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Robin Lyn Renshaw

1948 - 2019
Robin Lyn Renshaw Obituary

July 23, 1948 –
October 2, 2019

Robin was born to Robert Sherman Renshaw and Verna Irene Renshaw (Whitmore) in Shenandoah Iowa and raised in the nearby town of Clarinda. She graduated from Clarinda High School in 1966 and went on to attend Clarinda Community College, Colorado State College in Greeley, and Hayward State College California, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Fine Arts in 1971. Following graduation from Hayward Robin discovered a passion for early childhood education and realized that this was the life's work she was looking for - a way to make real, positive change in the world. She studied at the AMI Teacher Training Center of Northern California from 1974 to 1976, earning a post Baccalaureate Diploma in the Principles and Practice of the Montessori Method for Children. From 1975 to 1977 Robin taught at Gateway Montessori in San Francisco and then Children's Cultural Center (Montessori) in Marin. In 1977 she moved to Humboldt County with the dream of starting a Montessori preschool, and in 1980 Mad River Montessori Preschool was born. In 2008 Robin was offered the chance to move the school to its present location at the Saint Mary's Catholic Church campus on Janes Road in Arcata, and it flourishes there today under the able direction of Julie DiLorenzo. Altogether, Robin served as Mad River Montessori's director and head teacher from 1980 to 2015, only stepping down as she succumbed to increasing debilitation from Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis. Mad River Montessori was Robin's life's work, and she educated, inspired, and supported hundreds of children and their families while filling her life and the lives of so many friends with enjoyment of arts, literature, music, and nature. In all things Robin acted from a foundation of carefully focused observation, concentrating all of her effort on her life-long vision of helping to make the world a better place.
Robin was preceded in death by her father, Robert Sherman Renshaw, her mother, Verna Irene Renshaw (Whitmore), and is survived by her sister, Randy Dee Burke (Renshaw), husband, Richard Swisher, daughter, Katie Irene Swisher, son-in-law, Mike Shively, granddaughter, Mira Wren Shively, stepdaughter, Erica Ryan, niece, Emily Ann Lock (Burke), her husband, Troy and their children, Taylor and Colby Lock, nephew and their son, Cooper.
A memorial scholarship fund has been established at Mad River Montessori
Preschool in honor of Robin's strong belief that Montessori education should be accessible to families of all income levels. Donations can be made directly through their website, madrivermontessori.com or via check to Mad River Montessori, noting the scholarship in the memo.
A celebration of Robin's life followed by a finger food potluck will be held at 2:00 p.m. on March 28, 2020 at the Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 24 Fellowship Way, Bayside CA 95524.
To receive an email reminder please rsvp to: [email protected]
To read the full length obituary, please visit lostcoastcoastoutpost.com.
Published in Eureka Times-Standard on Nov. 10, 2019
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