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James L. Robson

Jun 30, 2010

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James Lowell Robson, passed away at his home in Damariscotta, Maine, surrounded by his family on the evening of June 22, 2010. He was born on Jan. 17, 1923 in Eltingville, Staten Island, N.Y., the son of William Smylie and Florence (Bates) Robson.


His attendance at Columbia University was interrupted by military service for World War II. As a navigator in the Air Force, he flew weather reconnaissance missions over Japan. He returned to New York where he married his life long love, Barbara Jean Smith. James proved to be a devoted husband, faithfully caring for his wife through several long illnesses until her death in 2008.


James worked for many years as a salesman in the textile trade for Deering, Milliken & Co. in New York City as well as Western Textiles of St. Louis. Land development sparked his creativity and he became involved with real estate development projects in New Jersey and Florida.


James enjoyed traveling. There were road trips as a family in the 1950s and European explorations, cruises and many thousands of miles trekking with his wife in their motor home throughout the USA and Canada. Boating and fishing were also favorite activities.


His wife, Barbara, fell in love with Sanibel Island after vacationing there and the couple moved their family to the island in 1969. There, he served on the water commission and was concerned with future water availability. He was a key figure in the incorporation of the city of Sanibel. He founded Three Star Grocery along with accommodations for the Sanibel Police, City Hall, Avis Car Rental and a bank.


The Robsons retired to LaBelle, Fla. where he continued his service to the community as an active member or participant on various boards. Water remained a central issue to him.


In 2007, James found it helpful, as sole care giver for his wife, to move to Maine near his two daughters and their families. His gratitude for the love and support of family inspired him to spearhead the organizing of a family reunion held in Bridgeton, Maine in 2008.


He is survived by a sister, Donnabell Carter of Texas; a brother, William Smylie Robson of Eureka, Montana; four children and their spouses, Peter and Phyllis Robson of Nutley, N.J., David and Michelle Robson of Laguna Beach, Texas, Jose and Nancy Ann (Robson) Douglas of Round Pond, Maine and Clayton and Jane (Robson) Herbert of Damariscotta, Maine; nine grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and many nieces and nephews.


Services will be private. Condolences for the family may be expressed by visiting: www.StrongHancock.com.