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.
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Published by Delaware State News on Dec. 6, 2013.