A man with the biggest smile you have ever seen is now smiling in Heaven. He was born to make a difference; and he did just that!
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Earl C. Robinson, the son of the late Vermell Walker and the late Roosevelt Robinson was a native of Richards, Texas.
After spending his early years in Richards being raised by his grandmother, Mariah Parker, he moved to Houston,Texas and graduated from Phyllis Wheatley High School. He furthered his education at Texas Southern University and Jackson State University. He also studied at the George Meany Labor Study Center and served as a student and presenter at the IAM Winpinsinger Education and Technology Training Center in Placid Harbor, Maryland.
Earl was a founding Member of the NAACP Ad Hoc Labor Committee and a Golden Heritage member; and has served on the boards of the United Neighborhood Centers of America, Inc.; the A. Philip Randolph Institute; the National Black Voter Participation Initiative; and in the past, has been an active member of the National Black Police Association, the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and the Labor Committee of the National Black Caucus of State Legislators. Well respected by many, he was the recipient of numerous awards, citations, and proclamations from governmental, civic and professional organizations.
In his childhood he was baptized and served as a junior deacon at Duncan Memorial Church of God in Christ in Houston.
He relished his role as big brother to his sisters, the late Faye L. Hines and Joy D. Edwards of Houston, Texas.
Always searching for a new adventure, his innovative spirit took him on journeys as an entrepreneur, business owner and as a merchant seaman. He was an honorably discharged veteran of the United States Air Force.
It was, however, his storied career as a union leader for which he was tailor-made and that gave him the greatest satisfaction. His union advocacy began when he joined IAM Local 15 in Houston, TX, as a materials clerk at Cameron Iron Works. While at Local 15, he served as a Shop Steward, United Fund Solicitor and co-chairman of the political league. He was also a member of the A. Philip Randolph Institute and co-chair of the Black Affairs Committee of the Texas AFL-CIO as well as a staff organizer with the Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO.
He moved to Washington, DC in 1974 when when he was hired as the Machinist Non-Partisan Political League (MNPL) Assistant Director, making history by becoming the first African American to join headquarters staff of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). It was in that position that he
travelled the world, always impeccably dressed, “never meeting a stranger” and amassing a legion of dear colleagues and lifelong friends.
He was predeceased by his son, Gathan Earl Robinson and his wife, Annie Louise Robinson.
In 1997, he met Eileen A. Olds, “Brighteyes” aka “the Judge” while networking and exhibiting his trademark charm. From then until his death, they were inseparable.
Earl was a member of New Bethel Baptist Church in Washington, DC; but while in his second home of Chesapeake, Virginia, he attended First Baptist Church South Hill and Providence United Church of Christ.
He leaves to mourn, his sister, Joy and his many nieces and nephews.
His memory will be cherished forever by Eileen, her sisters Fran Olds and Joan Williams (Dan)and his mentored and favored “nephew” and ‘niece”, Brett Jr. and Bria Harrell., along with extended family and his many friends.