Forest Milton Robinson
September 16, 1929 ~ December 16, 2013
Forest Milton Robinson passed away peacefully on December 16, 2013. Forest was born September 16, 1929, in New Lisbon, WI, the son of Cecil Leroy Robinson and Etta Fern (Shaffer). He graduated from Sandy High School, near Mt. Hood in Oregon, in 1948. Forest was the second born of eight children. He spent his early youth in New Lisbon, WI. His mother, Fern, passed away at the age of 27 after giving birth to twins, Jerry and Jeanette Robinson. Forest was nine at that time. He worked the family “stump” farm along with his two younger brothers, plowing the fields behind their two horses, feeding chickens, pigs, milking cows, and attending school in New Lisbon. At age 13, he and his two younger brothers, Wallace and Charles, were transported by troop train from Wisconsin to Rhododendron, OR to join his father, who moved to the area to work for the Hanford project. He served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War from September 25, 1950 to July 9, 1954, Rank: HM2, U.S. Navy Medic, he was an X-Ray Technician. He especially loved the amputee ward while in the service. He attended boot camp and Hospital Corps School in San Diego, CA. He was stationed at Oak Noll Hospital in Oakland, CA and Bremerton Naval Hospital in Bremerton, WA. He was on three troop transport ships while in the service, the USS Buchner, USS Phoenix and USS Meigs. He was awarded the Good Conduct Medal in 1953, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service and United Nations medals. Forest and Elizabeth (Langdon) were married in Rhododendron, OR on June 2, 1951. Forest graduated from Oregon State College 1956, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business and Technology/Business Administration with an Accounting Major and Clothing Minor degree. Forest and Betty developed and operated retail clothing stores called Robinson’s, Lefty’s Squire Shop, and the Spool & Boutique, which were located in Washington and Oregon. Their first store was established in Richland in 1960. They also operated stores in Wenatchee, East Wenatchee, Walla Walla, Yakima, Mt. Vernon, and Aberdeen, WA and also a store in LaGrande, OR. Most of the stores were located in shopping malls. Forest built all of the fixtures for them. Forest and Betty, along with sons, Charles and James and daughter, Susan, moved from Richland, WA to Wenatchee, WA in 1963, to open Robinson’s Clothing Store in the Valley North Mall. Forest owned a Beach Barron, which he flew to his various stores. He logged over 6,000 hours in the Barron, making trips up to Frobisher Bay in the Northwest Territories, where his unwavering mining investment called Borealis, Ltd. was located. He and sons, Charles and James, helped build the airstrip there on the mining property. Betty passed away suddenly in August 1984. On June 21, 1986, he married Barbara (Potter) Olson in Leavenworth, WA. He gained another daughter, Rachel Taylor Olson. Forest loved to golf, and especially enjoyed his three winter months in Palm Desert, CA, where he gained many friends at the Palm Royale Country Club. He was very proud of the fact he shot two holes in one there. He was an excellent woodworker, and helped build two of his homes and he built the furniture for them. He was instrumental in getting a local volunteer framing crew, which included his son, Jim and his friends, to help build the Cancer House in Wenatchee. While being a Rotarian for 50 years, including being a Paul Harris Fellow, Forest volunteered to work with the Wenatchee Rotary on local improvement projects. Forest was also instrumental in getting a home built for a double amputee Veteran, by calling in local volunteers and businesses, who donated a lot of the materials.
Forest was preceded in death by his parents, Cecil Roland Robinson and Etta Fern (Shaffer) Robinson; his first wife, Elizabeth “Betty” Robinson; his brothers, Wallace of Portland, OR and Jerry Robinson of Richland, WA; and his sisters, Sharon Esiamo of Portland, OR and Shirley Arneson-Robinson of Poulsbo, WA. He is survived by his wife, Barbara, of the home; daughters, Susan E. Myette of Issaquah, WA and Rachel L. Port of Lewiston, ID; and sons, Charles Forest Robinson (Cathy) of Lewiston, ID and James “Jim” Milton Robinson of Monroe, WA. He is also survived by his sister, Geneva McManimon of Boone, IA and Jeanette Roelke (Hjalmer) of Ft. Apache, WI; and a brother, Charles Robinson (Jane) of Tacoma, WA. Also surviving are 14 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
A Memorial Service for Forest M. Robinson will be held on Friday, December 27, 2013, at 1:00 p.m. at Telford’s Chapel of the Valley in East Wenatchee, WA. Memorials may be made to the Wenatchee Valley Animal Shelter, Wounded Warrior Project, United Service Organization, Wenatchee Rotary, or a charity of your choice. Arrangements by Telford’s Chapel of the Valley, East Wenatchee.