CRAWFORDSVILLE — Richard “Dick” Robinson, former journalist, investigative reporter and Crawfordsville businessman, died April, 16 2013, at The Hospice House, in Bloomington. Born July 18, 1929, at Crawfordsville, the son of Karl and Gladys Lawton Robinson, he was graduated at Crawfordsville High School (1947) and Indiana University, Kelley School of Business Bloomington (1952).
Robinson was a life member of the Indiana University Alumni Association, former president of the award-winning Montgomery County Chapter Indiana University Alumni Club and IU Emeritus Club.
While residing at Crawfordsville, Robinson and his wife, Ann, on Culver Hospital Auxiliary's behalf, in 1969 and 1970 chaired the organization's annual fund-raiser (Culver Hospital Fair). Each year, the Robinsons' efforts provided a record level of donations to support the auxiliary's work. Once, Robinson was the general chairman for the annual Sugar Creek Canoe Races. A long-time advocate for downtown shopping at Crawfordsville, Robinson was a founding member of Downtown Crawfordsville, Inc., an organization of local merchants.
As a national disaster responder, he served in Puerto Rico, Georgia, North Carolina, Texas, Louisiana and Indiana, assisting victims of natural disasters. Robinson was the AARP's State Coordinator for the Defensive Driving Program covering the 22 counties in Southwest Indiana. He was a member of the Indianapolis Press Club, U.S. Naval Reserve and the Indiana Guard Reserve.
Robinson began his journalism career with The Journal Review at Crawfordsville. While with The Journal Review, he wrote the obituary for a survivor of the 1912 Titanic disaster. Later he was a special publication editor with the Sentinel newspaper at Rockville and eventually was the legislative and government affairs reporter for The Tribune-Star at Terre Haute.
Prior to working in journalism, Robinson was associated with J.C. Penney Co. Inc. serving at Crawfordville, LaSalle, Ill., Waterloo Iowa, and Wauwatosa, Wis. Robinson and his wife, Ann, owned and operated Julie Ann Fabrics Stores in Indianapolis and Crawfordsville.
Gov. Evan Bayh awarded Robinson the Sagamore of the Wabash, Indiana's highest honor for a citizen, in recognition for his work on behalf of women, children and seniors as well as his contributions to the Indiana State House Press Corps. He was a former dean for the press corps.
The Indiana House of Representatives and the Indiana Senate adopted a joint resolution honoring Robinson for his work to inform and raise the public's awareness of the legislative process and for his contributions to improve life for seniors, women and children. He was selected Journalist of the Year by the Indiana Trial Lawyers' Association in recognition of outstanding and distinguished contributions to the citizens of Indiana as a leader in the journalism field dedicated to excellence in investigative reporting. Citizens Action Coalition, a consumer protection organization, presented Robinson its Media Excellence Award for his support of its programs designed to assist Indiana's citizens. At his retirement it was said: “Your knowledge and expertise have helped establish a statewide reputation for journalistic integrity. Your skill as an ambassador has paid great benefits to the newspaper and your colleagues.”
He married Elizabeth ”Annie” Weliver in Crawfordsville in 1951, and she survives. He was preceded in death in 2011 by his only child, a daughter, Valerie Ann Freeman (Randy) of Indianapolis. Other survivors include three grandchildren, Aaron Steele of Indianapolis, Amanda Steele D.O. of Iowa City, Iowa, and Sarah Steele of Bellflower, Calif.
A memorial service and celebration of his life will be conducted later.