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Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Former teacher celebrates 104th birthday

Hudson Hub Times

Laura Freeman

Hudson -- Friends and family helped former teacher Geraldine Robinson celebrate her 104th birthday July 13, two days early, at the Laurel Lake Retirement Community.

Geraldine wore her signature color of pink, and the decorations matched, including a sash with "fantastic" printed on it and a pink corsage. Although she had trouble hearing, Geraldine smiled for the cameras and enjoyed all the attention.

Friends like Eleanor Horning stopped by Geraldine's table to wish her a happy birthday.

"We had dinner together every week," Horning said. "She's an amazing friend. She's been a kind person all her life."

The Little Leapers performed some dance and gymnastic routines and presented her with a bundle of cards. The Mayor of Cuyahoga Falls, who did not attend, sent a proclamation naming July 13 Geraldine Robinson day, and the Mayor of Hudson, represented by Council member Dennis Hanink, gave her a proclamation naming July 15 Geraldine Robinson day.

The celebration was part of a "Gift of a Day" program based on the question "If you had one day, what would it look like?" created by Crossroads Hospice. Caring Hands, a department of Laurel Lake Retirement Community which provides daily health care for is residents, staff and volunteers at Laurel Lake worked with Crossroads Hospice to make the wish a reality.

Geraldine was given a Life Journal created by Hiram College students majoring in health care. They interviewed her and compiled old photos with major events in her life.

Born in Barberton July 15, 1908, Geraldine obtained a teaching degree from Kent State University, and in 1934 married Roy Robinson, who taught industrial arts and history at Barberton High School. They had no children except those they taught in the classroom.

Geraldine taught for 52 years, first at Barberton High School and then with second-grader and children with special needs in Cuyahoga Falls at Lincoln and Grant schools.

When she retired in 1978, she was named a "Staff Member Emeritus" for her dedication by the Cuyahoga Falls School District.

Roy taught for 50 years at Barberton and was a consultant of the University of Akron for 10 years. He built their home on Chestnut Boulevard in Cuyahoga Falls.

Geraldine's niece, Judy Snow of Texas, said Robinson helped her learn to write cursive and how to make numbers.

"She liked to read 'The Boxcar Children' books about four orphan children living in a boxcar," Snow said.

She was a good cook, and succotash was one of her standard dishes, Snow said. She also made pickled eggs with beet juice to create pink eggs.

Geraldine's Chestnut Boulevard neighbor and best friend for 45 years, Evelyn Armstrong, also is a resident of Laurel Lake and arrived at the party first.

"Gerry decided she wasn't going to move out of her home in the Falls until she was 95, which she did," Armstrong said.

Armstrong recalled how Robinson would wear white gloves to rake the leaves at her home in the falls.

"She'd always dress up and look beautiful," Armstrong said.
The Robinsons were members of the First United Methodist Church in the Falls and would go out to eat after church and then play cards at Robinson's home.

"She's a person I never once heard complain," Armstrong said. "[She's] quite an outstanding person."

Robinson was presented with flowers, everyone sang "Happy Birthday" and she enjoyed a piece of cake with her guests.

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