In Memory: Richard S. Robie '54 | St. Lawrence University President's Office

In Memory: Richard S. Robie '54

To The St. Lawrence Community:

St. Lawrence has lost another legend, Trustee Emeritus Richard Robie ’54, who died on November 24, after a brief illness. An exemplary philanthropist, offering leadership and wisdom to such organizations as the Boston Rotary Club, the American Red Cross of Boston, the South End Boys Club, Choate-Rosemary Hall, the Shore Country Day School and St. Lawrence University, Dick’s selflessness extended to his service as a trustee from 1987 until his retirement in 2003. 

Dick’s professional insights as president of Robie Properties, which owns and manages commercial and industrial real estate in the greater Boston area, as well as land and home development in New Hampshire, contributed to numerous Board discussions.  He was the longtime chair of the Architecture and Physical Plant (now University Properties) Committee when the University added and renovated many campus spaces.  Retired Vice President for Administrative Operations Tom Coakley, a close associate of Dick’s, told me “Among the many wonderful people that I had the opportunity to meet serving St. Lawrence, Dick stands out among the very best.  We worked together through a very active 10 year period of expansion and plant renewal.  Dick was immensely generous and loyal to St. Lawrence. He was both honest and caring with respect to all of us working with him.”

Dick Robie was a great visionary at St. Lawrence who was inspired to see much of his dream completed, particularly developing our men’s and women’s squash program.  The teams, as well as avid recreational players, enjoy the best possible facilities in the Robie Squash Center, a result of the family’s generosity. 

Dick and Ann Robie invited Lynn and me into their circle of friendship immediately, giving us hospitality in their beloved Boston on many occasions and also at their home in Florida.  One memory I have of Dick is at a ceremonial occasion where we were both in academic regalia and, after the event, I came back to the robing area and grabbed my suit jacket and the sleeves were about three-quarters of the way up my arm.  Dick, meanwhile, had taken my jacket, the exact same suit he was wearing, and together we attended a reception where I’m sure all the onlookers thought that Robie and Fox really needed to find a good tailor.  Dick and I had great fun and much laughter about that and many other instances of being fast friends.  He’ll be missed but he’s left his mark on our campus and our lives.

In addition to his beloved wife, Ann, and his brother, Don, he leaves five children and their spouses: Chip and Susan Robie, Doug and Dana Robie, Beth Robie , Jay ’91 and Traci Robie, Brad ’95 and Maki Robie, and their ten grandchildren . A memorial service will be held at 11 AM on Monday, December 4, at the Old North Church, 35 Washington St. in Marblehead. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Old North Church, 8 Stacey St., Marblehead, MA 01945. Arrangements by Eustis and Cornell of Marblehead, MA.  We invite you to post your memories and reflections on our Memorial web site.

Bill Fox

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