Laura B. Robinson, 86

Laura Robinson

Laura Robinson

Laura B. Robinson, 86, died Sunday, July 20, 2014 at Sunrise of Norwood, Mass. She spent many summers at the family home in Bridgton.

Laura was the daughter of Helen and William Barme and grew up in Hyde Park, Mass.

After graduating from high school, she worked for Dr. Mark Ward at the American Board of Foreign Missions for four years. Laura then joined the Methodist Youth Caravan for the summer and returned to work as a medical secretary in Boston. It was during this time that she met her future husband, Trevor Robinson, at a local dance. In 1951, she moved to Springfield, Mass. to work for the Greater Springfield Council of Churches and married Trevor in 1952. As a newly married couple, they spent the summer at the Pine Ridge Work Camp and then moved to Manlius, N.Y., while Trevor finished his PhD. In 1961, they settled in Amherst, where she resided until late last year.

Laura was an enthusiastic and energetic member of Mt. Toby Friends Meeting for over 40 years, and was known for her organization of workday, her friendly welcoming of visitors, and her deep personal messages. She was always ready to provide spiritual and tangible sustenance to anyone in need.

She had so many other interests as well — all related to learning herself and sharing her skills and her compassion with others. Laura was a 4-H leader for several years teaching sewing, knitting, cooking, copper enameling, and photography. She sewed most of her own clothes, was an avid knitter and learned upholstering, too. One of Laura’s great joys was singing. She was a member of the Hampshire Choral Society and the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra and Chorus (singing as recently as 2013). When Trevor’s sabbaticals took them to Hamilton, Ontario; Liege, Belgium; Graz, Austria; and Norwich, UK, she joined the choruses there. In 1993, Laura became a hospice volunteer and brought comfort and conversation to many people during their time of transition.

Late in life, she returned to school and received her bachelor of arts from UMass in 1986, graduating as a member of the Golden Key National Honor Society and with the Phi Beta Kappa distinction. In 1992, she completed her masters of arts degree in Art History, focusing on Greek Art. She had a great interest in art throughout her life, visiting museums near and far. In her 60s, Laura began to paint in watercolor, taking a workshop in Sedona, Ariz. and meeting up with other artists in the area to paint together. Her joyous flower, scenic and still life paintings decorated her own home and were often given to family and friends.

The family traveled throughout Europe, the United States and Canada, with Greece being one of her favorite countries because she could speak Greek with the locals. She especially loved her time at the family summer cottage in Bridgton. There, she painted, read, canoed and swam to the sounds of loons.

Laura was an adored wife, loving mother and grandmother, and a teacher to many.

She is survived by her children June (Cassidy), Heather (Friedman) and Mark; six grandchildren; and her sister, Bea MacDonald.

She was predeceased by her husband, Trevor.

A Memorial (Quaker) Meeting will take place on Saturday, Sept. 20 at 2 p.m., at the Mount Toby Friends Meeting House (Route 63, 3 1/2 miles north of North Amherst, Mass. center). All are welcome.

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