OBITUARY

Kenneth G. Robinson

September 10, 1953February 17, 2019
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Kenneth G. Robinson, 65, of Camp Hill, passed away Sunday, February 17, 2019. He was born September 10, 1953 in Scranton, son of the late Kenneth Robinson and Josephine Prill He is survived by his wife of 35 years, Katherine A. (Murin) Robinson, son Jonathan Robinson (Courtney Mills), daughter Jessica Robinson (Shannon Bobb) brothers Gary and Jeffrey Robinson, sisters Cindy Robinson Suchanek and Amy Robinson Silveria, stepmother Barbara Robinson, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. He is also survived by his beloved granddaughter, Chloe. Visitation will be Wednesday, February 27, 2019 from 5PM to 8 PM at the Neill Funeral Home, Camp Hill. Memorial service will be at 11:00 Thursday, February 28, 2019, with visitation one hour prior to service at Neill Funeral Home, Camp Hill.

Family and friends, as well as the professional communications world are mourning the loss of veteran PR expert Ken Robinson. Ken, who was also an accomplished musician, died very unexpectedly this past week.

Many moons ago, Ken Robinson took a step away from his first career stop (as an AM radio DJ for WBAX in Wilkes-Barre) to become the first full-time press secretary for the Pennsylvania Bureau (later Department) of Corrections. Preparing for and dealing with crises soon became a requirement, eventually leading to his role as chief spokesman during the 1989 Camp Hill prison riot.

Up until his death, he was a senior strategist/operations manager at Quantum Communications. Prior to joining Quantum, his Robinson Group Strategic Communications provided a range of public relations services that included media relations training and focus group facilitation and crisis communications strategic planning. In 2005, the RAND Corporation cited a risk communications assessment project his firm conducted for the Pennsylvania Department of Health as one of 12 “exemplary practices in public health preparedness” in the nation.

Before becoming an agency-based consultant, Ken was communications vice president for the Pennsylvania Medical Society, where he led a complete reorganization of the statewide association’s communication division. During that time, he served for two years on the American Medical Association’s Communications Advisory Board.

In addition to serving on the board of the Pennsylvania Public Relations Society, Ken is a past president of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and former board member of PRSA’s Mid-Atlantic District. He was accredited in public relations (APR) by PRSA.

It should not be left out that Ken was an amazing musical theatre actor. One of his many roles, his role in Man of La Mancha involved him mastering a real bullwhip on stage. This was one of HCT's (now Theatre Harrisburg) major shows. Legend has it, he wielded it with such force that he snapped the end off of the whip.

As a high school student, Ken saved to buy his first guitar, and quickly taught himself how to play it. His band “Total Chaos” truly lived up to their name when they showed up to play at his WWII veteran father’s social gathering and was expected to play traditional Stars and Stripes, that inevitably turned into a job-dismissing electric rendition of Jimi Hendrix’ Star Spangled Banner.

From the early 1970’s Ken entertained numerous dive bar patrons with his own renditions of popular songs from that era and before, that he still played up to present day, albeit sometimes quite forgetfully. In the mid 1990’s, he was the front man of Curbstone and The Rock Hard Horns. A 9 piece band featuring a full brass section playing music from bands like Tower of Power and Chicago. Ken smiled all the way through his renditions of 'Vehicle' by Jim Peterik. Locally, over the last 2 decades Ken joined duos and trios alike to continue the dive bar tour that gave him his musical start. He would often say how out of place he felt playing with much more “accomplished” musicians, but maybe never got to realize the feeling was always mutual.

Of all the local and national musicians that he ever had the privilege to sit in with, nothing ever made him happier than sharing the stage with his son, Jon. The two of them frequently played in many local bars and clubs, entertaining the patrons with their talent as well as their quick-witted banter and comradery. Their smiles and laughter were contagious no matter what the venue and were a local favorite at many of them.

Ken met his wife Kathie in 1976 while dancing at local night spot. After some conversation, they realized they had been conversing for years, over the phone, in relation to their respective jobs for the State. Due to that fateful meeting, their relationship developed into a loving 35-year marriage. Their life together included many adventures, from camping all over the east coast, to their yearly trip Disney World in Florida. One trip included driving a pop-up camper through New York City, all the way to Canada. However, their greatest adventure together was raising their two children, along with the recent addition of the newest love of his life, his granddaughter Chloe

As a young parent, Ken would take his daughter Jessica to horseback riding lessons on Saturday mornings. This was truly one of his favorite past times, and was always capped off with a stop at one of their favorite diners. More recently, he and Jessi shared time every Sunday morning to cook breakfast together, passing on his passion for cooking as well as his passion for life.

