Stephen M. Robbins

May 10, 1935March 19, 2021

Stephen M. Robbins passed suddenly on March 19 at the age of 85.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, Steve transplanted to Texas with his family at the age of 18. He worked as a draftsman by day and achieved his Engineering degree from the University of Houston by night. He found life-long friendships by joining the U of H Jewish fraternity, Phi Epsilon Pi. Houston gave Steve his most important gift when his father arranged a blind date with his future wife Barbara. They met at the JCC pool and were inseparable for the next 59 years.

Steve enjoyed an exciting career at Brown & Root where he traveled the world, working in Australia, Finland, and the UK. He moved his young family to Spain before returning to Houston in 1968. He mentored the next generation, teaching not just the job, but how to be part of a team. Steve’s positive impact on the company and people spanned 40 years.

Steve served 33 years as President of Houston’s Gilbert & Sullivan Society. While President, he led the move from Jones Hall to the Wortham Center, organized award-winning trips to the International Gilbert and Sullivan Festival, ran the box office, stuffed mailer envelopes, and anything else he was asked to do. Following in his father’s ways, Steve was an accomplished musician, comedian, and philanthropist.

As a member of Congregation Brith Shalom, he performed in comical Follies productions and anchored the bass section of the choir for 50 years with a voice majestic and deep.

As a Dad, he was the “go-to-guy” for advice. The kids could talk to Steve about anything. He was wise, patient and calm. Always approachable, non-judgmental, nurturing and encouraging.

As a friend, Steve was loyal, an excellent listener, imparting his unbiased opinion, non-intimidating intelligence, and everlasting support.

As a human being, Steve was jovial, generous, loving, curious, and kind. His optimism was only exceeded by his genuine warmth and compassion. He never complained and never passed an opportunity to help a soul in need.

Steve’s passion for food included a great steak, a good lox ‘mit bagel, or a tasty chicken fried rice. Dad loved food because it brought people together; to make friends, nurture relationships, celebrate milestones, mend conflicts and feel gratitude for life.

Steve looked forward to spirited annual vacations with family and friends to the Colorado mountains; taking in all of nature’s grandeur by summer hiking and winter snow skiing well into his 70’s joining his grandchildren on the mountain.

He maintained an active lifestyle, playing racquetball, pickleball, and exercising regularly. An avid sports fan, he and his brother Richard could be spotted tailgating before U of H football games and persevered through the ups and downs from supporting Houston teams.

In recent years, Steve shared love and laughter with Elaine Kellner enjoying cruises to the Caribbean and trips abroad. Steve laughed often and loved much. Say not in grief ‘he is no more’ but in thankfulness he was with us.

He is preceded in death by his wife Barbara and daughter Deborah Robbins. Steve is survived by children Ben and Jody Robbins, Shelley Robbins and Frances Ginn, grandchildren Sydney Robbins, Max Robbins, brother Richard and Toby Robbins, brother Lesley (deceased) and Toby Robbins. Steve is survived by loving companion, Elaine Kellner, and a gazillion extended family members and friends. The family also appreciates the special care and friendship from Martha and Jose Ventura.

Due to COVID 19 guidelines, the graveside service will be private and can be viewed by livestream on Tuesday, March 23 at 12:00 pm. Please see below in Services to find the link for the service

In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to either Congregation Brith Shalom or The Gilbert & Sullivan Society of Houston, PO Box 741267, Houston, TX 77274.


  • Livestream Service

    Tuesday, March 23, 2021



Stephen M. Robbins

have a memory or condolence to add?

Marian Bell

March 24, 2021

What a smile that went a long way. What a guy who always cared about you and others.

Barry Laves

March 22, 2021

He always had the smile, a singing voice, a kind word and a story; he will be missed.

Jan Rose

March 21, 2021

We miss him already.
What a generous, gentle,
caring and helpful man he was.
Jan and Jules Rose

David Goddard

March 21, 2021

I have talked with Steve, multiple times weekly. I call or he calls. I just talked with him on Thursday. He had a few days of not feeling good, but Thursday he was optimistic.

Since my parents died, he has always checked on me. And I him. We talked everything from sports, to just stuff.

He will forever be missed here on earth. He was one of a kind. I can't put it into words well. I can still hear his voice. He was a blessing, a friend. And I miss him already.

Debbie Israel

March 20, 2021

A wonderful human being, bringing joy and laughter to everyone around him. Precious memories of Follies and our Villa Lea street with Barbara and Steve. May his memory be an eternal blessing.