William C. Robinson ’43

William C. Robinson, Jr. formerly of Newton, MA, died peacefully on June 11, 2018, 5 days short of his 96th birthday.  He was born in Gettysburg, PA in 1922 to William C. and Mary McConkey Robinson.  He grew up in Decatur, GA, and upon his graduation from Davidson College in NC, he entered World War II as a 2nd Lt in the Infantry.  Assigned command of an antitank platoon, he, with his men landed on the coast of France shortly after D-Day.  They went on to Belgium and the Netherlands, where they secured the South end of the Battle of the Bulge, and finally into Germany, following General Patton’s tanks, chasing the Nazis back toward Berlin.

At war’s end, the GI Bill of Rights sent him to the University of Edinburgh, Scotland to study Theology. He spent further time working toward his doctorate at the University of Basel, Switzerland, later earned a degree at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga, and became pastor of a small church near Raleigh, NC.  He continued work on his Doctorate at Yale Divinity School, and at the University of Bonn, Germany, and then completed it at the University of Basel.

He taught Bible at King College in Bristol, TN for five years, served as Professor of New Testament at Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, for ten years, and at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, MA for 21 years. He spent a sabbatical semester teaching at the Ecole Biblique in Jerusalem.

Bill enjoyed playing trumpet in high school and college years, and always, singing in choirs.  He sang with the Chorus Pro Musica, and for many years with the Newton Choral Society and Eliot Church Choir.  His treasure was a 1959 Jaguar sedan — rebuilding its engine with son, Bill, and driving it. He enjoyed building, especially furniture.  Another delight was learning the Coptic language and translating one of the Nag Hammadi documents.  He loved his research into the New Testament period of history, as well as in tracing his family history.

He leaves his wife, Virginia (Whiteman); son John W, wife Mary (Condon), granddaughter Lily Elizabeth of Bolton, MA; treasured nieces and nephew, Francoise, Jamie, Joy, and Rosemary, all of CA, and their children; and many beloved Robinson cousins. He is predeceased by his first wife, Mildred Ann (Evans), his son, William C III and his brother, James M. Robinson.

A service will be held at 2:00 on Saturday, September 15 at Eliot Church, 474 Centre St. in Newton Corner. In lieu of flowers, donations in his memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association, MA and NH Chapter, 309 Waverly Oaks Rd, Waltham, MA 02452.

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