Ken was able to spend most of his final hours babysitting his granddaughter Chloe, spending the time with her that he truly loved, before taking his final trip to be at home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Ken’s honor to the Pinnacle Health Foundation, NICU fund, mailed to PO Box 8700, Harrisburg, PA 17105 or online at UPMCpinnacle.com/GivingBack.

His beloved Chloe spent several months with the amazing and talented individuals in the NICU to ensure she would grow up strong like her “Old Grandad”.

  • FAMILY

  • Katherine A. Robinson, Spouse
  • Jonathan Robinson, Son
  • Jessica Robinson, Daughter
  • Gary Robinson, Brother
  • Jeffery Robinson, Brother
  • Cindy Suchanek, Sister
  • Amy Silveria, Sister
  • Barbara Robinson, Stepmother
  • He is also survived by his beloved granddaughter, Chloe.

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, February 27, 2019
  • Visitation Thursday, February 28, 2019
  • Celebration of Life Thursday, February 28, 2019
REMEMBERING

Kenneth G. Robinson

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Evamarie Socha

March 22, 2019

I was so shocked and saddened to hear of Ken’s sudden passing. I had the pleasure of working with him when I was a reporter in Sunbury Pennsylvania. Ken was the public relations person for the pipeline project that was coming to town. He was a true professional, and one of the most even tempered and kindest people I have worked with on my beat. My thoughts and prayers go to his family and friends. He was truly a good man.

Tara Mead

February 27, 2019

Ken was truly a member of our family in PPRS (Pa Public Relations Society)...once you met him, you had a friend for life. He had a heart of gold, loved his family and granddaughter Chloe was the apple of his eye.

He was a master communicator, but above all, he was kind, funny, and one of the nicest people I've ever met. He will truly be missed, but will live on in the hearts of his family and friends, including his "adopted" PPRS family.

Rick St Louis

February 27, 2019

Kathy, Jon & Jess...so very sorry to read of Ken's passing! May you find comfort in all of the memories you have shared together! There are no words that can or will provide comfort at this time except to know that you have a lots of family and friends who are with you! May God provide you with comfort at this time of grief. My sincere condolences to all of you!

Dave and Priscilla Hooper

February 27, 2019

Though it has been several years since we last met with Ken I will always remember his music and playing at several venues. Condolences to Brother Gary and his family. May he rest in peace.

Dave and Priscilla Hooper

Ginger Smith

February 23, 2019

There are no words big enough or comforting enough for you all. What I can say is to Ken...." Job Well Done"
So many people love you because you are one of the best men we have ever met. Your integrity was unfaltering. And your kindness towards others unmatched. Thank you for loving my dearest Kathie.
Keep the music playing, my Friend. Until we meet again.
Love to you All. OOXX

Faye Lassiter

February 21, 2019

Miss you playing your guitar . God be with you

Rachael Jorich Berrell

February 20, 2019

Kenny i dont know what to say im still shocked that you arent with us anymore. Life is so short but im so happy and blessed that i got to know you as long as i did. I will miss our irish nights w u and Jon. I loved your personality and kindness . You were so kind towards everyone very upbeat and loving. I will miss buying u a shot of grand dad while u and jon would play music for us. I will do my best to look out for Jon and Mama kat. Love you bud rest easy <3

Stephanie Stence

February 20, 2019

We enjoyed listening to Ken and his son playing guitar at picnics. What a kind and gentle man he was. We hadn’t seen you in a while and just ran into you a couple weeks ago, so we are shocked. Thoughts and prayers to your family. The Stence Family.

Amy Hill

February 20, 2019

Ken taught me so much about public relations. He was a mentor, friend, and a joy to be around. I am so glad I had the chance to know him. He will be missed. I will remember him and the whole family in my prayers, especially Chloe. I know how much he loved being a grandfather.

Mitchell Snyder

February 20, 2019

Ken was a truly kind and caring person. He was able to brighten up any room he entered. Whether it was a funny story or sound words of wisdom he was always there to lift your spirits. He will be dearly missed.

