Robert Robinson, loving husband, father, and accomplished artist, passed away on Wednesday, May 20th in Montclair, New Jersey at age 78, from cancer.
Robert was born on July 17, 1941 in Harlem, New York. His parents, James and Katie Bazemore Robinson raised him in New York City with a close extended family, including grandparents, great grandparents and lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins, who all treated each others’ homes as their own. Robert was raised a devout Catholic, serving as an altar boy in the church. As a young man, Robert’s interest in theology led him to spend three years in a monastery in upstate New York.
Robert’s mother recognized and encouraged his talent in art from a young age. Robert initially taught himself to draw animals and then people, developing his talents as an artist throughout his youth, and in 1969 won 1st place in the Washington Square Art Festival, which granted him a full scholarship to attend NYU to study art. While he studied all facets of fine art at NYU, he would exercise his craft in the Village, painting portraits on the street to hone his skills and earn money. Robert became a celebrated artist, earning many awards and prizes at juried art shows throughout the country, and participating in countless group shows and solo exhibitions. He also taught fine art at the prestigious Salmagundi Club in New York City from 1988 until 1993.
Robert had many passions and interests, including fishing and Tai Chi. Robert studied Tai Chi for years in New York City, and later taught the martial arts form. Robert moved to Atlanta to marry his long-time friend and sweetheart, Dana Hamilton, in 1994. In the year 2000, Robert and his family moved to Montclair, New Jersey. Robert became an active member of Saint Peter Claver Catholic Church in Montclair, volunteering daily to help maintain the church, as well as serving as Sacristan, Usher and Eucharistic Minister. At the church, and throughout his life, Robert was someone always willing to help others, whether to fix a broken pipe or move an apartment full of furniture, his kind demeanor and generous spirit allowed many to rely on him in times of need.
Robert was preceded in death by his parents Katie Basemore Robinson and James Robinson.
He is survived by his wife, Dana Hamilton, and their son, Dean Hamilton.
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