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Mark Reid Robin

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Mark Reid Robin Obituary
Mark Robin arrived in Big Sky, Montana in 1993 with his wife Jackie, their dog Niner, a cat and baby Andrew. He was a native New Yorker who had never done a mountain sport in his life, who rocked nipple rings and loved his black leather pants. He was a poet and a Mets fan; a man who would spend the next three decades raising his family, building a business which became an anchor of community in the growing ski town, and pursuing his many and varied passions.

During these years he would perfect his handstand (but not his backbend) in yoga, untie countless flies next to the Gallatin while teaching his three sons to fish, ski tram laps on the gullies, skate ski, mountain bike (with a family that grew to include three sons) develop the best wine selection in Big Sky, and become known as a true and honest friend who had absolutely no ability to be disingenuous.

Mark didn't know how to be fake or false. He had only one way of being- and that was real. He wore his emotions on his sleeve: He teared up at the sight of an old friend, a touching story, and every graduation and wedding. If he needed to throw a little fit about the vendor that parked in the wrong spot on Christmas day or blow his lid about the guy who dropped off the beer and didn't put it all away, he did. But the vendors loved him. He saw everyone as a human being, from the drivers, to the customers, to his employees, who he took pride in mentoring. He put on no airs, he had no pretense-what you saw was what you got with Mark.

He loved what he did; he grew up as a retailer's son and loved working back to back with his own sons at the registers. His own store, the Hungry Moose Market and Deli started as a roadside vegetable stand in 1994 and moved into a storefront later that fall as the area's first natural foods grocery. Over the years, it moved to a final location in the new Town Center and later expanded with a second store at the base of the Big Sky Resort ski area.

The Hungry Moose soon became a gathering place; a community center for a new and growing town. Mark knew his customers' names and stories and loved the many returning clientele who came in and out with the seasons. Children loved him, and he was devoted to his own as well as his nieces and nephews and the many children of his friends who also considered him family.

He was known to give to any local cause, and he and his family helped many families and community endeavors over the years.

He was devoted to his parents. He was the primary caregiver for his mother, Pearl and his father Stan. He took seven trips during one year of his mother's battle with cancer. When his father needed more care, he brought him out to Montana and cared for him for until his death from Parkinson's in 2016, shortly before Mark was diagnosed with ALS.

Mark handled his illness with the same grace, kindness, generosity and sense of humor with which he had lived his life. He brought people together. He attended football games, graduations, weddings and community events even when he had lost the ability to walk, move and talk, the community he had created followed him, always delighted by his beautiful and warm smile, which said everything. He was compelled to write, and re-started his blog, http://markymooseinbigsky.blogspot.com as a way of telling the very honest story of his struggle with ALS. In the spring the family hosted a community wide event, Soul Shine, which raised over $20,000 for causes supporting living a full life with ALS as well as those working on a cure. Just two weeks ago, he marked his 56th birthday with a community concert raising funds for a Lone Peak High School service trip to Nepal.

Mark Robin was born Nov. 30, 1961 in Forest Hills, New York to Stanley and Pearl Robin. He was the third of four boys, Louis, Harold and Benjamin, and grew up in Hewlett, New York where he graduated from Hewlett High School in 1979. He graduated from Columbia University in 1983 with a degree in economics and a minor in creative writing. William Carlos Williams was his favorite poet because, like Mark, he was the kind of poet who was about observing, Williams lived the life of a doctor but was a poet. Mark's poems also chronicled every day life; Mark didn't like flowery or overly poetic language.

He met his life partner, Jackie Roberts in New York City in1986, the year the Mets won the World Series. Their first date lasted three days; they married in 1990 at his family's home in upstate New York. Mark was fortunate to be attended in his illness by his incredibly devoted, organized and tireless wife Jackie who made sure his life was full even as his disease took everything but his brilliant mind. He was also surrounded by a devoted group of women and friends including Candice Brownmiller, Tracy Jacobson, Curtly Shea and so many others.

His sons Andrew, Micah and Howie were by his side throughout his illness, coming home from college and jobs to care for him. Family also came often to assist including Alex and Julie Roberts, Jennifer and Clark Shuart and Andy and Liz Roberts.

Mark is survived by his wife Jackie, three sons, Andrew, Micah and Howie, his three brothers and their wives, Louis and Ruth, Harold and Cyndy, Benjamin and Stacy, by his brothers and sisters in law, Jennifer and Clark, Alex and Julie, Andy and Liz and his devoted mother in law Peggy Roberts and father-in-law Jack Roberts as well as numerous beloved cousins, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews and countless friends.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 21 at The Big Sky Chapel followed by internment at Sunset Hills Cemetery in Bozeman. A celebration of life will be held on Friday, Dec. 22 from 2 p.m.-5 p.m. at The Rainbow Ranch in Big Sky.

In lieu of flowers the family requests donations to be made in Mark's name to any Non-Profit organization of Big Sky, Team Gleason and Temple Beth Shalom of Bozeman.
Published in Bozeman Daily Chronicle on Dec. 20, 2017
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