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Obit: Richard O. Robinson

•Taken from the Jan. 9 Island Dispatch

Fri, Jan 9th 2015 07:00 am

Richard O. Robinson, a prominent local personal injury attorney and former three-term Grand Island town justice, died Monday, Dec. 29, 2014. He was 82.

Born Jan. 30, 1932, in Watertown, he was a graduate of St. Bonaventure University and a 1958 graduate of the University at Buffalo School of Law, where he was the associate editor of the Buffalo Law Review. He was an Army veteran who served in Korea as a commissioned officer, first lieutenant.

Mr. Robinson practiced law for more than 55 years, focusing on plaintiff litigation. He began his legal career working at the law offices of William J. Flynn, and was a partner in the law offices of Moynihan, Scalzo and Robinson; Robinson, Wittig, and Speller; and Robinson Speller; he then formed Richard O. Robinson, P.C., and in 1987 formed Robinson & Rossi. P.C. For the last 15 years he was a solo practitioner at Richard O. Robinson, P.C.

In 1973, he had the privilege of presenting and arguing a case before the Supreme Court and was also admitted to the bar of the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit. He was an active member of the Erie County Bar Association, the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, the American Association for Justice, and the National Panel of Arbitrators of the American Arbitration Association.

Mr. Robinson was actively involved with the Town of Grand Island, where he was a three-term town justice from 1962 to 1973, and he served on the Town Board and town Planning Board. He was also a member of the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce for over 50 years. In 1969, he was honored as Town of Grand Island Professional Citizen of the Year.

Mr. Robinson was a concerned and compassionate town judge who cared not only for the individual citizen but for the entire Grand Island community.

A voracious reader and ancient Roman, Renaissance and French Revolution history buff, he enjoyed visiting literary haunts in Florence and Paris, loved Shakespeare, the opera and classical music and was an avid skier.

Mr. Robinson was dedicated to his clients and passionate about the practice of law; actively practicing until his death.

Mr. Robinson is survived by his wife of 28 years, the former Cheryl L. Martinsen; three children, Kathleen A., Howard T. (Randi), and Paula A. (Donald) Pytlik; a step-daughter, Carrie E. (John) Funke; seven grandchildren; five great-grandchildren, and his faithful and beloved cocker spaniel, Seymour.

He was predeceased by his parents, the late Otto Austin Robinson and Agnes (Keggins) Robinson; a sister, Aloyse Lawrence; and former wife, Mary Angela (Thornbury) Hastrich, with whom he had his beloved children.

At Mr. Robinson's request, there will be no services.

In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Hospice Buffalo, 225 Como Park; Erie County SPCA; or Roswell Park Cancer Institute.

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