John D. Robinson

1937 - 2021

PHOENIX MILLS – John D. Robinson, a Cooperstown native son and avid outdoorsman, passed away late Sunday night, July 4, 2021, at Cooperstown Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing. He was 83.

Born October 15, 1937, in Cooperstown, he was one of three sons of Torrey G. and Leonore M. (Goddard) Robinson. John could trace his long-standing family roots in Otsego County back to 1792 when his ancestors settled in Lena in the Town of New Lisbon. 

John graduated with the Class of 1956 from Cooperstown High School. For many years he was employed in the area as a union laborer, and was involved with construction projects at Hyde Hall, Mary Imogene Bassett Hospital and Interstate 88. 

Throughout his life he enjoyed outdoor activities, and spent innumerable hours exploring the Otsego region swimming, hiking, fishing, trapping, and hunting. He was also an avid motorcyclist – his favorites were Indians – and also enjoyed riding snowmobiles in the winter months. His hand-crafted log cabin home on the shore of the Susquehanna River, his workmanship in stone masonry at Hyde Hall and his keen interest in local history reflected his deep and abiding passion for local culture and conservation. 

A regular participant at walks offered by Otsego Land Trust, he became aware of their mission to protect natural areas, working farms and forests, and historic sites while exploring some of the special lands they have secured. Because of a timely lead from John, Otsego Land Trust was able to make its first land purchase of a 3-acre parcel of wetlands along the Susquehanna River. As a result of this contribution which became the Compton Bridge Conservation Area, Otsego Land Trust presented him with their inaugural “Trailblazer Award” for enabling them to reach this important milestone.

Throughout his life, John was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, where he served as a Trustee and later as a member of the Buildings and Grounds Ministry Team. He also enjoyed volunteering at the Cooperstown Food Pantry. 

John is survived by his son, John D. Robinson, Jr. and wife, Kathleen of the Town of Decatur; grandchildren Leigh Ann Gilbert and husband, Phil, Jonathan Robinson, Marsha Shoemaker and husband, Jason, and Bobbijo Perry; several great grandchildren; and his loving partner, Donna Shaver of Laurens, who stood by his side to the end. 

He was preceded in death by his parents and two brothers, Bruce E. and George F. Robinson. 

The family will receive friends from 1-3 p.m. Saturday, July 10, 2021, at The First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown.

At the conclusion of the visitation, a Service in Celebration of the Life of John D. Robinson, will be offered at 3 p.m. Saturday, July 10, 2021, at the First Presbyterian Church of Cooperstown, with the Rev. Faith E. Gay, pastor, presiding. Interment will be private at the Fly Creek Valley Cemetery in Fly Creek. 

For those who so desire, donations in memory of John may be made to the organization that was closest to his heart and always inspired him, the Otsego Land Trust, PO Box 173, Cooperstown, NY 13326.

Arrangements are under the care and guidance of the Connell, Dow & Deysenroth Funeral Home in Cooperstown.