Robinson was a 'fulfiller of dreams'

November 05, 2007|By MARLO BARNHART

Editor's note: Each Sunday, The Herald-Mail publishes "A Life Remembered." This continuing series takes a look back - through the eyes of family, friends, co-workers and others - at a member of the community who recently died. Today's "A Life Remembered" is about Doris Jean "Dottie" Robinson, who died Oct. 24 at the age of 62. Her obituary was published in the Oct. 26 edition of The Herald-Mail.

Listening to his grandfather and his mother talk about Doris "Dottie" Robinson - his recently deceased grandmother - Josh Bowers alternated between sitting on the sofa, a recliner or pacing uncomfortably around the room.

Aside from a few short comments where he tried to say how he felt about her, Josh was relatively quiet.

As the interview was winding down, Josh pressed a small, torn piece of paper in a writer's hand. It said simply, "Fulfiller of dreams."

Now 21, Josh shared memories of his Grandma being there at the big events in his life - birthdays, graduation, ballgames. But what was most important to him was the hardest to express.


So Josh said it in his note.

Dottie's husband of 44 years, Russell Wayne Robinson, said he was a senior at Clear Spring High School in 1960 when a sophomore girl he knew just casually walked right up to him one day.

"Dottie said I was taking her to the Christmas dance," Russ said, remembering he thought she was as cute as a doll baby. "She hooked me right then."

They were married Nov. 10, 1962. For the next 44 years, Russ and Dottie carved out a life with each other. A son, Russell Wayne Robinson Jr., aka Rusty, came along, followed a year and eight months later by a daughter, Sherri.

"We first got involved in the Hagerstown PONY League when my son was involved," Russ said. That started in 1976 and continued for more than 30 years.

For all that time, Dottie volunteered at the concession stand at the PONY League grounds at Funkhouser Park on Jefferson Boulevard, Russ said.

"Whenever she was there, the kids were there with her when they were little," Russ said.

Sherri concurred that she and Rusty never were far behind their mother when she was volunteering at the concession stand.

During this past year, Dottie's health began to fail, so Russ and Sherri often took turns at the concession stand - Dottie made sure of that.

In the early days of their marriage, Dottie was the main caregiver as Russ was working 80-hour weeks.

"I had to ... you could be replaced very quickly in those days," he said.

Russ worked at the old B.F. Goodrich store on West Franklin Street for 10 years. In 1976, it became T&R Tires - Thompson and Robinson - at the same location, 117 W. Franklin St.

"I bought the business in 1992," Russ said.

Raised on Fairview Mountain by her grandmother, Florence Weaver, Dottie was devoted to her own family.

"She spoiled us kids - that's why I don't eat anything that's good for me," Sherri said with her mother's inherited sense of humor.

That devotion continued when the grandchildren began to come.

Josh was the first grandchild, and Russ said Dottie went to nearly every sporting event he was ever in.

"She'd get so upset if she couldn't make it," Russ said.

Russ and Dottie moved to Falling Waters, W.Va., in 1993. Their home is in a serene wooded area right along the Potomac River.

Before that, the family lived at 218 E. Franklin St. in Hagerstown.

"When we moved here, mom couldn't sleep," Sherri said. "It was too quiet, she said."

But soon, she got used to the peace and enjoyed watching the birds and the animals that came near the house, especially as her health was failing.

"She was always my doll baby," Russ said.

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