Daniel Walter Robinson was born in 1929 in Fort Worth, Texas and died peacefully in his home, surrounded by loved ones on August 30th, 2022.
He frequently relayed to his family that he was grateful to be so dearly loved by his father and mother, Roy and JeanneMae Robinson, his older brother Jack and younger sister Joann. Growing up during the depression, he worked, as a youngster, throwing papers, delivering circulars and riding his bicycle to deliver orders from the drug store. He often related stories from his younger years, explaining where he learned his system of values. His family’s home was by a railroad and one of his favorite stories was about his mother’s practice of providing soup to “hobos” who ate gratefully on the family’s porch. He spoke of learning patience as he helped his father gather cans from the dump, wash them and plant seeds in each, assisting his family to earn extra money during the difficult years as his father became known for the quality plants they sold. Another favorite story was of how meaningful it was, when he found himself delivering circulars with men who could find no other work and he was able to share his lunch. His favorite pastime as a child was to watch WPA workers, all the time learning, on his own, how to accomplish repair and construction.
As a teenager, Dan attended Pascal High School, played football, was elected class favorite and boxed in the Golden Gloves. His passion, however, continued to be work, when old enough he started as a popcorn boy and ended up as a manager at the theater. As a young adult, he started out pumping gas and ended up managing the gas station.
Dan suffered from epilepsy his entire life, his illness starting at the age of two. He constantly battled stigma due to his seizures, being denied service in the military and losing many opportunities. He spoke of feeling that one of the most devastating losses to him as a young man, was being fired from his job as a telephone repairman, after memorizing the entire worker’s manual, when he had a seizure while replacing wire at the top of a telephone pole. Dan allowed his situation to inspire him, not only to overcome prejudice, develop perseverance and self-reliance, but also to withhold judgment of others and rely on his own carefully formulated beliefs rather than those of the crowd.
Although neither of his parents attended college, Dan developed an appreciation for education. After being kicked out of the college that was eventually to become U.T.A, for having a seizure in class, Dan enrolled in T.C.U. After having a seizure in class at T.C.U, Dan was required to take an I.Q. test before he could return. Scoring in the genus range, he was allowed to return to class. He eventually obtained a Bachelor’s of Science in Physics and then an M.B.A.
Dan married Barbara Ann Smith, in 1956. Barbara and Dan were married for over 65 years. Originally from Rotan, Texas, Barbara was working as a sixth grade school teacher in Fort Worth when they met. Dan and Barbara met in Sunday School class at Matthew’s Memorial Methodist Church, which happened to be across the street from the gas station Dan managed. He would take an early lunch on Sundays, run across the street and listen to the preacher, Dr. Sterck, respecting how the man related biblical truths to everyday life. For the rest of his life, Dan expressed his belief that the way to know the most happiness, not only in the next life but also in this one on earth, was to follow the teachings of Jesus.
Dan worked for Bell Helicopter and then General Dynamics as a flight test engineer and then in management as a trouble shooter for any problems that arose, utilizing his creative ideas as well as his understanding of science and business. Although working on some of the most important contracts in the the company, Dan chose to walk away from corporate life and start his own business. He eventually achieved great success as a trader in the stock market and, assisted by his wife, started a successful company of his own, The Neighborhood Carpenter. Dan was a man of great creative genius and could envision how to successfully build, with both style and function, anything he desired.
Dan and Barbara had four children. Dani Lynn Day, Sally Sue Elkins, Roger Roy Robinson and Robie Jack Robinson. Dan felt that pride was no sin when discussing his children and found great joy in their success. His oldest daughter is an Ed.D, his youngest daughter is an RN. His oldest son is an M.D. specializing in psychiatry and his youngest son is a J.D. who works in the field of emergency management. Dan and Barbara have 12 grandchildren, Daniel Day, Duncan Day, Donovan Day, Andrew Elkins, Matthew Elkins, Robin Elkins, Carley Elkins, Sophie Elkins, Wesley Robinson, Allison Robinson Godleskey, Stephanie Robinson and Jake Robinson. Dan and Barbara have nine great grandchildren, Jaxon Day, Max Day, Bentley Day, Iris Day, Scarlet Day, Emma Elkins, Casey Elkins, Reed Robinson and Kate Robinson.
Although each child has achieved success on his or her own, the foundation of their success is seen solidly in the efforts of their father, from the example set by Dan’s life of hard work, amazing insight and achievement, to the joy and pride expressed at their birth. His influence can be felt when reflecting on the welcoming home he built including the swing set, climbing fort, sandbox and see saw, each lovingly crafted and holding years of happy memories. The Sunday night pizza dinners consumed, the high school sporting events and award ceremonies attended, the hours of patient instruction on plumbing, car repair, power tool use, school project construction, barn building and even fist fighting (the list can go on forever) are invaluable to those who appreciated them. This man will be missed, beyond what it feels we can bear, by the ones who love him more than words can possibly express.
All charitable contribution may be made to the charity of your choice.