Phyllis “Bunny” Gavin Robinson ’37

Phyllis Gasvin RobinsonPhyllis “Bunny” Gavin Robinson, a social worker, died on February 29, 2016 in Sarasota, Florida. She was 95. The cause of death was dementia.

When she was born, her grandfather, Milo Whitaker, remarked that she looked like a cute little bunny. Thus, she got her nickname, which she used all her life. Bunny attended the Northampton School For Girls, Class of 1937. Her aunt was Sarah B. Whitaker, one of the founders of Northampton School For Girls. Following graduation she went to Smith College where she graduated cum laude with a degree in economics in 1941. During World War II, Bunny volunteered for the Red Cross and served on Guadalcanal in the Solomon Islands.

Following the war, she married John Parker Robinson, whom she had known since childhood. As a US Embassy spouse she lived in Paris and Madrid during the reconstruction of Europe under the Marshall Plan. She also lived in Santiago, Chile, before returning to Washington, D.C. where they were divorced in 1965. She then redefined herself by getting a master’s degree in social work at the University of Maryland and subsequently worked in social services around Washington, D.C. and later in Montpelier, Vermont. In 1989, she moved to Siesta Key in Sarasota, Florida. She enjoyed painting and traveling. She has always been known for her keen sense of humor and directness.

She is survived by three sons, Philip Gavin Robinson ‘66, John Preble Robinson ’68, and his wife Aya, and James Milo Robinson ’74 and his wife JoAnn, and one sister Caroline Preble Arnold ’47. Bunny also had four grandchildren, Margaret, Bridget, John and Patrick, as well three great grandchildren.

In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made in Bunny’s memory to Sarah B. Whitaker Memorial Scholarship Fund at Williston Northampton School at 19 Payson Avenue, Easthampton, Massachusetts 01027. She will be interred in Norton, Massachusetts at a later date.

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