2003, 2 p.m. at St. John's Episcopal Church in Olympia, Capitol Way at 19th. In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made to the Northwest Chamber Orchestra (206-343-0445) or Olympia Parks, Arts and Recreation (360-753-8380).
Published in The Seattle Times from Mar. 16 to Mar. 18, 2003
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