Obituary of Theodore (Ted) M. Robinson
Theodore “Ted)” M. Robinson, Lieutenant Commander U.S. Navy Ret. died at his home in Sacramento with his family by his side. He was 96.
Robinson was born in Seattle, Washington, and moved at 1 year of age to Flushing, New York, where he grew up during the Depression raised by his widowed mother, Lillian Oelkers Robinson, and his grandparents, Mr. and Mrs. John Oelkers.
After graduation from Duke University, he joined the U.S. Navy at the beginning of World War II where he served as Skipper of PT boat 118 in the Solomon Islands and was on the boat that rescued the future President of the U.S., John F. Kennedy, and his crew.
After Ted’s boat was destroyed, he and Jack Kennedy became tent mates and friends. He then was sent to command LST1062 in Okinawa and Japan until the end of the war.
While on leave in Newport, Rhode Island, he met the lovely Carolyn Bryer. They wed after the war and moved to California where he took a position with Pacific Bell Telephone, first as a long range planning engineer and then as head of the Speakers Bureau.
Robinson has long been a giving member in his community, serving as treasurer of the Sacramento Tree Foundation and past president of Suburban Kiwanis where he was a founder of the Kiwanis House at UC Davis Medical Center.
As Parks Commissioner for Sacramento County, Ted was instrumental in turning part of the closed Mather Air Force Base into Mather Regional Park.
Ted and Lynne were honored by Sacramento County as “Living Community Treasures” with The Robinson Memorial Grove near the children’s area of Mather Regional Park. He also was a member of Sons of the Revolution, Military Officers Association; Sacramento Symphony League; Peter Tare (PT Boats) Inc., The Navy League and others.
He spent his later years traveling the world with his wife Lynne and writing his autobiography “Water In My Veins; The Pauper Who Helped Save a President,” and speaking around the United States selling his book.
Over the last years, he spoke at many venues in Grass Valley and Auburn. Robinson had an amazing life: husband, father, storyteller, philanthropist, skier, and tennis player and if you want to know more, as he would say “Ya gotta read the book.”
He is survived by his wife Carolyn Bryer Robinson of Sacramento; daughters, Sandra Bryer Keane (John) of Grass Valley, Pamela Susan English (Richard) of Novato, California, and Debora Lynn Robinson of Balboa Island, California; and his grandson Tyler English of Oakland.
A memorial service starts at 2 p.m. at Sierra Arden United Church of Christ, 890 Morse Ave., Sacramento, with a reception to follow. Donations in his honor can be made to the Kiwanis House at UC Davis Medical Center in Sacramento.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Grass Valley and Nevada County make The Union’s work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User