OBITUARY

Mr. David Norman Robinson

January 5, 1947November 24, 2020
Obituary of Mr. David Norman Robinson
Robinson, David Norman - January 5, 1947 - November 24, 2020. It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved husband, father, grandfather and best friend, David Robinson. David died peacefully at home in his sleep. He is survived by his loving wife, Zonda Nellis; his daughter Alexandra Robinson and son-in-law Madhavan Sridhar, his two granddaughters Maya and Veda Madhavan. He is also survived by his sisters Jo-Anne Robinson; Patricia St.Laurent and his brother-in-law David St.Laurent, and his nephew Michael and niece Joanna. He is predeceased by his parents, Dr. J. L. Robinson, and Mary Josephine Robinson (neé Rowan); and his sister-in-law Sue Bailey. Born in Vancouver, British Columbia in 1947, he spent his childhood in the UBC area, as his father was a professor of Geography at University of British Columbia. David went on to obtain a Bachelor of Arts in English, and a Masters of Arts in English Literature, both from UBC. He founded Talonbooks in 1963, which originally started as a poetry magazine, run out of his parents garage. He went on to publish poetry, plays, fiction, drama, and cookbooks. In 1980, he met his future wife, emerging Vancouver fashion designer Zonda Nellis at a book launch party. They were introduced by a mutual friend - Celia Duthie - because Zonda loved books and David loved fashion. They were, in every sense of the word, a perfect match. David left Talonbooks in 1984, and began to work in Zonda’s company - Zonda Nellis Design Inc. He helped Zonda build a successful international business that would remain on Granville Street for over 30 years. Zonda’s shop was a Vancouver landmark for her unique designs. Aside from his professional accomplishments, David always said that his most important job was being a good parent. He took such joy and purpose in being a father, that his love will be surely felt for generations to come. He taught us how to be present, how to love unconditionally and how to parent whole-heartedly, and for that, we are eternally grateful. He was overjoyed to become a grandfather and he loved to read stories to his granddaughters. In his final years, David struggled with MSA (Multiple System Atrophy) for 8 long years. The illness was rare and untreatable, and eventually left him physically and mentally challenged. The family would like to give special thanks to his caregiver Nita Parinas, who took such good care of him and always found a way to make him laugh. David loved to travel and was always planning his next trip to an exotic destination. His last trips were to Italy, India, and Egypt - for a cruise down the river Nile. Despite being in a wheelchair towards the end of his life, he never let it slow him down. Through his travels, David made friends all over the world. He was well-known for his generous and helpful spirit, and would eagerly discuss the best restaurants in each and every city he visited. David loved fashion and was well-known for his unique sense of style and exquisite taste. From Lanvin sneakers to burgundy velvet bomber jackets, he was always the best dressed dad at the playground! David loved to read poetry and do photography. His favorite poet was Phyllis Webb, his favorite photographer was Bruce Weber, and his favourite singer was Leonard Cohen. He always had a camera in hand, especially during his travels - where he would discover cities through his lens viewfinder. He also loved attending operas in Europe. He was curious about life, and intrigued by people and the human experience. He lived a full life because of this mindset. David’s legacy was love, kindness, generosity, and a zest for life. He marched to the sound of his own drum and was passionate about life itself, and always widening the horizon. He possessed an infectious joie de vivre and a lively sense of humour. He had a warm smile and a hearty laugh. He truly knew how to enjoy life. Dear dad, life is not the same without you here, and we miss you terribly. Now we have a guardian angel that we can call by name. Please watch over us and protect us girls. “If there is any immortality to be had among us human beings, it is certainly only in the love that we leave behind.”

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