We mourn the loss of our father, Frank Allen Robinson. He took his last breath at approximately 1:55 am August 31, 2019. He leaves behind his wife Nancy Carlson Robinson, his six children - Laurel , Patricia, Elizabeth, Thyra, Janette, Shawn and adoptive daughter Rhonda, eight grandchildren - Cassidy, Roxy, Robyn, Pearl, Ridgewalker, Neilly, Wyatt and Benny plus three great grandchildren - Odelia, Franklin and Emery.
Frank was tagged "Butch" early in life when he was ill and his brothers needled him to be "Butch" and the name stuck. He was rarely ill during the course of his life - as he grew to be quite the opposite. Only late in life did he earn his name beating Leukemia, Kidney failure, Heart disease, and Skin cancer treatments. Butch eventually surrendered to his greatest ally in life, his mind. A stroke struck Butch suddenly the morning of July 25 as he was greeting the summer morning in Lake Wildwood, California as he had done for years - in the same house, in the same bed, with his dear wife. He was 83.
Butch was born to Olaf Ellery Robinson and Ida Erna Wilhemina Fritz Robinson on June 17, 1936 in Danville, Illinois, the third child; the oldest Patsy, older brother Pete and younger brother Torch. Butch developed talents in virtually everything he did. Ping-pong, Billiards, Cards, and even - eventually - cooking! The earliest lucky break for Butch was when Olaf, as an early birthday present and very dear one, bought his son a summer pass to the "Mecca" of athletic camps in Atlanta - the Fritz Orr Day Camp. There he not only began to discipline his body, but also make important, life long friends who would in time become key contributors to his life. With the aid of Olaf's pork chops in the afternoon before his Friday night North Fulton football games, Butch was able to follow his father to play at the University of Illinois. As a defensive lineman at 175 lbs., it must have been his fight! He would say, "You set the tone on the very first play!" He enjoyed a very successful, one season tenure as his third team nearly beat the first team in practice! He went on to bigger things - wrestling and English studies. Butch pledged Sigma Chi and explained that he once wandered into the Alpha Chi Omega sorority - and at first glance - found the "woman I will marry!" The sensitive jock proceeded to woo Nancy with his easy wit and gift of verse.
Butch kept busy working nights mopping up at a donuts shop and giving blood as much as he could - naturally O-, the universal donor - to pay for his books. As an upper-classman, Butch's gaze began to fix on a life with Nancy and law school. Butch was an amazing typist and so landed a job typing the long law books of John Alan Appleman . The experience provided not only the cash to properly court Nancy Carlson, but also instilled in him the verbiage and insight of a lawyer. When Harvard Law came calling, saying "just get here", Butch, seemingly for the first time, fumbled the ball, not managing the jump necessary toward such an unprecedented unknown. A decision he would debate from that day forward.
Instead - marriage and six kids!! Nancy and Frank eventually landed in Atlanta and went into the very promising hamburger business! Their Sandy's restaurants would peak at three - two in Atlanta with the aid of A. Thomas Bradbury and one in Memphis. It was the third one that broke the chain and by 1971, Butch found himself asking friends what they thought he should do next. It was suggested that he find out what he is good at, so Butch took an aptitude test. The results suggested that Butch could be a policeman - or a philanthropic public organizer. So, fancying the second option, Butch sought the advise of an old friend - from Fritz Orr no doubt - who was in a position to help. Upon review of his prodigious scores, Butch was introduced to A. B. Padgett who was seeking a Executive Director of the fledgling city program just being launched as Leadership Atlanta! With a governor in Jimmy Carter, mayors in Sam Massell and Maynard Jackson, the city was again on fire! The Leadership's mission, no less Butch's, was to unify and help realize a city that was as talented as it was diverse. When Jimmy went to Washington, so did Butch. Teaming with the head of the Veteran's Administration, Vietnam hero and future Senator, Max Cleland, Butch took off for perhaps his Harvard.
With Carter's short tenure and Reagan's ascent, Butch improvised and went to work creating Teamwork - a business helping people to imagine the job they want and teaming with those in that type of work - utilizing teamwork to make the dreamwork! Case in point, at a high school reunion in 1984, Butch "teamed-up" with his old "Buckhead Boys" from N. Fulton and Fritz Orr and was initiated into what became Primerica Financial Services and occupy him right up to the end. Again a business where one could be well paid for righting the wrongs of corporate greed while serving the basic needs of our citizens!
He said that it was not until later in life that he realized his real gift was mathematics. He would dazzle his Primerica trainees with his HP 12c mortgage calculator! He took it everywhere he went so he could calculate "your number!" In retrospect, it seems to make sense that math was his game, as he enjoyed a life long friendship with music, which he played by ear. He would never play music in the car or at home if he could not be its producer - whether with guitar, piano or with his persistent whistling. Seeming relevant to this point was his love of Woman's Basketball - undoubtedly a digital game. He so revered the scientific genius of Geno Auriemma and U Conn basketball! He coached many a season with his daughters running the lanes!
As the year's went on he chose to spend his time with his Nancy and his "Kitty Kat" along with his slew of detective novels, mellowing into a thoughtful, present man always eager for a story or a beer. He also loved spending time with the grand kids, egging them on to express and live the words they read. As he did. In a letter that he wrote to himself this year in January, he was so very pleased to have been given the chance to have lived this life. He reasoned he had been one of the lucky ones and was very grateful. And we say - thank you Dad - for having shared your self with us - with all your colors!
For those readers who would like to extend their condolences, please write Nancy Robinson at 3440 Eskaton Dr. #21 Placerville, CA 95667 where she is now residing or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To send flowers to FRANK's family, please visit our floral section.