George E. Robson, Jr., passed away on October 31, 2016. Hewas born on April 9th, 1943 in Cheboygan, Michigan, to George Edgar Robson, Sr., and Marian Elizabeth Glasier. George was one of 12 siblings. He spoke infrequently of the hard life in Michigan but spoke often of his siblings – whom he missed terribly as they all grew up and moved all across the country.
George enlisted into the Army in 1961. He served with the Army Corps of Engineers in Europe and Asia. He would tell stories about the “good old days” in the military – about the fun he had with his fellow military buddies. Every once in a while, he would “slip up” and tell some of the stories about all the trouble he got into. He was very proud of his military service and very proud to be an American. The time in the military showed George that he had an affinity for creating things with his own two hands.
He eventually settled in Indianapolis, Indiana, where he met and married the love of his life, Rita Lynn Murray on March 13th, 1971.
Over the next few years, George and Rita became the proud parents of their two children, George E. Robson III and Jennifer L. (Robson) LaForest.
And after 45 years of marriage, he still loved his wife more than life itself. And he loved his family.
They bought their first home on Meadowlark Drive. Very shortly thereafter, George came to be known as the “neighborhood dad”. He was a kid magnet – who, when not at work or asleep, could be found out in his garage tinkering around with his woodworking tools, fixing someone’s bike, replacing tires or chains or just relaxing with a beer waiting for something interesting to happen. Every kid in the neighborhood found their way to the Robson house at some point – and this was especially true when George put in the first above-ground pool on their street. The Robson children became overnight sensations as a result of this miracle.
He was a ball of fun and never missed an opportunity to make his kids (or any other kid) happy – whether by building go-karts with spare parts and a lawn mower engine, or reading the Sunday Comics while ad-libbing most of their content. He just could not read them “as-is”. That was not in his nature. It wasn’t until his children learned to read for themselves that his ruse was exposed.
During his time in Indianapolis, he worked at Naval Avionics, at Schwitzer, as a carpenter, and at any other job he could find. But the Indianapolis economy was not kind and work was sparse.
So, in 1983, George relocated the family to Mesa, Arizona, during the construction boom, where George began work as a carpenter. After he had a couple of Arizona summers under his belt, framing houses in 110+ heat, he decided to move on to Talley Defense. At Talley, he was able to return to his roots as a machinist and he created items from nuts and bolts to missile components.
George had a love for anything mechanical – especially cars. He loved to tinker with anything with a motor. And he rarely gave up – except for the 1979 Chevy Nova. He and a friend worked on that car for over a year. But it defeated him. His last big project was to turn a bicycle into a motorized scooter. Sadly, this project was never completed.
His toy (model) car collection is something to be admired. A new model car was the only thing he ever asked for as a gift. Because it was impossible to buy gifts for George (he would much rather be giving gifts than receiving them) there is now a house full of model cars.
George could be very opinionated and very outspoken. Those friends who found favor in his eyes felt privileged to call George a friend. He had a heart of gold and was willing to share the shirt off his back with those he felt were less fortunate than he.
He was always taking “lost” young people under his wing – giving advice, badgering management to do a better job of working with young people, offering to give up his work hours to those he felt needed the money more than he did.
George had two very serious accidents at work where his finger was almost completely severed (the same finger – both times) but – typical George – he did not immediately seek medical attention. On both occasions, George, very calmly, returned home, checked the mail, called his wife to report said accident and then, very calmly, got back into his truck and headed on down to the hospital to have his finger reattached to his hand. That was George.
He made light of all his illnesses – he didn’t like the attention he got when he was sick. He didn’t want people to make a big deal over him. He would be displeased today to see people making a big deal over him. But he would be pleased to know that the people that he cared for in this world came together to share their memories and have a laugh rather than mourning his passing. Thank you for coming to celebrate his life.
Services will be held on Thursday, November 17, 2016 at 12:30pm at the National Memorial Cemetery of Arizona, 23029 N. Cave Creek Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85024.