Michael Robinson: ‘To the day he died, music brought him joy’
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Michael Richard Robinson was born July 8, 1944 to Richard Clemens Robinson and Charlie Virgina Brown Robinson in Washington, DC. He came to California and attended Whittier College and Cal State Fullerton.
A talented craftsman, he worked as a prop and stage set builder for the Renaissance and Dickens Fairs before becoming a Union carpenter in San Francisco. Eventually, he moved to Humboldt County where he worked at a mill and did woodworking as well as grew marijuana. He was a talented artist and woodworker–crafting several fine pieces of furniture that are part of his stepson’s home and building a beautiful Amish style home held together with intricate notching and woodpins. He lived in Salmon Creek for 50 years and, in the 1990’s, he contributed to building the Salmon Creek Community School.
A talented musician, at one time Mike headed up a band in Arcata. To the day he died, music brought him joy like almost nothing else in the world. When he could barely walk towards the end, he would stomp his feet and grin to his favorite rock and roll songs.
Mike was a beloved grandfather to his stepsons’ children–one of them was named after him. When they were small, he created entire dioramas for the children to play with. He dug up one section of his yard and installed a huge sand area filled with Tonka trucks and a slide. He hardly went to town without bringing home toys for the grandkids and for the dogs. At Halloween, he would line the path to the house with lit ceramic skulls and clingy spiderwebs. Then he would make sure there were treats to munch on while the grandkids and the neighborhood children watched movies like Scooby-Doo on Zombie Island and the Goonies. The grandkids would trek through the woods and meadows to play with him at his toyfilled home.
Handsome, witty and talkative in his younger years, Lyme Disease crippled him in his later life.
He is survived by his wife, Donna Robinson, his two stepsons–Kevin Church (Kym), Robert Church–his sisters Bettyjeanne Robinson, Jo Anne Klemmer (Zak), Brother Thomas Robinson, his grandchildren, Clayton Church, Quinn Church (Kirsten Collins), Malachi Michael Church, Brandi Church, and Johnny Ray Church. He was predeceased by his parents, Richard Clemens Robinson and Charlie Virgina Brown Robinson.
May there be music and laughter among the stars for you, Mike.