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Mr. B.W. Robinson, age 93 years, of Jefferson City, Mo., died Tuesday, April 13, 2010, at the Capital Region Medical Center.
Mr. Robinson was born August 26, 1916, in Hannibal, Mo., the son of Edward G. and Mary Ellen Dwyer Robinson. He was married on Thanksgiving Day 1940, at Hannibal, Mo. to Erma Lee Drake who preceded him in death on May 17, 1974. B.W. was a 1936 graduate of Hannibal High School, Hannibal, Mo. He attended Hannibal LaGrange College and Culver-Stockton College in Canton, Mo. He graduated from Kirksville State Teachers College with a degree in Education. He received his M.A. and did further graduate work at the University of Missouri at Columbia, Mo. He began his teaching career at Ralls County in a one room school at Mill Creek, Mo. near Hannibal. He would go on to assume the administrative responsibilities of superintendent of the Mill Creek School. From 1946 until 1956, he served as high school principal, then superintendent of schools for the Eldon Public Schools. From 1956 until 1963, he was the superintendent of schools for the Rolla Public Schools. From 1963 until his retirement in 1982, he was an assistant commissioner of education and Director of Vocational Education for the Missouri Dept. of Education. After retirement, B.W. became a doorkeeper with the Missouri State Senate. Sources believe he was the oldest state employee in the history of Missouri state government. B.W. was an active member, elder, and Sunday school teacher at the First Christian Church of Jefferson City. He was a member of the Host Lions Club and had served on the Board of Directors for Lions International. While serving on the Board of Directors, he survived a plane crash in South Africa. He was a sixty plus year member and past chairman of the Jefferson City American Red Cross; a member of the Masonic Lodge and was active in many senior activities, senior centers, and Meals on Wheels; a past president of the Missouri State Teachers Assn.; a past president of the National Alumni Board of the University of Missouri; a member of the Mystical 7; a Fellow of the Harry S. Truman Library and the Melvin Jones Honorary of the Lions Clubs of Missouri; named an Honorary Paul Harris Fellow by the Jefferson City Rotary Club; was named an "Outstanding Citizen" by the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce; and a past member of the Riverview Cemetery Board of Directors. Additional honors include receiving an honorary doctorate from the University of Missouri at Columbia in December, 2008. The B.W. Robinson School for the Severely Handicapped in Rolla was named in his honor. He was thought of by many as the father of vocational education in the state of Missouri. Survivors include: one daughter, Mary V. "Vicky" Helsabeck and her husband Bob of Absecon, New Jersey; one son, John D. Robinson and his wife Cheryl of Columbia, Mo.; five grandchildren, Anne Helsabeck, Kate Helsabeck Callahan and her husband Brad, Rob Helsabeck, Cheris Robinson Stidham and her husband Shawn, and Christy Robinson O'Haire and her husband Adam; and 12 great- grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife; and in 1993, one daughter, Susan Hope Robinson. Funeral services will be conducted at 10:00 a.m. Saturday, April 17, 2010, at the First Christian Church with the Reverend Donald Carter and the Reverend G. Dale Norfolk officiating. Graveside services and interment will be conducted at 3:00 p.m. Saturday at the Grandview Cemetery in Hannibal, Mo. Visitation will be at Freeman Mortuary from 4:00 until 7:00 p.m. Friday. Those desiring may make memorial contributions to the Susan Hope Robinson Scholarship Fund at Culver-Stockton College, One College Hill, Canton, MO. 63435, or the First Christian Church of Jefferson City. Funeral arrangements are under the direction of Freeman Mortuary. www.freemanmortuary.com