"The fear of death follows from the fear of life. A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time." -- Mark Twain
Don P. Robeson was born on Jan. 18, 1943, in rural Scotland County, Mo. He died Sunday (Nov. 18, 2012).
He was the youngest of eight children born to Harold D. and Mabel Alice Primm Robeson.
Don was raised on the farm where he was born. He worked hard and played even harder with his brother, Harry, and his second mother Elsie. Life was good for a kid growing up on the farm. He always said that he was allowed many freedoms and experiences that most children were never allowed to have. Don and Harry would create mayhem and sister Elsie would have to save them both. He attended the one-room schoolhouse in Pleasant Hill through the eighth grade and rode his horse to and from school. Don graduated from Memphis (Mo.) High School in 1961.
Following graduation, Don worked as a psychiatric aide at the Mental Health Institute in Mount Pleasant, Iowa. It was while working there that he met Mary Ann Faler, and they were married on May 18, 1963. Following their marriage, they moved to Quincy, and Don started working at the Illinois Soldiers and Sailors Home.
During this time, he also attended Culver-Stockton College, graduating in 1967. At that time, he transferred over to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services. Don took an educational leave in 1969, and received his master's degree in social work from the University of Iowa
in 1971. Upon returning from graduate school, he was promoted to administrator at DCFS, where he worked until 1978. He then formed an agency, along with Tom Turner, called Robeson/Turner and Associates.
In 1984, Don went to work for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He served as assistant administrator and retired from the state of Illinois after 34 years of service.
Don was an avid horse lover and a quarter horse judge for many years. He loved all animals and rescued as many as he could.
Don is survived by Mary, his wife of 49 years; a daughter, Carin Eling of Wausaw, Wis.; son, Mark D. Robeson and his wife, Laurie, of Quincy; grandchildren, Daniel Eling of Seattle, Wash., Zachary Eling of Minneapolis, Minn., and Samantha and Blake Robeson, both of Quincy; a sister, also known as his second mother, Elsie Wybrant of Kirksville, Mo.; sisters-in-law, Margaret Robeson of Memphis, Mo., Ellen Robeson of Queen City, Mo., and Frances Robeson of Haistings, Minn.; and many wonderful nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; his brothers, Carl, Edward and Harry Robeson; his brother-in-law, Rolla "Bud" Wybrant; and a sister, Virginia Cary. His beloved pet dog, Beau, also preceded him in death.
SERVICES: 1:30 p.m. Friday in the Duker and Haugh Funeral Home with the Rev. George Tomko conducting. Interment will be in Greenmount Cemetery.
VISITATION: noon to 1:30 p.m. Friday in the funeral home.
MEMORIALS: Adams County Animal Shelter, from where Don rescued his dogs, Ranger and Juniper.
ARRANGEMENTS: Duker and Haugh Funeral Home.
Condolences may be expressed online at www.whig.com