Mr. Frank Robinson, age 85, of 700 Fairway Drive, Elizabethton, went home to be with his Lord Monday, March 7, 2011 at his residence following a lingering illness.
Mr. Robinson was the owner and former publisher of the Elizabethton STAR Newspaper, where he had enjoyed a long and successful career.
Mr. Robinson was a native of Castlewood, Virginia, and was the son of the late E.E. and Belle Johnston Robinson. He moved with his family to Johnson City at an early age, and later moved to Elizabethton where he attended Elizabethton City Schools. During his senior year in high school, Mr. Robinson and his twin brother, Fred, were drafted by the military. They served in the U.S. Air Force during the final year of WWII.
Mr. Robinsonâ€™s first job was selling the newspaper for the Elizabethton STAR, and later worked in the advertising department at the Bristol-Herald Courier. He was named Publisher of the Elizabethton STAR on October 1, 1955, which was then owned by Worrell Newspapers. In 1977, Mr. Robinson purchased the newspaper, becoming the sole owner. He served as publisher until October 1, 1980, when he named his son, Charles Robinson, as publisher.
However, due to the untimely death of his son in July 2004, Mr. Robinson returned to the paper as the publisher, serving until July 2008, when his grandson, Nathan Goodwin, was named publisher.
During his time with the STAR, Mr. Robinson was a strong supporter of the community, serving as past president of the Elizabethton/Carter County Chamber of Commerce. In 2000, he was named the Chamberâ€™s Citizen of the Year for his work with the Elizabethton Bicentennial Commission. Mr. Robinson was a charter member of the Watauga Historical Association, the inaugural organization, which worked to see the creation of Sycamore Shoals State Historical Area.
In his role as newspaper publisher, Mr. Robinson spearheaded a drive in which over a half million dollars was raised for a new Rescue Squad building. He worked to secure land for the Inland Container plant and the East TN Undergarment, Elizabethton High School, the ETSU Paramedical School, the Elizabethton Area Vocational School, the industrial property on Stateline Road, and a site for the present Elizabethton Chamber of Commerce building. One of his last projects was assisting in securing additional property for the Veterans Memorial Wall of Honor. Mr. Robinson was a senior member of the Elizabethton Rotary Club and a longtime member of First Baptist Church of Elizabethton.
In addition to his parents and his son, Mr. Robinson was preceded in death by a daughter, Brenda Lee Robinson, two sisters, Ms. Beulah Kyte and Mrs. Letha Kelley, and four brothers, State Senator Herman Robinson, Lewis Robinson, Clifford Robinson, and his twin brother, Fred Robinson, who died December 11, 2010.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Eleanor â€œAnnâ€ Childress Robinson, of the home; a daughter and son-in-law, Carol and Fred Goodwin, Elizabethton; six grandchildren, Angela Willocks, Amy Laney, Nathan Goodwin and wife, Keely, Josh Robinson, Jeremy Robinson, and Jessica Robinson; four great-grandchildren, Savannah Laney, Christian Laney, William Willocks, and Jaedyn Dawson; and a lifelong family friend, Harvey Prichard, Elizabethton.
The funeral service for Mr. Frank Robinson will be conducted at 7:00 P.M. Tuesday, March 8, 2011 at the First Baptist Church of Elizabethton with Dr. James Royston officiating. Music will be under the direction of Mr. Charles Goodwin, organist, and Mr. Mike Imboden, soloist. The family will receive friends from 4:00 to 7:00 P.M. Tuesday at the church prior to the service or at the residence other times.
The entombment service will be conducted at 12:30 P.M. Wednesday, March 9, 2011 in the Happy Valley Memorial Park. Those planning to attend are asked to meet at Tetrick Funeral home, Elizabethton, at 11:45 A.M. to travel in procession. Active pallbearers will be Harvey Prichard, Allen Frost, Delaney Scalf, Randy Sizemore, Harold Lingerfelt, Ray Lyons, and Nathan Odell. Honorary pallbearers are the employees of the Elizabethton STAR, Dr. Jack Whitaker, Dr. Thomas Schnell, and Dr. David Jones. Military honors will be accorded by the American Legion Post #49 of Elizabethton with Taps being played by Mr. David Batchelder.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions to be made to the Carter County Rescue Squad, P.O. Box 776, Elizabethton, TN 37644.
Condolences may be sent to the family and viewed by visiting our website at www.tetrickfuneralhome.com Tetrick Funeral Home, Elizabethton, is serving the family of Mr. Robinson. Office: 542-2232, Obituary Line: 543-4917