Robin D. Ellison
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RUTLAND, VT - Robin D. Ellison, 56, died unexpectedly Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, at Rutland Regional Medical Center.

He was born in Hanover, NH, July 22, 1957, the son of George F. and Nancy (Sprout) Ellison, and grew up in White River Jct., VT.

Robin was a 1975 graduate of Hartford High School, earned his bachelor's degree from Bates College in 1980, and his master's degree from Antioch New England Graduate School in 1988.

He worked as a counselor for Rutland City Schools for several years. Previously, he had worked as a counselor at Woodstock Union High School, and coached cross-country ski teams at Woodstock, Lebanon and Hanover High Schools. He was a mentor and source of inspiration for many young people through his work and coaching.

He was an avid cross-country skier, hiker, contra-dancer and ultimate Frisbee player. Robin's whimsical sense of humor was often displayed in productions by the Parish Players, Light Opera of Norwich, Open Fields Circus and VPR's Panther Players. He was a devoted follower of the Red Sox and student of the game of baseball.

Robin is survived by his brother, Walter Ellison, and his wife, Nancy Martin, of Chestertown, MD; his sister, Gayle Ellison-Davis, and her husband, Barry Davis, of Bloomfield, NJ; his niece, Sophie Davis, and nephew, Ian Ellison; his step-mother, Molly Lofgren, of Duxbury, MA; his step-sister, Kristen Dennison, and her family of Dover, MA; his step-brother, Eric Lofgren, and his family of Lewisburg, PA; and his dear friend, Lisa Chapman, of Rutland.

He was predeceased by his mother in 1985, and his father in 2012.

A memorial service will be held in March.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Robin Ellison J2 Championship scholarship fund at the New England Nordic Ski Association, 49 Pineland Dr., Suite 301A, New Gloucester, ME 04260; or the Rutland Community Cupboard, PO Box 1272-A, Rutland, VT 05701. Online condolences may be offered at

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Rutland Herald on Jan. 25, 2014.
Memories & Condolences
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9 entries
February 13, 2014
We have not seen Robin since college but we fondly remember him as a great and friendly classmate. Beth and Boon Ooi
Boon Ooi
January 30, 2014

How Do We Measure Greatness?
If one would seek to measure the "Greatness" of a person, how would it be done? Some would assess stature, the quantity of possessions, or perhaps, the way a person kept audiences in awe with the gift of persuasive speech. I find however, these are NOT what is considered a measure of "True Greatness". What I feel depicts this more so, lies in a simple statement made by Jesus of Nazareth. He said, "If any one of you would aspire to greatness, let him/her, become as one who serves"(paraphr. Mk 9:35).

If I had ONE word to describe Robin Ellison, it would be, "Servant".


Robin's quiet fortitude & tenacity exemplified through word and actions, evidenced a model of integrity for others to emulate.

Robin's care for others triumphed over his personal nemesis, as he sought to "mirror" to others how to turn the struggles they faced, into "little victories"....

And much like the beautiful Morning Glory, which hides away its' beauty from the bright, scorching heat of
the mid-day Sun, Robin sought solace from the daily challenges he encountered helping others, through his music, active sport interests, navigating the information labyrinth",
and the company of a few close friends.
Robin evidenced the Quiet Strength of The Majestic Oak, & often spoke a wisdom evidencing a deeper understanding of life's' intricacies. His favorite tree was the Rowan; his bird, the mysterious, funny & sometimes quirky, Raven. It seems he found in these, an "identity" to the Nature he loved, which in some ways, bore similarity to himself.
His was a life of "mindfulness", as he sought "balance in all things."

In work, as well as other arenas of life, Robin remained "afloat" as Mentor, teaching & encouraging others to "swim upstream" against the chaos in their lives.
He was "EVER-READY" & WILLING to assist the needy, effervescent children he worked with.
He brought a lightness of heart a midst turmoil. He influenced others to get,"in sync", with the flowing" River of Life & Joy"...That was....Robin.

Robins' increasing self knowledge, acceptance, & appreciation of his personal incongruities, fueled his capacity to motivate & encourage others
to further understand & love themselves. He was a "Willing Catalyst", exciting & extending to others the energy to embrace the vision,
"I CAN CHANGE...GROW...BECOME!!" He helped bring peace, purpose & direction in the many lives he was gifted to touch.

His humor and persona brightened and brought laughter & smiles to the faces of those he interacted with.
Robins' exemplary picture of compassion, generosity, love, and exuberance for life flowed to & lovingly surrounded those who knew him.

