SHIRLEY DOREEN ROBINSON
With heavy hearts, we announce the passing of our Mother, Shirley Robinson, on March 4, 2021 at the age 85.
Mom was predeceased by her husband of 40 years, Gilbert “Duke” Robinson in 1996, her daughter Shelly in 1957 and her son, Michael in 1979. She leaves to mourn her children, Dan (Judith Pagnier), Kelly (Rob Truthwaite) and Debbie (Keith Halhead); grandchildren, Evan (Cecile), Andrea, Derek (Lauren), Jeffrey (Debbie) and Michael (Jana); her greatgrandchildren Piper, Jude and Delilah; brother-in-law Rick (Loretta) and Don and Lydia Robinson; her good friend Susan Trudeau; and extended family and friends.
The only child of John William Thompson and Olive Myrtle (Harrison) Thompson, Shirley was born in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan in 1935. It was in Saskatoon where Mom first exhibited her “tomboy” tendencies, as evidenced in a picture of a 4-yr-old Shirley not just in skates, but wearing a Maple Leaf’s jersey and a hockey stick in her hands. A few years after that picture was taken, the Thompson’s moved to the Vancouver area where Shirl led an adventure-filled life.
As an only child, Shirley was very social with lots of friends, especially her two best friends from High School, Helen and Joan. She also continued her tomboy ways, excelling in a wide range of sports, including volleyball (Team Captain), baseball, grass hockey and, to show how well-rounded she was, cheerleading. Later in life she would share her love of sports with her sons, Mike and Dan, and her grandchildren. She was also a die-hard Jays and Jets fan, cheering them on until her last day, On one visit to Toronto she waited in line over two hours to meet and get an autograph from Jose Bautista.
In her early twenties, through her good friend Joan, Shirl met Gilbert “Duke” Robinson, a handsome young sailor with swagger and a Popeye tattoo. Less than seven months later Shirl and Duke married, embarking on life filled with many children (5) and even more moves, as is the life for all military families. To avoid six months at sea to be able to spend more time with his new bride, Duke quit the navy and immediately started looking for a job. But rather than find a regular 9-5 job, Duke came home one day to excitedly tell his wife he’d joined the Air Force. That’s when all the moves really started, including countless bases across Eastern Canada and a productive 3+ years in France that saw the young family grow by three: Debbie (’58), Kelly (’59) and Michael (’60). A move back to Canada to a base in Southern Ontario (Clinton, On) saw Dan (’62) round out the family. Sadly, Shelly Robinson died at birth (’57), but she was never far from our Mother’s heart.
It was shortly after Dan came along that Duke left the service for good and the Robinson clan moved to Duke’s hometown, Winnipeg. The ensuing decades were busy years for Shirl, filled with happiness, sadness and pride in her children’s accomplishments. In retirement, Shirley was finally able to live out her dream of traveling. Sadly, Duke passed shortly after retirement. But that didn’t slow down Shirl, as she went on many trips, including a bus trip through Europe and the Maritimes, a trip to Disneyworld, cruises in the Caribbean and Alaska, and, probably her favourite, a trailer trip across eastern Canada with two of her grandsons, Michael and Jeff.
Retirement also meant time to enjoy her love for (line)dancing, cards (crib, whist), dominos, golfing (something she picked up for the first time after retirement) and spending time with friends, including The Red Hat Ladies. For family, she always remembered special events; her children and grandchildren will remember the money and message she always left in her cards: “Have a little treat on me.” Mom’s pets were also a great source of love and comfort to her, especially Ben, the adorable Shih Tzu that kept her company during much of her retirement.
The family would like to thank everyone for their well wishes and support through this difficult time. Our family would also like to express our gratitude to the staff at Brightwater, in particular those on the third floor, for their kindness. It was often the smallest gestures that made such a difference.
In Accordance with her wishes, cremation has taken place. A remembrance gathering will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to your favorite charity.
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