Wright Robinson was a legend in his hometown
By Lynn R. Parks
On Nov. 16, not a month before his death, Wright Robinson visited the Seaford Museum.
“He came in with some members of his family, just to look around,” said Christina Darby, assistant director of the museum. “I couldn’t stay with him the whole time, but whenever I checked on him he was kind of holding court. He had so many memories, so many stories to tell, that people were just standing around listening to him.”
Robinson, 95, died Wednesday, Dec. 10. At his funeral Monday, his ability to spin a yarn and his memory for details were subjects for the eulogizers.
“We all know what a wonderful storyteller Uncle Wright was,” said David Robinson, Robinson’s nephew, Milford, N.H. “He knew Seaford’s history not by reading about it, but by heart. And he shared that heart with the community.”
“If we wanted a symbol for our town, it would look like Wright Robinson,” said Thomas Gross, minister at Mt. Olivet, where the service was held. “He symbolized the town of Seaford. We have lost that symbol, but the memory of him will remain for a long time.”
Robinson was a native of Seaford and was the former owner of The Leader newspaper. Until his death, he wrote a column, “Reflections,” for the paper, at which he carried the title editor emeritus.
“He was a wonderful person and truly a joy to work with,” said Virginia “Mike” Barton, Laurel. Barton was named editor of the State Register in Laurel in 1966 when Robinson was editor of The Leader. Both papers were owned at the time by Chesapeake Publishing.
“It was obvious that he loved the newspaper business,” said Barton. “And he was very willing to share any knowledge he had with all of us.”
Barton remembers that Robinson’s glasses, which he typically wore hanging from the front of his shirt, were always dirty. “We were always telling him to go clean his glasses,” she said.
“Seaford has lost a valuable historian,” she added. “His memory was always very keen.”
“Who else is like him here?” said Jane Watson, Seaford. “He was so intensely interested in everything in Seaford - it was like a love affair.”
Former mayor and city councilman Guy Longo was at the funeral. He remembered Robinson as a strong advocate for the city.
“I can’t think of anyone who has had more of a positive impact on Seaford,” he said. “He was always excited about new technology. He had a wise vision for the city.”
At Robinson’s funeral, the Rev. James Bank, Unitarian minister, said that there is value in coming together to examine a serviceable life, “so that we take on what was noble about him and become noble ourselves.”
Bank shared Gross’ sentiment that Robinson’s spirit will live on in the town he so loved. “They are not dead who live in the hearts they leave behind and in the people they have blessed,” he said. “We carry their memories with us into the future.
“If Wright had had his way, the Grandpa Jammers would have played here today,” he added. Robinson played the trombone for the group, sponsored by the Nanticoke Senior Center.
“His honorary induction into the Girl Scouts, his work to bring a power plant to Seaford, to attract the DuPont plant and to make the hospital a fine facility would have been the focus of the service. Instead, we have shared stories about his life, and that is a fitting tribute.
“His role goes on - his life goes on in all of us,” he concluded.
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