Leonard Robbins

Leonard Robbins, 92, of Hollywood, Florida, died peacefully at home on July 8, 2013. Mr. Robbins came to Florida in 1925, as one of the first Jewish settlers to the area. His family helped found Temple Emmanuel, the first Jewish Synagogue in South Florida. Mr. Robbins was a Florida resident through and through. He graduated from Fort Lauderdale High School in 1937. He then attended and graduated from the University of Florida in 1941. He thereafter decided to attend law school, and enrolled in Harvard Law School, intending to graduate with the Class of 1944. The Second World War delayed Mr. Robbins's plans for law school, and he enlisted in the United States Army Air Corps as a navigator. He flew fifty combat missions, serving first as a squadron, and then as a group navigator for the 450th Heavy Bombardment Group of the 15th Air Force, flying out of Manduria, Italy. Mr. Robbins earned two Distinguished Flying Crosses, two weeks apart, and was awarded the Air Medal with five Oak Leaf Clusters, among other citations. Mr. Robbins left the service as a Captain, and returned to Harvard Law School, graduating with the combined class for the years 1944-1947. After a brief residence in New York City, he returned to South Florida, where he founded the Hollywood law firm that eventually became known as Abrams, Anton, Robbins, Resnick and Schneider, P.A. He continued to practice law until he was 88 years old. He was elected to membership in the American Board of Trial Advocates and served as a South Florida representative to its National Board until his retirement from law practice. The South Florida community was good to Mr. Robbins, and he felt strongly that he had a duty to give back to that community. He did so in a big way, serving on the boards of the Florida Philharmonic, Florida Grand Opera, Gold Coast Jazz Society, Community Foundation of Broward, United Way, Salvation Army, Fort Lauderdale Historical Society, Broward County Historical Commission, and the Jewish Home and Hospital, of which he and his wife Sally were Founders. He received the Silver Medallion Brotherhood Award of the National Coalition of Christians and Jews, the Hollywood Community Service Award, the Stephen R. Booher Memorial Award, the Anti-Defamation League 2006 Jurisprudence Award, and the Chaminade/Madonna President's Founders Award, as well as being named the 1999 Outstanding Volunteer Fund Raiser by the National Society of Fund Raising Executives Broward Chapter. With his wife Sally, Mr. Robbins received the ArtServe Individual Leadership Award, the Art and Culture Center "Spirit of the Arts," and the Crystal Vision Award. Mr. Robbins' most important role was that of family man. He was devoted Husband to his wife of 53 years, Sally, Father to his two daughters, Karen Robbins and Jill Robbins, Father in Law to Frank Kruger-Robbins, and Grandfather to Michael and Molly Lewis, and Benjamin and Matthew Kruger-Robbins. He treasured his sister, Marjory Wohl, her husband Tommy, and their children, Jimmy, Susie, Patty and Billy. Sally's brother, James Sigman and his wife, Bernadette, and their children, David, Caitie and Jimmy, were like Mr. Robbins's own children and grandchildren. He is also missed deeply by Sally's sisters, Jo Ann, Judy and Trudy, their husbands, Bill and Fred, and their children, Jeanne, Christine, Donald, Robert, Fred, Frank and Jimmy. A Memorial Service will be held at the Broward County Center for the Performing Arts on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at 11:00 a.m. Because of construction at the Broward Center for the Performing Arts, the arrival and parking areas for the Center have been moved. Parking will be available in the A&E garage located on SW 5th Avenue between Broward Boulevard and the Broward Center. If you park in the garage, please use the Huizenga Skywalk entrance to the theater. You will be directed to the Abdo New River Room. Valet parking services will be available on West Las Olas Blvd. along the south wall of the Broward Center just off SW 7th Avenue two lights south of Broward Blvd.

Published in Sun-Sentinel on July 11, 2013