Paul Geoffrey Robinson died suddenly May 21, 2020, at his home in Lopez, Pennsylvania. At 74, he had lived many lifetimes’ worth of experiences.
Paul was born in Southampton, England, and grew up in London, the son of Ralph Bertram Robinson, originally from Danzig, Poland, and Pamela Mabel Thompson of London, England. His parents married at the end of World War II in Alexandria, Egypt, while his father was serving in the Royal Air Force.
When he was 14, Paul ran away from home and boarding school and made his own way as a dishwasher and street vendor in London, before going on to work in advertising and graphic design. In the Mid ‘60s London scene, he managed a nightclub and a rock band or two. He operated a discount travel service, and then went on to spend three years traveling around the world himself.
At the age of 26, Paul immigrated to New York, then moved to Philadelphia in 1977 and became a U.S. citizen. He operated discount travel companies, worked as a graphic designer, and managed instant printing companies. In the 1980s, he trained himself in computer programming, taught computer skills, and wrote programs for the printing and banking industries. He became involved in Philadelphia’s arts scene, volunteering with the Pennsylvania Ballet and local theater.
Paul was the very definition of a lifelong student. In his youth, he attended the Cordon Bleu school of cooking and apprenticed as a “saucier” at London’s Ritz Hotel. Later in life, up until the end, he took classes in painting, sewing, guitar, voice, and ballroom dancing. He was an avid reader and writer.
Above all, Paul Robinson was a generous man. He gave a helping hand to many people in need. His mother had taught him, he said, the importance of doing one good thing every day, and he did his best to live by that rule. He hated bullying and any kind of injustice. He loved children and had a love/hate relationship with cats.
In 1999, he purchased a historic hotel/restaurant in Lopez with the dream of turning it into an artists’ retreat, the Iris Arts House. After his beloved partner of many years, Dr. Barbara Williams, died in 2013, he made Lopez his primary home.
Paul Robinson is survived by his children, Bennett Robinson of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Jennifer Robinson, of Madison, Wisconsin, whom he loved dearly. He is also survived by his many friends in Philadelphia; State College, and Williamsport, PA; Ithaca, NY; San Diego, CA; and Shanghai, China. He was truly a citizen of the world. His friends will sorely miss his wry humor and the twinkle in his eye.
There will be a memorial celebration of Paul Robinson’s life at Iris Arts House in July, details to be announced on the Iris Arts House Facebook page. Donations in Paul’s memory may be made to the non-profit Iris Arts House, 80 Main Street, Lopez, PA 18628.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Homer Funeral Home, 206 Water St., Dushore, PA
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