Marilyn Hall Robinson, 84, of Salisbury
SALISBURY — Marilyn Hall Robinson passed away peacefully at Shard Villa in Salisbury, Vt., on Nov. 3, 2019. She was 84 years old.
Born Marilyn Webster Hall on Aug. 6, 1935, she grew up an only child to her parents, Walter and Mary (Webster) Hall in Yonkers, N.Y. Marilyn attended various New York schools and spent many a childhood summer at her family’s home in New Hampshire, or away at camp, where she often feigned sickness in hopes of being returned to the parents she so dearly loved and missed.
Ultimately faced with real health challenges during childhood, young Marilyn developed grit, resilience, and a tremendous appreciation for those caregivers who were especially thoughtful and skilled in assisting her. No doubt, this development would help her find her way as she grew older, as would the loving guidance received from her father as a young teenager.
Her father’s early death brought with it a final gift: a letter to his dearest ‘Chuck.’ Anticipating his own passing, this humble Harvard graduate shared words of guidance with his then fourteen-year-old daughter, “After you’ve had all the fun, you’ll find that helping others will give you most satisfaction.” How could he know that these simple words would make all of the difference to not only his dear ‘Chuck’, but to all those whose paths would thankfully cross with hers?
Marilyn went on to become a registered nurse, graduating from Laconia Hospital School of Nursing in 1955. Nurturing mother and trusted caregiver are roles that would follow.
She married Paul T. Robinson on Dec. 14, 1956, in Laconia, N.H., a twist that would transform this only child born in the city, to a mother of thirteen living in Salisbury, Vt. Paul and Marilyn’s earliest years together found them starting their family in Laconia, as Marilyn worked as an RN on the maternity ward at Laconia Hospital. In 1963, they moved to Salisbury. She was a nurse for many years at the Brandon Training School. She ultimately would devote most of her days to raising her own children and providing a loving home to people throughout the state as a foster parent and respite care home provider.
Undoubtedly, it was the HOW behind Marilyn’s actions that most indelibly leaves its mark upon others. She served God faithfully, cared genuinely, and loved deeply and unconditionally. She gave often, always generously, always thoughtfully. Handwritten notes were her trademark, regularly communicating her thoughts and gratitude with eloquence, sincerity, and an intense desire to express just how you, specifically, had made a difference.
She sought to connect herself to each person who crossed her path as only she could do, celebrating life’s common threads, from the loss of a tooth or a loved one, to the love of milkshakes or children. Differences, too, were to be dignified and celebrated. She acknowledged her own mistakes and shortcomings humbly and honestly, and was quick to forgive. Always, she spoke of others as though they were there in the room with her.
Humble to the core, she would never recognize herself as the esteemed runner in the relay of life. Her children now honorably take the baton from her.
And above all, Marilyn was a mother. She will be forever loved by her many children: Peg Myhre, Pam Martin, Mary Johansson, Walter Robinson, Ultima Danforth, Paul Robinson Jr., Bernard Robinson, Sara Beckwith, Una Cronin, Abraham Robinson, Amos Robinson, Toby Robinson, and Nancy Hood. Her grandchildren and great-grandchildren will miss her dearly: Tucker, Chloe, Eric, Tylor, Tyler, Katie, Thea, Zachary, Dillon, Austin, Willy, Ida Mae, Jed, Andre, Lance, Mikayla, Marilyn, Priscilla, Clay, Audrey, Liam, Mikko, Jett, Cooper, Anna, Ian, Maggie, Beatrice, Max, Grace, Ben, Collin, Byron, Jackson, Carlysle, and Sammy. In addition, she is survived by the husbands, wives and partners of her descendants, her Bailey cousins, Brendon, Gertrude, Kevin, and Mimi, and in-laws, Sarah Bernadine Robinson and Nancy Robinson.
John, Amanda, and Amber, your lives enriched Marilyn’s world so deeply for many years.
Marilyn was predeceased by her parents, her husband Paul, cousin Fr. Justin Bailey, and extended family members.
Special thanks to Jodi James for the collegiality, true friendship, and companionship that she shared with Marilyn for decades. The family also thanks Lee Ann Goodrich, RN, at Shard Villa and her professional team of care professionals who skillfully and thoughtfully tended to Marilyn throughout this past year or so. Finally, her children express special gratitude to Dr. Robin Myers, Addison County Home Health and Hospice, and the many healthcare providers, who cared for Marilyn throughout time.
A funeral mass will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Middlebury, on Friday, Nov. 8, 2019, at 11 a.m. A gathering of remembrance will be held immediately after at Tourterelle in New Haven.
In lieu of flowers, donations on Marilyn’s behalf may be made to Counseling Services of Addison County, designated to Community Associates, or, Child Life Services at UVM Children’s Hospital, 111 Colchester Ave. Burlington, VT 05401. ◊
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