Patsy Ruth Robinson

A celebration of life service will be held May 5 at the Grace Episcopal Church in Cullman, Ala. for Patsy Ruth Robinson. A long time Northsider, Patsy passed away peacefully surrounded by her family on April 29 in Birmingham, at the age of 83.

Patsy was born May 9, 1933 in Lucedale, to Elton and Myrtis Horne. She attended various schools growing up and was graduated from Gulfport High School. She attended the University of Mississippi where she was a KD and a campus favorite. Born into a family of limited means, she voluntarily left Ole Miss after her sophomore year to allow her younger brother, John to attend college. She returned to Gulfport and began working at Hancock bank.

She met Paul R. Robinson of New Castle, Ind. in 1955 who was visiting an aunt on the coast after returning from service in Korea. They would marry in December of that year and their union lasted more than 61 years. They made their home in Jackson and Canton, where they raised three children. A stay-at-home mother for the formative years of her children, she returned to college and completed her degree in education with a certification in teaching.

She planned to become a teacher, but those plans changed when her husband decided to open a Goodyear tire dealership. Like many new ventures, the business struggled early on to get off the ground. Despite knowing nothing about the tire business, Patsy offered to put her teaching dreams on hold and went in to help run it. She ran the sales counter, but her real talent was in her love of people. She loved meeting people and learning about their lives while they waited for their car to be repaired. This, coupled with her phenomenal memory, meant that she always remembered them when they returned, leading them to become loyal customers. Many customers remarked that they felt like family when dealing with Robinson Service Center. Her efforts led to the business becoming very successful over the next 25 years, allowing them to eventually sell and retire to the Gulf Coast in 1998.

They made their home in Bay St. Louis and Pass Christian, until they were hit hard by Hurricane Katrina. After rebuilding with the generous help of several families of Mennonite volunteers from Pennsylvania, they decided to relocate further inland. They found a new home in Cullman, Ala., where they enjoyed many years together with new friends from their church and the community.

She loved her church, gardening, sewing, cooking, shopping for antiques and restoring old furniture. With a frugalness born out of the depression, she loved finding bargains, and disdained most things extravagant. She taught all her children, grandchildren and many nieces and nephews lessons in cooking, cleaning, table setting, etiquette and other valuable life skills. She was loved by all.

She was preceded in death by her parents and two brothers, Robert and John Horne, and survived by her sister Miriam Horne of Memphis and brother Michael Horne of Boston. She is also survived by her loving husband of 61 years, Paul, and three children; John (Kaye) of Madison, Ann Robinson Kelly of San Francisco, and James of Birmingham; seven grandchildren, two step-grandchildren, one great-grandson and two step-great-granddaughters.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorials be directed to the Mind Center for Alzheimer’s research at the University of Mississippi.

 

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