Robinette Bell

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  • "Robin and I met in 1944 as classmates Hunter High. I am..."
    - Marianne Heenan
  • "Dr Bell was my doctor in Denver when she was in her 80s...."
    - Pam D
  • "I can't believe today makes a year since we've lost Robin..."
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    - Norman Rosenthal
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1930 - 2017
Dr. Robinette N. Bell died peacefully in Daytona Beach, Florida, on August 17, 2017 at the age of 87.

She is survived by her husband of 47 years, M. Neil Redford, her three children and their spouses, Suzanne Kush (Kenneth Kush), of Chicago, IL, Don Bell (Marianne Bell) of Port Orange, FL, Dana Redford (Madalena Redford) of Lisbon, Portugal, and seven grandchildren.

Robinette Nixon was born on July 9, 1930 in New York City to film publicist, Virginia Morris and travel writer, Larry Nixon. She attended New York City’s Hunter College High School, then for gifted girls, and earned her BA in Arts from Smith College. An aspiring journalist upon graduation, she landed a job at LOOK Magazine. After five years as a writer, she decided to enroll in medical school to pursue her dream of becoming a psychiatrist.

She met her first husband, Donald Bell, through her medical studies; they married in 1959. Just after they both received their MD’s from Columbia College of Physicians and Surgeons in 1962, they were blessed with their first child, Suzanne. In 1964, during their psychiatry residency they welcomed their son Don. Robin specialized in Consult-Liaison psychiatry, and worked with patients on the Breast Cancer Service. She completed psychoanalytic training at Columbia in 1973, and maintained a private practice in Manhattan.

An Associate Professor in the Columbia Department of Psychiatry, she was cherished as a teacher, supervisor and mentor to generations of medical students and budding psychiatrists. She was known as an astute and creative clinician and a gentle supervisor.

In 1969, Robin separated from her first husband but soon afterwards she met Neil Redford, and they married in 1971. She gave birth to her third child, a son, Dana in 1976. Together they enjoyed international travel, a lifelong passion of hers. As a deeply intellectual and reflective person, Robin’s religious beliefs as a Unitarian Universalist were also of great importance to her.

Always young at heart and spirit, when she and Neil moved to Denver in 2004, Robin started a new private practice and joined the University of Colorado School of Medicine as an Associate Clinical Professor, where she again taught and counseled students.

Robin is remembered as a generous, elegant, adventurous woman, a dedicated doctor, devoted teacher, and caring friend, who had a far-reaching, enriching influence on many lives. Robin was a beloved mother and grandmother and found her true love with her husband, Neil.

A memorial service led by Senior Minister Galen Guengerich will be held in the chapel of the Unitarian Church of All Souls in New York City on Sunday, September 10th at 2pm in celebration of her life.
Published on from Aug. 21 to Aug. 22, 2017
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