BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — James R. “Jim” Robeson, 86, died in Bloomington from pneumonia.
Jim grew up in the mountains of Western Maryland and graduated from Beall High School, Frostburg, in 1944. He enlisted in the U.S. Naval Air Corps, serving from June 1944 to June 1946 as a radio-radar operator and gunner aboard torpedo and dive bombers. He served at Naval Air Stations in Jacksonville, Fla.; Memphis, Tenn.; Miami, Fla.; Opa-locka, Fla.; Grosse Ile, Mich.; Buzzards Bay, Mass.; and Bangor, Maine; and was honorably discharged at Bainbridge, Md.
In September 1946, he entered college at Frostburg State, planning to transfer to West Virginia University for a journalism degree. But in January 1948, after three semesters at Frostburg State, he began work at a finance company, Universal C.I.T. Credit Corporation, in Cumberland. He was transferred to a branch office in Wilmington, Del., in March 1948. In April 1949, Jim returned to Frostburg to open a small tavern-grocery store that his father could take on should his failing health make an early retirement necessary. After about two years in the tavern business, Jim returned to his position in Wilmington. After working as District Manager of the C.I.T. Wilmington office, Jim moved to American Installment Credit Corporation in early 1961. In January 1969, Jim moved to Wilmington Trust Company and retired there as a Vice President in January 1992. During the 1960s, he served as an area correspondent for Automotive News in Detroit.
It was in Wilmington that Jim met Bea Donovan, a friend and co-worker at C.I.T. They married on Sept. 5, 1953. In 1955, they purchased an overgrown lot at the end of Mockingbird Hill in Hockessin, Del. After clearing the lot by hand, they built a brick ranch house, moving there in 1956. In 1962, they added a large screened-in porch with a fireplace and grill that was a favorite gathering place for the Robeson and Donovan families. Jim was an avid cook and woodsman, heating their home with a wood-burning stove. He also made large quantities of sauerkraut each fall to give to family and friends. Jim and Bea raised their two sons, Dennis and Scott, at their home in Hockessin. Bea died in 2002. Jim moved to Bloomington in 2007.
Jim's parents, Ellis and Olive Robeson, are deceased, in 1970 and 1999, respectively. A sister, Anna Ruth Winfield, and two brothers, Robert and Donald, also are deceased.
Jim is survived by his son Dennis, wife Nancy, and their two sons, Andrew and Bradley, of Parkland, Fla., and his son, Scott, wife Teresa, and their two sons, Bryce and Grant, of Bloomington. He also is survived by two sisters and three brothers (and their spouse or partner): Ina Lee Donius (George “Pete”), Rosemary Grimes, (John “Jack") Robeson, Joseph Robeson (Lorraine), and Richard Robeson (Joan).
Funeral Services were held Saturday, April 6, at Nichols-Gilmore Funeral Home, Newport. Burial was in Hockessin Friends Cemetery.
The family suggests contributions in Jim's memory to the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. 100 W. 10th St., Suite 1103, Wilmington, DE 19801.