Alf Robinson

Alfred Robinson (1923 - 2015)

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Alfred (Alf) Robinson
Born in Tucson, Arizona, United Statesmap
[sibling(s) unknown]
[spouse(s) unknown]
[children unknown]
Died [location unknown]
Profile last modified | Created 19 Mar 2015
This page has been accessed 190 times.

Categories: Distinguished Flying Cross (United States) | Air Medal | Purple Heart | Navy and Marine Corps Presidential Unit Citation | Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal | USS Hornet (CV-12), United States Navy, World War II | USS Shangri-La (CV-38), United States Navy, World War II | Riverside Memorial Park, Spokane, Washington.



Alf Robinson completed his life-journey on Tuesday having been the first American-born offspring in his English father's family history. He was born to Frank Bruce and Pearl Leavitt Robinson on March 1, 1923, in Tucson, Ariz. The family moved to Moscow in 1928 where his father was employed as a pharmacist at the Corner Drug Store on the corner of Third and Main, later founding Psychiana, a mail-order religion.

After graduating from Moscow High School in 1940, Alf attended the University of Idaho before enrolling at Oberlin Conservatory of Music and enlisting in the Naval Air Corps in June 1942.

In World War II, Alf served aboard the aircraft carriers USS Hornet and USS Shangri-La in the South and Western Pacific Theater of combat operations including the Philippines, New Guinea, the island atolls of Palau and Truk, the Mariannas and Bonin Island chains and other naval actions for which he was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, Air Medal with four oak leaf clusters, Purple Heart, Presidential Unit Citation and Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal. He maintained his membership in the USS Hornet Club during his lifetime, attending many of his annual reunions.

Alf married Annette Hamer in 1943, with four children issuing from the marriage: Alfred Bruce, Jr., Christopher John, Suzanne Areta and Marc Alan. Eva Annette passed away in 1974, son Alfred Bruce in 1975 and son Marc Alan in 2014.

Graduating from Stanford University in 1947 with a BA in economics, he returned to Moscow where he was associated with his father before joining the Daily Idahonian in 1953, and was appointed co-manager of the publishing company in 1965.

Alf served as president of the Moscow Chamber of Commerce in 1956-57, and served three appointive terms on the Pullman-Moscow Regional Airport Board from 1951-57. He was chosen Moscow Jaycees "Man of the Year" in 1957.

Music was always the focal point of his life, lessons began at an early age when his father acquired an old reed organ, and later installed a Seattle theater organ in their home. Mrs. W.K. Armour was his first piano teacher at age 9, followed by organ lessons with Hall M. Macklin, UI music department head, at age 12.

He majored in organ at Oberlin Conservatory, and on his return to Moscow in 1947 was musically active in the following organizations: Elks Lodge organist 1953-60; organized the activities for the Moscow Booster Band in the 1950s; appointed first Masonic Grand Lodge organist for the State of Idaho, 1956-70; led a dance trio for social events in the 1950s and 60s; assistant organist First Presbyterian Church, 1960-65; Rotary Club pianist in the 1960s.

Relocating to Albuquerque, N.M., via Kentucky in the fall of 1971, Alf entertained in the lounge of the famous Red Mile Racetrack in Lexington. He was showroom manager for two large Albuquerque music stores before acquiring a piano rental business in 1974, expanding the inventory to over 200 rental pianos. He was an associate member of the Piano Technicians Guild and accompanied many musical acts and local performers in addition to holding the position of assistant pianist at the Unitarian Church in the early 1980s.

In 1979 he became an enthusiastic oil painting student, and family genealogy was a passionate avocation in the 80s and 90s. Song writing had been a hobby since high school, and the USS Hornet concert band performed one of his songs at a concert during WWII.

Retiring in 1991, he returned to Idaho in 1998. Alf was devoted to Charlotte Mae Cummings, of Moscow, who preceded him in death, as did his sister, Florence Ashby, of Wichita Falls, Texas. Alf's survivors include his son, Dr. Christopher Robinson, South Bend, Ind.; daughter, Suzanne Robinson, Asotin, Wash.; eight grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and close friends Gary and Myrle Cummings. He also had cousins in England, Switzerland and Botswana, Africa. Inurnment will be at Riverside Memorial Park, Spokane, Wash. Alf requested no funeral services. [1]


  • "United States Census, 1940," index and images, FamilySearch ( : accessed 20 March 2015), Alfred Robinson in household of Frank Robinson, Ward 1, Moscow, East Moscow Election Precinct, Latah, Idaho, United States; citing enumeration district (ED) 29-7, sheet 4A, family 101, NARA digital publication T627 (Washington, D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, 2012), roll 749.

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No known carriers of Alf's ancestors' Y-chromosome or mitochondrial DNA have taken yDNA or mtDNA tests and no close relatives have taken a 23andMe, AncestryDNA, or Family Tree DNA "Family Finder" test.

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