Dorothy Ella Smith Robinson (Dot) passed away peacefully at the age of 100 surrounded by Love on Monday, January 27, 2020 in Virginia. She was born in Houston, Texas on December 12, 1919 to the union of Clifford F. Smith, Sr. and Elsie Blunt Smith. Dorothy was the middle child of the Smith Family’s five children: C.F., Frances, Dot, Boots, and Bob. She started her schooling at Bruce Elementary School and finished from Wheatley High School’s Class of 1936.
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As a child she and her mother, father and siblings attended the newly established Gregg Street Presbyterian Church, pastored by the Reverend J. H. M. Boyce. It was the first Black Presbyterian Church in Houston and was later named Pine Crest Presbyterian Church when it moved to its current location. She was very active in the church as a child and as an adult. She taught Sunday School, Bible School, sang in the choir and was a member of various Women’s Organizations. In later years she also attended Sloan Memorial Methodist Church. However, she returned to Pine Crest and later when her health declined, her dear friend, the late Otis McAlister would drive her to and from church services on Sunday mornings. After being in Virginia for a while, she has now returned to Pine Crest one more time.
Dorothy married the late, Howard C. Robinson in 1941. From that union came two daughters, Elsie Beatrice and Beverly Ann. Dorothy worked at various places, the most notable, Teal Photographic Studio. Before color photography, she became a master at tinting sepia photographs. She worked for her brother C.F. at C.F. Smith Electric Company as a receptionist, scheduler and bookkeeper and later for the City of Houston as a clerk. She retired from the Texas State Department of Health.
She took an active role in her children’s education, participating in PTA and other school functions. She was also active in the community. She attended Senior Programs at Hester House (for many years), Finnegan Park, and S.H.A.P.E. Community Center. She also worked as a volunteer at hospitals in the community and in the church.
For her 90th birthday the city of Houston honored her by naming December 12, 2009 as Dorothy Smith Robinson Day. Family and friends celebrated the day at a party for Queen Dorothy. She was also honored on her 100th birthday with a proclamation from the mayor of the city of Norfolk declaring December 12, 2019, Dorothy Smith Robinson Day.
Dorothy was a very friendly, outgoing person who “never met a stranger.” She would talk to people that she just met and they would talk at length recounting things, events and places they had in common. She was very witty and loved a good debate. One of her favorite pastimes was taking walks. She walked all over the neighborhood and even past. She loved reading, sewing, singing and gardening. She loved to travel and visit her family in California, Colorado and Virginia, as well as vacation in other places such as Hawaii, Canada, and Jamaica.
Dorothy was the favorite Aunt to several nieces and nephews and the supplier of ginger snap cookies to her two grandsons Malcolm and Jeff when they came to visit.
She was preceded in death by her mother Elsie Blunt Smith, her father Clifford Farrel Smith, Sr., her siblings Clifford F. Smith, Jr. and his wife Hortense, Frances Smith Williams Green and her former husbands Odell and Charles, Robert H. Smith and his wife Mildred, and Virgie Smith Roberts (Boots) and her husband Leroy. At 100 she lived the longest.
She leaves to cherish her memories her children Elsie Beatrice Robinson McGowan and Beverly Ann Robinson Davis; her grandchildren Malcolm E. Davis, Jeffery R. McGowan, Kwisa O. Davis (Johnel), and Halima N. Davis; her great grandchildren Aswan Benjamin and Macy P. McGowan; many cousins, nieces, nephews, grand nieces, grand nephews and friends.
What a blessing Dorothy was to all who knew and loved her.