Cornelius V. Robbins
Meyers Funeral Home, Ltd.
741 Delaware Avenue
Delmar, NY
DELMAR, N.Y. - Cornelius V. (Neal) Robbins, 82, President Emeritus of SUNY Cobleskill College (1986-1991), passed away on Sunday, Dec. 1, 2013 at home in Delmar, N.Y. after a long illness with Alzheimer's Disease. Neal was born on November 2, 1931 in Wilmington, Del. where he was raised by his parents Cornelius V., Sr. and Irene (Tatman) Robbins. Neal had a life-long affection for his home state of Delaware and his large extended family of aunts, uncles, and cousins who lived there. He is survived by his loving wife, Janet (Porter) Robbins; his four daughters, Eva Burke (Ray), Laurel Robbins, Susan Robbins (Jeff Kantor), and Melissa Beegle (Scott); his sister, Evelyn Lang (Fred); five grandchildren, Amanda (Burke) Thomas, Andrea (Burke) O'Brien, and Leslie, Tina and Margie Beegle; three great grandchildren, Drew and Jacob Thomas and Colleen O'Brien; and several nephews and nieces; and many close friends. All of whom he loved and cherished as they equally loved him. In his early years Neal worked in his father's hardware business, Robbins and Clark, in Wilmington, Del. After graduating from Wilmington Friends School in 1949 he attended the University of Delaware where he earned his undergraduate degree in political science and graduate degree in economics and political science. At the University of Delaware he met his future wife, Janet Porter, of Camden, Del. They married upon graduation in 1953. He later earned his doctorate in education from the University of Pennsylvania. Neal loved his country and served in the U.S. Army from 1954-1956, and then in the U.S. Army Reserves for twenty years until his retirement as a Major. In 1958, Neal began his long and dedicated career in education starting as a history teacher in Wilmington, Del. followed by positions in college administration including: Dean of Instruction at Ocean County College in Toms River, N.J.; Dean at the Community College of Delaware County in Media, Pa.; President of Genesee Community College in Batavia, N.Y.; Associate Chancellor for Community Colleges in SUNY Central Administration in Albany, N.Y.; Acting President of SUNY Potsdam in Potsdam, N.Y.; President of SUNY Cobleskill in Cobleskill, N.Y. where he retired from in 1991. He came out of retirement in 1992 to join the Department of Educational Administration at SUNY Albany to teach graduate courses in educational administration. After 16 years of teaching, Neal retired again in 2008. No matter which campus Neal was working, he was always a proud supporter of the students and could be seen at their athletic, musical, theatrical, academic and other organizational programs. Neal loved to spend time with his family and friends. Prior to his illness he was actively involved in tennis, golf, reading, and his church, Faith United Methodist Church in Schenectady, N.Y. He especially enjoyed spending time on his pontoon boat in Delaware with his wife Janet and family, as well as friends, who he encouraged to "come visit anytime and take a ride". A memorial service will be held at 2 p.m. with a gathering time from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2013 at Meyers Funeral Home in Delmar with Reverend Robert DeFelice from Faith United Methodist Church officiating. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Faith United Methodist Church, 811 Brandywine Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12308 or Community Hospice of Albany, 445 New Karner Rd., Albany NY 12205. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the following individuals: Dr. Kevin Costello for his kindness, numerous home visits, and for always being just a phone call away; Yvette, Neal's full-time care giver, who was by his side for over a year and who patiently and lovingly looked after Neal's physical and emotional well being and was an extraordinary support to both Neal and Janet; Ahmed and Melissa, Neal's additional care givers, who were so very kind and helpful to both Neal and Janet; and Manuel Alguero, Mark Berger and George Anker, Neal's close friends, who provided encouragement, visits and phone calls of support and concern these last few years.

Published by Delaware State News on Dec. 6, 2013.
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So sorry to hear of his passing. Please know you are in our thoughts and prayers.
-The Epps Family
Rachael Epps
December 11, 2013
I will miss my good colleague and friend Dr. Cornelius Robbins.
I enjoyed my relation to Neil as a scholar, Senior Administrator of SUNY System, College President, as well as my tennis and golf partner. Neil touched the lives of many individuals and was held in high regard by many friends around the nation, many of whom I had the pleasure to meet because of him. Neil and I traveled together in many an occasion. He was a great raconteur and thus long driving hours became of no consequence. Individuals from all walks of life, independent of their race. ethnic, religious and gender background felt and enjoyed his respect and consideration.
Neil,your memory will stay with me and will celebrate your life and our friendship, as long as I live.

Dr. Manuel Salvador Alguero
Manuel Alguero
December 8, 2013
Many fond memories of playing tennis with Neal while he was at Cobleskill. Our condolences. Stan and Mary France
Stanley France
December 8, 2013
It was a pleasure to work with Neal when he served as President at Cobleskill. He was always challenging and mentoring you to try new ideas and be the best you could be. He was an educator who made a difference! He will be missed!

Steve Ackerknecht, SUNY Cobleskill
Steve Ackerknecht
December 6, 2013
During This sad time, please lean on the “God of All Comfort” 2nd Cor. 1: 3-4.
December 6, 2013
My deepest condolences on the loss of a wonderful person. I am so sorry to hear of Neal's illness and passing. I had the pleasure of working as a colleague of Neal's for a number of years at SUNY Central. His many talents and thoughtfulness will never be forgotten.
Marilyn Huber
December 5, 2013
I was fortunate to take a graduate course with Dr. Robbins at the University at Albany. Such a great Instructor and he was committed to students who was passionate about higher education. He told lots of neat stories about his experiences as an administrator. My condolences to his family and friends! Thank you Dr. Robbins.
Dr. DeShawn N. McGarrity
December 5, 2013
Neal: a cherished mentor and friend for 28 years. I will miss you, we will all miss you.
Denise Bukovan
Denise Bukovan
December 5, 2013
I am so sorry to hear of Cornelius passing. I guest lectured several of his classes at UAlbany and will never forget his dedication to higher education. May he rest in peace.
Candy Merbler
December 5, 2013

December 5, 2013
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