Jesse Ward Robinson
Sterling resident Jesse Ward Robinson died Monday, Nov. 1, 2004, at his homestead. He was 83.
Mr. Robinson wished to be cremated and his ashes will nourish his hayfields and apple trees. The family plans a memorial potluck as a celebration of his life from 4 to 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at the Sterling Senior Center.
Mr. Robinson was born Jan. 11, 1921, in Rico, Colo., to James Ward and Angela C. (Lofquist) Robinson. He grew up on the family ranch on the Dolores River, served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific Theater and married Nina A McClellan in Aztec, N.M., on April 22, 1945. The newly married couple came by steamship to Alaska in March 1946. The homestead they staked in Sterling and the kids, crops and critters they raised on it, were the gratifications of Mr. Robinson's life, his family said.
Farming was his passion but for many years it was bankrolled by construction. He first signed on with the Alaska Road Commission in 1946, helping build the original road that connected Cooper Landing to Homer. Meanwhile, the meadows of the homestead were planted to silage and hay, and the Robinsons operated Loop Farm Dairy from 1952 to 1955.
In 1957, Mr. Robinson worked for Morris Coursen pioneering the Swanson River Road, then he worked for John C "Tennessee" Miller from 1959 to 1967 in the early development of the oil fields on the west side of Cook Inlet. Mr. Robinson and Coursen began business as Cook Inlet Construction in 1967, which later became CIC Inc., a company built on Mr. Robinson's knack for dirt work and talent with project design. In 1996, he left the construction work to his kids and retired to farming.
"Retirement to Jesse meant farming full time, and he expanded his facilities and equipment to allow the harvest of 100 acres of hay. He spent his summers nurturing hay crops, calves and grandchildren; cherishing the bounty he had brought to life. He was an inspiring man, and through genes, teaching and example offered his descendants his strength, vision and the commitment to make things happen," his family said.
Mr. Robinson is survived by his wife of 59 years, Nina Robinson; sons and daughters-in-law, Mitchel and Linda Robinson of Lake Stevens, Wash., Steven and Dawn Robinson, Dean and Susan Robinson and Zene and Kim Robinson of Sterling; daughter, Sue Robinson of Fritz Creek; sisters, Carmen Wilson, Marguerite Wesch and Carol Melton of Colorado, Rosemary Hopkins and Barbara Faneuf of Idaho, and Joanne Odom of Soldotna; grandchildren, Ryan, Jennifer, Celina, Alicia, Aubrey, Deverie, Aronca, Julie, Clifford, Jay and Amie; great-grandchildren, Arianna, Sarina, Logan, Connor, Bryonna, Brittney, Emily, Ryan, Trevor, Trenton, Natalie, Lydia and Tobias; and many nieces and nephews.
Memorial donations may be made to the organization of the donor's choice.
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