May 13, 1933 – December 16, 2017
Robert “Bob” A. Robinson, 84, of Hagerman, died of natural causes at St. Luke’s Magic Valley Medical Center, December 16, 2017.
Bob A. arrived May 13, 1933 in the Rockland Valley to homesteaders Marvin and Bernice (Carlson) Robinson. He lived a long and exciting life. Born into hard work in the depression years, riding by the time he was two and working by four the family had grain- harvest teams. He developed a special ability working side by side his dad. Bob A. was a superb horseman. Throughout his school years he was breaking and galloping thoroughbred two-year-olds they raised. Bob A. attended school in the Rockland Valley, graduating in 1951, receiving a full scholarship to play football for the University of Idaho. He went to college and played one year before being drafted and sent to Korea.
Sergeant First Class Robinson was discharged April 1955. Some of his soldiers froze to death in their own bunks because it was so cold. His favorite thing to do was visit the orphanages full of children and give those children provisions. When Bob A. returned home he resumed a rodeo career that had started earlier, when at age 19, he won the Great Northwest Bronc Riding Championship at the Pendleton Round-up. While amateur rodeoing, Bob A. won 54 belt buckles and 11 saddles from the spring of 1955 to the fall of 1957 when he entered the Rodeo Cowboys Association. Winning the All Around at the iconic Cow Palace in San Francisco kicked off his winning of the “Rookie of the Year” along with placings in Madison Square Garden, Pendleton and many others. In 1959 he was awarded the Christenson Brothers Silver-Mounted All-Around Saddle made with a Saddle Bronc Rider on one side and a Steer Wrestler on the other. Bob A. won ten All-Around titles and placed in 31 of the 38 rodeos, including getting a mark on all ten broncs at the National Finals that year. Bob A. enjoyed his greatest year in 1960 when he finished as runner up to the All-Around World Championship Cowboy and won World’s Champion Steer Wrestler. He went on to rodeo for several more years ,but a severe knee injury prevented him from steer wrestling.
In 1960, Bob A. sold his amateur saddles and bought stock cows and a ranch in Tuttle, Idaho. He raised calves and trained race and performance horses winning over 10 Register of Merits from the AQHA as well as cutter and chariot racing titles. His success at quarter horse racing was as instantaneous as his success as a rodeo cowboy. The ranch in Tuttle remained in the family through 1990.
Bob A. was Executive Director of Rodeo Administration for the PRCA, 1982-1986, he and Emma moved to Colorado Springs. During his tenure with the PRCA he was instrumental in the move of the NFR from Oklahoma City to Las Vegas. He endured many critics and naysayers and prevailed with the move of the finals. He also served on the Dodge (Ram) National Circuit Finals board and was a critical part of the first years of the Circuit system and the DNCFR in Pocatello,ID. He was honored into the Idaho Cowboy Hall of Fame in 2001 during the DNCFR. A Pro-Official in the true sense of the term, Bob A. judged the National Finals Rodeo, College National Finals Rodeo, National High School Rodeo Finals, and the Senior Pro Rodeo National Finals, as well as judging Cheyenne Frontier Days (CFD) for 20 years. He was named to the CFD Hall of Fame in 2006 and Pendleton Round-Up 100th Anniversary, Hall of Fame, former Champion. Inducted in 2006 into the Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame with his family by his side was a special event.His memorabilia on display there includes: Silver Spurs from Reno, a Gold Buckle from St. Paul, and his original chaps. A highlight of his life was attending a BBQ on the White House lawn with then President, Ronald Reagan. September 24, 1983, 11,000 dignitaries and ambassadors from 46 countries attended the “Presidential Command Performance Rodeo” held in Landover, MD, where Bob A. roped with Secretary of Commerce, Malcom Baldridge. He roped with Mr. Baldridge many times after that and they were great friends. Team roping became a passion for Bob A. and he roped all over the west winning many rodeos, USTRC events and jackpots. He loved roping with his son-in-law, Vern, his son Jade, and grandchildren, especially when they won! He always told them, “You don’t enter to win second.” This attitude made him a tough competitor his entire life.
Bob A. later worked as a cattle broker until retirement and enjoyed buying and selling quality cattle and horses. Three of Bob A.’s head horses went to the NFR. Doyle Gellerman set the arena record 3.5 on “Angie” that held for many years in team roping. Bob A. loved and supported his children and grandchildren in their rodeos. Bob’s legacy is large and ongoing in the sport of rodeo. He was especially proud of them all earning their college degrees through rodeo scholarships and winning state, regional, and national championships. He attended all the events as much as possible including the CNFR, NHSFR, RNCFR, and watching Ringo play football for the College of Idaho. At age 78, he traveled with Vern and Cy to a Buffalo hunt on the Crow Nation. He had won the hunt at the 50th Anniversary Reunion of the NFR. It was quite a trip, wild, exciting and he commented in camp going to sleep in the cold reminded him of Korea.
Bob A. married Emma (Noble) June 29, 1955 and they celebrated 62 years of marriage. He is survived by Emma; his sister, Sing Hess, daughter, Angelee (Vern) Eames; son, Marvin Jade Robinson; five grandchildren, Italy Jo (Brett) Sheehan, Cy Eames, Cheyanna (Jimmy) Lierman, Ringo Robinson, and Rainy Robinson; two great-grandsons, Diesel and Dually Sheehan, “Minnie Pearl” his canine companion, and many nieces and nephews.
The family would like to thank Dr. John Gies for many years of care, St. Luke’s Magic Valley for critical care, and family friend, Jinx Jones.
“He’s crossed the Great Divide,
And is driftin’ down the slope,
Gone where they always ride,
And where they always rope.
Memorial Donations may be made to Justin Cowboy Crisis Fund: JCCF, 101 Pro Rodeo Drive, Colorado Springs, CO 80919 or made online at: http://www.justincowboycrisisfund.org/
A celebration of life open house with military honors will be held from 1:00p.m. to 4:00p.m., Thursday, January 4, 2018 at the Hagerman American Legion Hall, Hagerman, Idaho. Services are under the direction of Serenity Funeral Chapel Life Celebration Center & Cremation Services of Idaho, Twin Falls. Condolences may be shared at www.serenityfuneralchapel.com.