Martin H. Robinson "Marty"
March 16, 2020 at the age of 82. Predeceased by his loving wife, Carol (Passer Goodman) Robinson, and parents, Moe and Sara (Segelin) Robinson. Survived by his daughter Sheila (Larry Nagle) Robinson; son Michael (Karri) Robinson; sister Roberta (Manny) Helzner; many loved nieces, nephews, cousins & friends.
Marty was a great lover of nature and photography and enjoyed walking and snowshoeing in Mendon Ponds Park and other local parks.
Given the current global circumstances, Sheila is preparing a very brief private graveside service with a Rabbi and minyan in place for a proper interment. Sheila and Mike are encouraging all family both local and outside of Rochester to stay home and stay safe, rather than risking exposure.
The family asks that in lieu of sending anything to them, that you consider an act of kindness to help a person in need at this difficult time, or a donation to your favorite charity.
Martin Harris Robinson (Cousin Marty) , z”l -- Eulogy for My Brother. (by Burton Segelin)
So where do we begin, at the beginning of course. Well the beginning probably goes back May 1937 when I was born and 4 months later to September 1937 when Marty was born. Marty’s mom Sara, was my Dad, Morris’s beloved younger sister and my Mom’s beloved sister-in law. Sometimes I used to think that we must have shared the same womb, although of course I realize that this was physically impossible.
As an only child, I often referred to Marty and yes Marty’s sister, my cousin Roberta, as my only brother and sister, and in all too many ways Marty was and still is and Roberta is and will always be my brother and sister, as long as there is memory, for we shared so very much together back then and also now.
Marty was a unique individual. Here are some adjectives that apply to him. Completely Honest. Humble. Sincere. Unassuming. Giving. Patient. Non-Judgmental. Intelligent, Curious. He identified with the underdog, and believed that it was our Government’s responsibility to work on behalf of all Americans especially those who need it most.
Marty’s level of Jewish observance may have been minimal but if the meaning of being a good Jew is defined by being a “mentsch” then Marty was SuperJew, with a capital S and a capital J.
But there is much more to his Jewishness than that. He was interested in Israel and of our experiences in Israel. He asked questions about our life, about the kibbutz, about Israel’s strange system of Democracy, about the Israel Palestine conflict, about Netanyahu and about what will happen to Israel, in view of it’s current election crisis, and much more. In the last couple of months I spent much time trying to understand the Israeli political crisis so that I could help Marty understand it. Believe me his questions were many.
Marty had a multitude of interests. At various points in his life he was an avid Euchre player, race horse enthusiast, poker player, joke teller, bird watcher, fisherman, bicycler, walker, photographer, butterfly enthusiast, insect discoverer and photographer, lover of dragonflies, knew the history, the trails and the terrain of Mendon Park like most of us know the backs of our hands as the saying goes. And with each of his interests he was not merely a dilettante. He would spend hours reading and learning about each subject until he mastered it.
He became a star-gazer and knew the skies and the names of most of the constellations in our galaxy and would sit for hours in front of his small garage with a Bud in hand and gaze at the stars.
He bought a canoe and would spend hours on some of the many ponds and finger lakes fishing, sometimes alone and often with one of his many fishing buddies over the years. He introduced me to fishing. Only catch and release of course. He only used artificial bait. Spinners, artificial worms, floaters and sinking baits. For many years he had very good luck, then, a few years ago luck changed and they just weren’t biting for him. He could not figure that out. Even if his fishing partner of the moment was catching one after another, Marty would always report that he got “Skunked”. Marty was a member of many online fishing forms where he would answer other’s questions of why they got “Skunked”.
He was an avid reader of mystery novels and knew all the classics of that genre. He became interested in classical music and tried to understand the different styles and accumulated a large collection of DVD classics. He spent hours sitting all alone on his little back porch listening and puzzling out the styles and meaning of each composer. Not just enjoying them as most of us do for their melodies and harmonies. He was an avid crossword puzzle solver and not only the Newsday ones but also the NY Times. He was also an expert Sudoko player and participated in an online forum for years helping people to learn the methods of solving this addictive game.
I lived with Marty in the late forties when his mom my Aunt Sara had breast cancer, one of the Segelin curses. For me that was one of the best times of my life. I finally had a brother and a little sister. When Marty and Roberta had one of their wrestling matches I would save Roberta from Marty’s onslaught.
Marty and I would share the same bed and read comic books by flashlight under the covers until my Uncle Moe came into the room and would discover this, a major NO, NO. Marty and I would sit side by side at the ice-cream fountain at Uncle Moes drug store on Park Ave and share a cherry coke while reading comic books. We would attend all the cousin’s birthday parties at Marty’s back yard, in our late cousin Bob Segelin’s z”l basement and at my house the family manse at 87 Rauber Street where all of us cousins would pose for the yearly photo shoot with the grape vine in the background.
Marty was my brother, Roberta is my sister and Uncle Moe was my surrogate father, and I have much to thank them for.
Marty, I could go on with these stories forever but I won’t. However there is one thing that I would like to recall and that is the time, you spoke at one of my birthdays, when I came back from Israel. You gave me a roast and you were spot on. I loved it and I never expected this to work out the way it did. I always expected that your final roast to me would occur before my eulogy to you.
This is not goodbye my brother. You will remain in my heart and my memory as long as I have memory and I will write of our relationship and continue to tell the story of my brother Marty to all who will listen. I will always love you, as long as I still can breath.