Gary Dean Robinson
August 22, 1936 – May 11, 2019
It is with great sadness that the family of Gary Dean Robinson announces his passing. After a long struggle with dementia and a recent stroke, Gary passed away peacefully on Saturday, May 11, 2019 with the love and support of the caring staff at Spokane Hospice House. He was 82 years old.
Gary was the youngest of five children, born to Frank and Della Robinson in Medicine Lake, Montana, on August 22, 1936. He was raised in Medicine Lake with his older siblings. In school, Gary played football, basketball, and baseball. He also played the clarinet in the band and had many good friends.
After graduating high school in 1954, Gary ventured to Spokane, WA where he attended Kinman Business University. After graduating, he was hired by Cominco American to work in the Accounting Department. Over his 35-year-career at Cominco, he worked his way up through the ranks serving as Controller, Vice President of Finance and finally, President of the company. He enjoyed his work at Cominco especially when learning about the various mining operations and playing a key role in moving the company forward on large projects. Most importantly at Cominco, he met the love of his life, Lois Stephenson, and they married in 1958.
Gary retired from Cominco in 1989, however, he was quickly recruited by a new mining start-up, Yamana Gold, Inc., where he worked for two more years. During this time, he also took up wildlife photography which allowed him and Lois to travel, hike, and enjoy the outdoors while learning their new hobby.
Gary and Lois raised their family for the most part in Spokane, WA, with a three-year stint near Garrison, MT. Gary enjoyed woodworking and built many beautiful pieces of furniture for the family home. He loved his family very much and enjoyed attending all his children’s sporting, music and other school events. Gary also enjoyed hunting. As a youngster in eastern Montana, he enjoyed hunting for pheasant and ducks. Later in life he enjoyed spending time with his good friends at the hunting cabin in Montana. Gary also enjoyed all of his grandchildren and attended many of their school events. Toward the end of his life, he was always happy to see his family for special occasions and impromptu visits.
Gary is survived by his wife, Lois Robinson; son, Mark Robinson (wife Anne); daughter Joanne Wilkinson; and daughter Sandra Murray (husband Brad). He is also survived by seven grandchildren, Matthew and Hailey Murray; Spencer and Billy Wilkinson; Tessa Zunk; and Bridger and Claire Robinson. He is preceded in death by his parents, Frank and Della Robinson; Sisters Edith Nelson, Alice Nelson, and Frances “Babe” Vivion; and brother Frank “Bud” Robinson.
A celebration of Gary’s life will be held at 3:00 PM, Thursday, May 16, 2019, at Zion Lutheran Church, 8304 E Buckeye Ave, Spokane Valley, WA 99212. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Medicine Lake School District Honker Foundation / G.D. Robinson Memorial Fund, Box 265 Medicine Lake, MT 59247 or by PayPal to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Memorial Service Thursday, May 16, 2019
Gary Dean Robinson
May 14, 2019
Lois, Mark, Joanne and family,
I grew up knowing that Gary and Lois and the Berges were my parents long-time and cherished friends. As a young adult embarking on the journey of law school at Gonzaga, Gary and Lois invited me to family dinners and games of pickle ball at their Spokane Home. I enjoyed visiting with Gary and hearing stories about my father and adventures shared between Gary and Lois, my parents and the Berges. I treasure the memories and am so thankful for the time Gary and Lois spent with me during those years. Gary’s smile and friendly personality was a gift. My thoughts are with you all during this difficult time. I wish I could make it to Spokane for the memorial service to honor Gary. My prayers and love are with you all.
Michelle Wakefield (Finch)