Walter Stitt Robinson ’39

Memorial service for Walter Stitt Robinson, 96, Lawrence, KS will be held 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 2, 2014 at First United Methodist Church. Private inurnment will be held at Pioneer Cemetery.

Stitt was born in Charlotte, North Carolina, in 1917. He graduated from Central High School of Charlotte and completed his B.A. degree at Davidson College, 1939 summa cum laude. He received his M.A. degree in history at the University of Virginia before entering military service for four years in November 1941. He rose to the rank of Captain in the 82nd Airborne Division and engaged in combat in an airborne glider unit in the invasion of Southern France in August 1944, the Battle of the Bulge, and the airborne crossing of the Rhine in Germany in March 1945. He was awarded the Bronze Star for his service in Germany. He was a member of the faculty of Northwest Alabama University, 1946-48, before completing his Ph.D. in history at the University of Virginia in 1950. He then joined the faculty of the University of Kansas where he served as chair of the Department of History, 1968-73, before retiring in 1988.

He published eleven books and over thirty articles. Among his publications were The Southern Colonial Frontier, 1607-1763 in the Histories of the American Frontier, a biography of Governor James Glen of Colonial South Carolina, and five volumes of Indian Treaties in Early American Indian Documents: Treaties and Laws, 1607-1789. In support of his work, he received research grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Social Science Research Council, the American Philosophical Society, and the General Research Fund of the University of Kansas. He was a Fellow of the Institute for Advance Study in the Humanities at the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, 1983.

He was the recipient of the Distinguished Scholarship Award at the University of Kansas, 1976. He was a member of Phi Beta Kappa, the Raven Society of the University of Virginia, and the honor society of History, Phi Alpha Theta, where he served as international president, 1984-86. In his professional career, he was affiliated with the American Historical Association, the Organization of American Historians, and the Southern Historical Association. He was also a member of the Pi Kappa Alpha social fraternity and American Legion.

Among other professional and community services, he served on the National Civil War Centennial Commission. He was president of the Kansas State Historical Society, the Kansas School of Religion, and the Douglas County Historical Society. He was chair of the Program Committee for the national meeting of the Organization of American Historians in 1959 and chair of the Kansas Committee for the Humanities, 1975-78 (now the Kansas Humanities Council). He was an active member of the First United Methodist Church in Lawrence and participated regularly on a rotating team of Sunday School teachers for over fifty years.

Survivors include his wife, Constance Mock Robinson; a daughter, Barry Robinson Cook; and husband,Bob, of Leawood, Kansas; a son, Walter Lee; and a grandson, Trevor Lee of Seattle, Washington. Also surviving is his sister, Barry Hemby of Charlotte, North Carolina and numerous nephews and nieces.

Memorial contributions may be made in his name to the KU Endowment Association in memory of Walter Stitt Robinson or First United Methodist Church and may be sent in care of Warren-McElwain Mortuary.

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Published in Lawrence Journal-World on June 26, 2014