FROM THE FAMILY

Kenneth Robinson

FROM THE FAMILY

Ken and Kathie's wedding day

FROM THE FAMILY

Ken loved recording every event, especially Christmas morning

FROM THE FAMILY

Ken, Jon and Jessi

FROM THE FAMILY

Ken and Jessi at one of her horse shows

FROM THE FAMILY

Family Christmas with Ken, Kathie, Jon, Courtney, Shannon, Jessi and Chloe

FROM THE FAMILY

Ken and Jessi at CHUM for choir and band practice

FROM THE FAMILY

Ken and Courtney

FROM THE FAMILY

Ken's high school graduation photo

FROM THE FAMILY

Ken and John at a summer party

Biography

Family and friends, as well as the professional communications world are mourning the loss of veteran PR expert Ken Robinson. Ken, who was also an accomplished musician, died very unexpectedly this past week.

Many moons ago, Ken Robinson took a step away from his first career stop (as an AM radio DJ for WBAX in Wilkes-Barre) to become the first full-time press secretary for the Pennsylvania Bureau (later Department) of Corrections. Preparing for and dealing with crises soon became a requirement, eventually leading to his role as chief spokesman during the 1989 Camp Hill prison riot.

Up until his death, he was a senior strategist/operations manager at Quantum Communications. Prior to joining Quantum, his Robinson Group Strategic Communications provided a range of public relations services that included media relations training and focus group facilitation and crisis communications strategic planning. In 2005, the RAND Corporation cited a risk communications assessment project his firm conducted for the Pennsylvania Department of Health as one of 12 “exemplary practices in public health preparedness” in the nation.

Before becoming an agency-based consultant, Ken was communications vice president for the Pennsylvania Medical Society, where he led a complete reorganization of the statewide association’s communication division. During that time, he served for two years on the American Medical Association’s Communications Advisory Board.

In addition to serving on the board of the Pennsylvania Public Relations Society, Ken is a past president of the Central Pennsylvania Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) and former board member of PRSA’s Mid-Atlantic District. He was accredited in public relations (APR) by PRSA.

It should not be left out that Ken was an amazing musical theatre actor. One of his many roles, his role in Man of La Mancha involved him mastering a real bullwhip on stage. This was one of HCT's (now Theatre Harrisburg) major shows. Legend has it, he wielded it with such force that he snapped the end off of the whip.

As a high school student, Ken saved to buy his first guitar, and quickly taught himself how to play it. His band “Total Chaos” truly lived up to their name when they showed up to play at his WWII veteran father’s social gathering and was expected to play traditional Stars and Stripes, that inevitably turned into a job-dismissing electric rendition of Jimi Hendrix’ Star Spangled Banner.

From the early 1970’s Ken entertained numerous dive bar patrons with his own renditions of popular songs from that era and before, that he still played up to present day, albeit sometimes quite forgetfully. In the mid 1990’s, he was the front man of Curbstone and The Rock Hard Horns. A 9 piece band featuring a full brass section playing music from bands like Tower of Power and Chicago. Ken smiled all the way through his renditions of 'Vehicle' by Jim Peterik. Locally, over the last 2 decades Ken joined duos and trios alike to continue the dive bar tour that gave him his musical start. He would often say how out of place he felt playing with much more “accomplished” musicians, but maybe never got to realize the feeling was always mutual.

Of all the local and national musicians that he ever had the privilege to sit in with, nothing ever made him happier than sharing the stage with his son, Jon. The two of them frequently played in many local bars and clubs, entertaining the patrons with their talent as well as their quick-witted banter and comradery. Their smiles and laughter were contagious no matter what the venue and were a local favorite at many of them.

Ken met his wife Kathie in 1976 while dancing at local night spot. After some conversation, they realized they had been conversing for years, over the phone, in relation to their respective jobs for the State. Due to that fateful meeting, their relationship developed into a loving 35-year marriage. Their life together included many adventures, from camping all over the east coast, to their yearly trip Disney World in Florida. One trip included driving a pop-up camper through New York City, all the way to Canada. However, their greatest adventure together was raising their two children, along with the recent addition of the newest love of his life, his granddaughter Chloe

As a young parent, Ken would take his daughter Jessica to horseback riding lessons on Saturday mornings. This was truly one of his favorite past times, and was always capped off with a stop at one of their favorite diners. More recently, he and Jessi shared time every Sunday morning to cook breakfast together, passing on his passion for cooking as well as his passion for life.

Ken was able to spend most of his final hours babysitting his granddaughter Chloe, spending the time with her that he truly loved, before taking his final trip to be at home.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made in Ken’s honor to the Pinnacle Health Foundation, NICU fund, mailed to PO Box 8700, Harrisburg, PA 17105 or online at UPMCpinnacle.com/GivingBack.

His beloved Chloe spent several months with the amazing and talented individuals in the NICU to ensure she would grow up strong like her “Old Grandad”.