Traverse City Record-Eagle

February 10, 2013

Robert Manson Robbins


TRAVERSE CITY — Robert Manson Robbins went to be with the Lord on Feb. 6, 2013. He passed away in his daughter's home in Tennessee under her care. Robert was born May 23, 1920, in Traverse City, the son of Elisha Bevier Robbins and Julia (Iverson) Robbins.

He graduated from Traverse City High School in 1938.

He married Mary Ellen Colestock on Jan. 9, 1943. Mary Ellen preceded him in death on April 25, 1983.

Robert served in the United States Marines from July 1, 1943, to May 9, 1946, as a Second Lieutenant. He was part of the invasion force of Japan which never occurred because the war ended while his transport ship was in transit. He was stationed in Japan until the end of his tour of duty.

Robert attended college at Michigan State University. With his studies interrupted by World War II he continued afterward, transferring to the University of Michigan. He received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1947 from the U of M.

Robert went on for a career at General Electric, retiring in 1982.

He was a member of Greenfield Presbyterian Church in Berkley, Mich., since 1948. He served as an Elder there for many years. When he became a resident of Florida in 1982, he joined the Saint Paul's Presbyterian Church, North Port. With his engineering background, he was active in wiring their new building, along with other planning activities for that project.

He enjoyed boating vacations on the Great Lakes, taking his family on yearly vacations, camping, fishing and hunting. He was a snowbird, driving to Traverse City each summer and to North Port, Fla., each fall.

Robert is survived by his son, Gregory Robbins; and daughter, Janice O'Connor. Also surviving are his brother, Jack; sister-in-law, Mildred Colestock, of California; and many loving nieces and nephews in Michigan, Florida and California.

He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Ellen in 1983; and his daughter, Julia Ellen Yates on Jan. 22, 2004. His sisters, Margaret Brinkman and Jayne Fisher; and brother, Jim, also preceded him in death.

A memorial service will be scheduled for June in Traverse City.