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World Association of International Studies

Post Death of Les Robinson
Created by John Eipper on 10/08/12 2:56 AM

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Death of Les Robinson (John Eipper, USA, 10/08/12 2:56 am)

I received very sad news last night: our colleague Les Robinson passed away on Friday, 5 October. WAISers know Les as Prof. Hilton's student and collaborator on the Hispanic American Report (the predecessor to WAIS), as well as his friend and confidant of many decades. I will always remember Les as my first friend in WAISdom: when as an unknown newbie I attended the 2001 conference at Stanford, Les came up and introduced himself, and we discovered our shared interests in Latin America and Russian studies. Until the last time we met, last December in Stockton, Les was a frequent contributor to WAIS discussions and a tireless supporter of our mission both on- and off-Forum.

Les was preceded in death by his wife of 56 years, Nancy Fifield Robinson.  He is survived by his six daughters, Sheryl Hanson, Janet Mayer, Karey Harty, Laura Lukasko, Barbara Whiteside, Dana Russell, as well as several grandchildren, countless friends, former students, and WAISers everywhere. Ms. Russell sends the following announcement of a memorial service:

We will be celebrating Dad's life on Tuesday October 9, at Morris Chapel, University of the Pacific, Stockton, California, at 2:00 p.m.  The reception will follow at the United Methodist Church Reception Hall across the street from the Chapel.

Can you please share this information with the WAIS membership?

(JE): More soon. I have many memories, and several photographs, of my dear WAIS colleague, which I will share with the Forum in the coming days.

In the meantime I propose we dedicate WAIS postings for the remainder of October to Les's memory.

My deepest condolences to Les's family. He will be missed.

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  • Death of Les Robinson (David Pike, -France 10/08/12 6:29 AM)
    I should like to add my own condolences on the death of W. Leslie Robinson, my colleague in Bolívar House, who stood right beside me at Stanford in 1968 when we received our doctorates. As Professor of Economics at the University of the Pacific, Leslie served (like Larry Pippin at the same University) on the International Advisory Board when I launched The Latin American Yearly Review and published, in 1982, Latin America in Nixon's Second Term.

    I extend my deep sympathies to Les's family.

    JE comments: My thanks to David Pike for this kind note. I trust SF Bay Area WAISers who knew Les will attend the memorial service, to be held Tuesday, 9 October at 2:00 at Morris Chapel, on the campus of Les's beloved University of the Pacific in Stockton, California.

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  • Death of Les Robinson (Richard Hancock, USA 10/08/12 12:50 PM)

    I have warm memories of Les Robinson, as well as other departed people active in the publication of the Hispanic American Report from 1955-1959. Larry Pippin, John Thompson and I are the only survivors of this group. The others were Les, Joe Shirley, Charles Gauld, Don Alderson, Bob O'Neil and Bill Freitas. Les functioned as what might be called the executive secretary of the Hispanic American Report. He was alway smiling and affable, but at the same time capable and competent. In some ways, the years I spent working on the HAR were some of the happiest days of my life. We were all dedicated to telling the real truth about Latin America. We functioned as a team under our coach and mentor Ronald Hilton.

    May they all rest in peace!

    JE comments:  My thanks to Richard Hancock for this warm tribute.  I also have a note from Mary Hilton Huyck, Ronald Hilton's daughter, who as a young child attended Les's wedding.  Mary's post is next in the queue.

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  • Les Robinson (Mary Hilton Huyck, USA 10/08/12 3:00 PM)
    Phil and I were so sad to learn the news of Les Robinson's passing. Almost as far back as I can remember, Les and Nancy were like members of our family and beloved by us all. At their wedding, Nancy and Les kindly gave me a task to do: to stand next to the registry book in the church and ask guests to sign it. I was probably about eight at the time, and this responsibility made me feel needed and even a bit important. Such thoughtfulness was typical of them both, and they were always friendly and lots of fun. I still chuckle when I think of how Les went out and bought a male parakeet after the twin girls were born, so that he would have a bit of support in an otherwise all-female household of one wife and six daughters!

    Les was a mainstay, a bulwark in so much of the work that Ronald Hilton did. My father thought the world of him, and he deeply valued Les's support and wise counsel. My mother and I cherished his warmth and good cheer. I hope that you will let his daughters know how much Les meant to the Hiltons and how fortunate we were to have him in our lives. My parents would most certainly join me in sending all sympathy and love to the Robinson family.

    JE comments: My thanks to Mary Hilton Huyck for this kind note.  I will certainly convey it to Les's family.

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  • Les Robinson (Bienvenido Macario, USA 10/10/12 1:34 AM)
    It was sad to read the news about Les Robinson's passing. At the first WAIS conference I attended in July 2001, I was a bit nervous and excited. On the way to the Memorial Church, Les Robinson walked alongside and introduced himself. It made me feel very comfortable, and I abandoned all thoughts of leaving the conference.

    Les was in Saipan during WWII, where a Japanese prisoner of war asked for his wristwatch, assuming he was rich. In a History Channel feature comparing how the Japanese and American soldiers were equipped and paid, it turned out Les was so much richer than the average Japanese soldier.

    See https://waisworld.org/go.jsp?id=02a&objectType=post&objectTypeId=61548&topicId=133

    I wish to convey my condolences to the family of Leslie Robinson. Indeed let us dedicate WAIS postings for the remainder of October to Les's memory.

    JE comments: As I mentioned two days ago, Les greeted me at that same WAIS conference, when I too had felt a bit like a fish out of water. (I also met Bienvenido Macario for the first time at that event--so Bienvenido's and my friendship is due in no small part to Les Robinson.)

    I've added a "In Memory of Les Robinson" feature to the WAIS homepage, where we can post tributes, photographs, and Les's WAIS writings. The page can be accessed here:


    Bless you, Les!

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