Sunday, December 17th, 2017

Joe Frank Robinson

Joe Frank Robinson, 96, of Clarendon died Wednesday, March 22, 2017.

Joe Frank Robinson

Services will be 10:00 AM Saturday, March 25, 2017 in the First United Methodist Church in Clarendon with Rev. Kirk Watson and Don Stone, officiating.  Burial with Military Honors will be in Citizens Cemetery in Clarendon.  Arrangements are by Robertson Funeral Directors of Clarendon.

Joe was born February 28, 1921 in Hereford to Esker and Mae Robinson. He graduated from Lewisville, Texas High School in 1938 and Texas A&M University in 1942. After being commissioned at A&M, he served as a B-17 Pilot in the 8th Army Air Corps and flew 30 missions in the European theater during WWII. He flew as command pilot for many of these missions. He was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross, the Air Medal with four Oak Leaf clusters and four Bronze Battle Stars and was the last surviving member of his crew. While ferrying airplanes for disposition in the U.S. after VE day he stayed overnight in Deming, New Mexico. He was awakened by a violent shaking of his quarters shortly after 5:30 a.m. on July 16, 1945. He later discovered it was from the first atomic bomb explosion in Alamogordo about 100 miles away.

He married Vernelle Orr in 1942 and they had 4 children. Vernelle passed away in 1975.  Joe married Ruth Patman Word in 1977 and they recently celebrated their 40th anniversary.  They were completely devoted to each other.

He was a long time member of the First United Methodist Church in Clarendon, The Texas Cattle Feeders Association, the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association, and had been a board member of the National Finance Corporation.  He was awarded the 2009 Pioneer Man of the Year by the Clarendon/Donley County Chamber of Commerce.

He was preceded in death by his parents; his sister, Ruth Gourley and his brother, J.B.

Survivors include his wife, Ruth Robinson of Clarendon; a sister Grace New and husband Paul of Denver City, Texas; three sons, Jim Robinson and wife Tessie of Clarendon, Jack Robinson and wife Susan and Joe Robinson, Jr. all of Amarillo; a daughter, Janny Longan and husband Ronnie of Howardwick; stepson, Bill Word of Clarendon; step daughter, Libby Talley and husband Billy of Amarillo; and many beloved grandchildren and great grandchildren.

The family request that memorials be sent to the First United Methodist Church in Clarendon or the Wounded Warrior Project.

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