ONEONTA – Paul Raymond Robinson, 79, a Marine, retired teacher and two-term Oneonta alderman, died peacefully on Oct. 22, 2020, at Bassett Hospital, after years of struggle with Parkinson’s Disease.
An engaged community leader, driven by a sense of fairness and a steadfast commitment to helping those in need, Paul was a lifelong Yankees fan, an adventurous pilot, a curious hobbyist and a collector of coins with a soft spot for dogs and children.
Many people will remember him walking his Boston terriers, Beacon and Sugar Bear, through downtown Oneonta.
Born in Terre Haute, Ind., on June 9, 1941, he served in the Marine Corps for nine years, part of it as an embassy guard in Ankara, Turkey, and later in Kabul, Afghanistan. Paul remained active in the Marine Embassy Guard Association for many years.
He was a respectful critic of our country’s military and made several trips to Fort Benning, Ga., protesting the School of the Americas. Throughout his life, he also remained a member of Veterans for Peace.
After concluding his military service, Paul became a teacher in Denver, Colo., and later in Franklin, where he met Martha. During his time at Franklin, Paul was a committed basketball coach, respected scout leader, and was also assistant principal.
Forever devoted to his community, Paul made his mark serving on several boards and commissions. He also was an elected alderman for the City of Oneonta for two terms (eight years).
A champion of and longtime volunteer and treasurer for First Night Oneonta, Paul was also an active member of the Unitarian Universalist Society (for decades). He was also a Town of Franklin code enforcement officer and a volunteer tax preparer for the Office of the Aging.
His additional volunteer work included support for Habitat for Humanity and Opportunities for Otsego, Inc., as well as participating in the OFO River Ride for Hunger and Homelessness as well as serving as a member of the Elks Lodge of Oneonta and volunteering for many other community-based organizations.
One of Paul’s great honors was to serve (along with Martha) as Grand Marshall of the Oneonta Fourth of July Parade in 2016.
Throughout his life, Paul had many passions and hobbies that intrigued him. From launching the Drytown Brewery to flying his Piper Cherokee, being an avid bowler and securing both a perfect game and a hole-in-one in golf, he was also an avid traveler. He loved playing pinochle with Martha and their friends. He and Martha traveled extensively, visiting family in Indiana and North Carolina, relaxing on Myrtle Beach, touring Europe and the U.S, and exploring other parts of the world.
His parents, Carl and Martha Robinson; and his brother, Charles “Buddy” Robinson predeceased Paul.
He is survived by his wife of 42 years, Martha Robinson; sister, Dottie Jenkins; brother, Carl Robinson; stepchildren, Robert Lofthouse (Michelle Courtney Berry) and Susan Lofthouse (Paul Green); many nieces, nephews, and his beloved granddaughter, Nina Berry-Lofthouse.
Donations in Paul’s memory may be made to Best Friends Animal Society, 5001 Angel Canyon Road, Kanab, UT 84741-0567 and the Unitarian Universalist Society of Oneonta, 16 Ford Ave., Oneonta, NY, 13820.
A remote service will be announced.
To light a candle or send an online condolence, visit www.bookhoutfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements are by the Bookhout Funeral Home, Oneonta.