His life, abundantly shared with those who were gifted by his gentle, powerful presence, is a "True Measure," descriptive of "Greatness".
He was a "Beautiful Friend" & Mentor, and will be missed more than words can express.

To Robin, Our Beautiful Friend....

Tess & The Garland Family
Tess N.
January 29, 2014
I wanted to take the time to reflect on Robin as I knew him. I met Robin my first or second year of coaching cross country skiing at Concord High School. He immediately impressed me as someone who was open to sharing his ideas and skills with others. As I was a new coach I welcomed his input and his willingness to take the time to answer my many questions.

Over the years we became much closer and shared many coaching activity togethers. We collaborated on curriculum for camps at Lake Placid, ski articles and presentations for both athletes and coaches. And I have great memories of skiing with Robin and his teams at Mt. Ste. Anne in Quebec. But Robin's lasting legacy will be the ground work he laid for what is now known as the New Hampshire Nordic Coaches Series.

In the late 1980's a state wide meet in New Hampshire would attract barely 100 skiers. Robin suggested that by creating a ‘B' Division, those schools that weren't competitive with the top ski schools would now have a reason to bring their skiers to a state meet. Over the course of the next spring and summer Robin and a group of 6-8 coaches met on a regular basis ironing out all the intricacies of this hoped for new series of races.

The first meet was hosted by Concord and attracted almost 200 High School skiers to a relay race during Christmas vacation. Robin's vision of inclusion had been an immediate success.
And the latest version of this race series that was held this past weekend had over 750 registered High School, Prep and Middle School skiers.

While the legacy of this event is important what is even more important to remember is Robin's underlying philosophy of inclusion. The Robin I knew was always seeking ways to make our sport accessible and understandable to any and all who wanted to participate.

While I would spend hour upon hour talking about technique and form and other minutia, Robin would sit patiently listening and then remind me that it wasn't what the skiers or coaches heard me say, but what they could feel. He would remind me time and time again that in order for our skiers to learn a new task they had to feel it working for them. This was Robin's practical side.

While talk is great for the teacher and the coach, the student and athlete needed to be introduced to the practical side of the task. How does it work for them and what does that feel like.

While I haven't had the opportunity to have nearly as much contact with Robin since he left our fine state to live and work back in Vermont, the lessons he taught me are as fresh and pertinent today as they were more then 25 years ago when I first him.

Robin had many facets to is life. The one I was involved with and shared with him has made me a much better coach and person. It is sad that we lost him so soon. I know I will miss him greatly.
Allan Herschlag
January 27, 2014
My son Matthew thought very highly of Mr. Ellison. We are very sorry to hear of his passing. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family at this very sad difficult time. May you all find peace in knowing he will always be in your hearts! RIS will not be the same without him!
Sara McDonald
January 27, 2014
I will always think of you, Robin, when I see cream pies and clowns. Almost 30 years ago you managed to get dozens of your friends to toss a hundred of cream pies at one another in celebration of your 30th. That day was an overflowing cornucopia of laughter and silliness. Then just a few years ago you were part of a quartet of clowns at our wedding. You were the clown who was hit with another cream pie. (Clowns at weddings are the best way to start a marriage!) You loved being a catalyst for not taking ourselves too seriously and for reminding us how to play, even at times when you were struggling to find your own path to joy and laughter. You will be missed and if I am am lucky enough to be in another pie fight, I will definitely throw a few for you.
Petey Becker
January 26, 2014
We will live the rest of our lives with you in our hearts and minds, and funny bones, and we will never be the same for having shared so many things over the years. Our porch is always there for you to hang your hammock, but wherever you are, I hope the snow is perfect.
Sally Duston
January 26, 2014
Ah Robin! You wore a kilt to my wedding then proceeded to sit in my husband's lap after the ceremony. Your infectious chuckle and wry humor were always appreciated, as were your insightful observations about our world and the Red Sox. What I most appreciated about you was that you knew you; you were a keen examiner of yourself and were present with who you were. You walked the talk. Thank you for sharing the road with me a while.

Dolores Carbonneau
January 25, 2014
Robin was a fellow outing club member at Bates. He was unlike anyone I'd ever met. The works is lesser for his passing.
Brian McBride
January 25, 2014
Mr Robin. You made such a wonderful impression son life that he.will carrie for ever. When he need a friend im glad you were there to guide him. You will live on in all your students.
Amy - Dominic Fitzgerald
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