Obituary, Peter Edison Robinson


Greenwich-Pine Plains – Peter Edison Robinson, 88, a pharmacist, pilot and mentor to many, took his final flight on Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at Wesley Health Care Center in Saratoga Springs.

Pete was born in New York City Feb. 11, 1929 to Herbert W. Robinson and Grace Slarks Robinson. After the death of his mother at a young age, his father (a journalist), placed Pete and his brother Herbert II in homes and with friends, while he traveled a for work between Montreal Canada and New York City. The two eventually landed at St. Christopher’s Orphanage in Dobbs Ferry, NY. The orphans were eventually placed at the home of Dorothy and Floyd Parliman in the small Town of Pine Plains.

Pete entered the 8th grade at Pine Plains Central and took to his new home and school in stride. He took his first high school job at Matragrano’s Pharmacy in Pine Plains, not knowing he would spend the next thirty-five plus years there. After graduating in 1947, his job inspired him to continue his education at Albany College of Pharmacy where he graduated in 1951. He married Helen Lovelace Robinson August of 1949. They had five children.

Peter’s passion for pharmacy led him to quickly become a partner and eventually sole proprietor of Matragrano and Robinson Pharmacy. For many years he ran the operation 7-days a week often closing at 10:30 or 11:00 pm after the last patient left the local Doctor’s office- “not a minute sooner.”

Being an old-time pharmacy, the soda fountain became a focal point for the community where many teenagers and his children found employment and honed their social skills. Pete took great pride in preparing them to be “soda jerks,” and connoisseurs of all things ice cream. A free sundae for everyone in the community, was a rite of passage on your birthday. He especially liked instilling the secrets of good customer service and being a good human being to anyone who would listen. To many, he became a mentor for years to come. Pete had a profound effect on his children and many people in the Pine Plains community. He will be sorely missed.

Pete was an adventurous man with a great curiosity and strong principles; he believed in the importance of community service and always worked hard to meet any goal he set for himself. With what little time off he had off, Pete found time to learn to fly an airplane. He eventually earned his instrument and commercial pilot ratings. Pete and co-pilot best friend Irv Jackson would fly family and neighbors all over the northeast.

His other pursuits included serving on ski patrol at Butternut in Great Barrington, MA, Pine Plains Central School Board, Northern Dutchess Hospital Board of Directors, as secretary of the Hudson Valley Pharmaceutical Society and as member and past President of the Pine Plains Lions Club. He was a lifetime member of Deer Search, an organization dedicated to finding wounded deer. He was instrumental in modernizing the Pine Plains Hose Company Rescue Squad and served as an EMT for many years. He was an avid gardener and tinkerer and would go to great extents to achieve that goal. His gardens and basement wood shop would rival some commercial operations.

Pete sold Matragrano and Robinson Pharmacy in 1986. He continued working part-time as a pharmacist at the new Pine Plains Pharmacy and for Rite Aid Pharmacy in Poughkeepsie. The business itch inspired him once more to open a Medicine Shop Pharmacy in Hudson, NY. After a few years, he had established a large customer base. He closed the store, sold the customer list to Price Chopper and went to work in the Hudson branch. He retired from Price Chopper and briefly worked for Monitech Services monitoring drug research, and Continuing Care RX in Poughkeepsie. Much to the relief of friends and family, Pete finally retired in 2006 at age 77.

After retirement, Pete struggled with dementia and eventually Alzheimer’s disease. He and Helen moved to Greenwich, NY in 2007 to be closer to their children.

Pete was predeceased by his brothers Herbert Robinson II and Gwinn Parliman, bother-law Paul Lovelace, his daughter Susan Robinson, best-friend Irv Jackson and long-time family friend Marie Ford Conklin. Pete is survived by his former wife (and current companion) Helen Robinson of Greenwich and former wife Teresa Robinson of Georgetown, TX: a brother; Ron (Judy) Parliman of Pine Plains: a sister-in-law Marge Parliman of Lancaster, KY; a brother-in-law Ralph Lovelace of Los Gatos, CA: children; Herbert (Mei Xie) Robinson III of Newton Highlands, MA; Diane (Mark Claverie) Robinson of Saratoga Springs; Tim (Jill Skellie) Robinson of Greenwich; Jim Robinson of Glens Falls and unofficial adopted son Lester Conklin of Patten, ME; grandchildren: Liv Thygesen, Tellef Thygesen, Genevieve Claverie, Warren Robinson, William Robinson, Cheyenne Robinson, and Leah Robinson; greatgrandchildren: Julianna Gonzales, Esmeralda Alvarado, Owen Wilbur, Max Thygesen and Cora Thygesen. He is also survived by nieces; Lynn Parliman Tirey, Lori Ann McGhee, Debora Nearman and Patricia Lovelace; nephews Jeff Robinson and David Lovelace.

In support of medical science, Peter donated his body to Albany Medical Center for research. There will be no calling hours.

A celebration of Peter’s life will be held on February 24, 2018 at 1:00 pm at the First United Presbyterian Church, 3039 Church Street, Pine Plains, NY with a reception following at the Pine Plains Fire and Rescue, 7 Lake Road, Pine Plains, NY 12567. Contributions in Pete’s memory may be directed to Pine Plains Fire and Rescue, The Pine Plains Lions Club or the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. His family would like to thank the staff at Wesley Health Care Center for their excellent care.

Author: Harlem Valley News