Will Robinson – Soldier, Family Man, Professional, Friend – RIP

Jack Garvey |

Memorial Day Week is a fitting time to learn of the passing of a professional colleague and someone that I am proud to have considered a friend.  Willie Horace (Will) Robinson died suddenly on May 24, 2010.   As with all of those we love and care about, the loss of a colleague, friend or family member is difficult.  Thinking about Will makes me sad; as the world has lost a wonderful man, and I’m sure his family is sad and grieving at the loss of his quick wit, compelling laugh, and big heart.

Although I knew Will in only a professional context, and hadn’t seen him in a few years, there were many nights  over the years where we enjoyed a wonderful dinner and shared a Sambuca or two and talked about life, family, his military experiences, and of course, business.  Will was an extremely principled man, and struggled at times, like many of us in FDA-regulated companies, at striking the right balance between doing the “right” thing and surviving in a hostile environment.   Will often made reference to his Vietnam service experience and how relevant it was in the Corporate setting.    I’m not sure which he thought was the more difficult challenge – keeping his head down in Vietnam or keeping his head down in Corporate America.

I remember Will fondly and regularly speaking of his family.   He was always very proud of their accomplishments and of the close relationship they had.

I met Will at C.R. Bard where he headed the Regulatory Compliance group.  Will was a Vice President of Quality at MedPointe Pharmaceutical in NJ for a period, and I believe his last gig was at Baxter as a Vice President.    I had been trying to locate Will to reconnect after not seeing him a few years but unfortunately, did not do so before he died.    I had heard he had made it into retirement and hopefully enjoyed some peaceful time after a life of contribution and commitment.

My thoughts and prayers are with Will’s family.      FDA-regulated industry has experienced a significant loss with Will’s passing.  He was truly one of the good guys.

A Memorial Service will be held on Friday, June 4, 2010 – 11 a.m. at the Deborah Wilson Funeral Home, 216 W est Coulter Street,  Philadelphia, PA 19144-3916

7 thoughts on “Will Robinson – Soldier, Family Man, Professional, Friend – RIP

  1. I too knew and greatly respected Will. His penetrating wit, calm demeanor and good counsel will be sorely missed. This world and the profession are definitely the lesser for his passing. God speed old friend.

  2. Perhaps it is just a coincidence that while thinking about our veterans this weekend I thought about Will Robinson and wondered where he was and what he was doing. It had been a long time since we had worked side by side at C. R. Bard. I always enjoyed working with Will. Jack Garvey pretty much said it all, that was will day in and day out a dedicated to his work, willing to talk with you about issues and make suggestions and mentor.

    Friend you will be missed but you are in my prayers.

  3. There are people you meet in your life that have a lasting impression. Will was one of those, a real gentleman and a privilege to have known. My condolences to his family. He will be greatly missed.

  4. Dear Mr. Garvey and others:

    I just wanted to thank you for the kind words you wrote here about my father. The loss has been such a shock to stay the least.

    Again thank you for your kinds words they are a comfort at at time like this.


    Kimberlie Y. Robinson

  5. Dear Mr. Garvey,

    Thanks for setting up such a gracious tribute to Will Robinson. I worked with him. He was a kind person who always was willing to help others and share his knowledge. He was so proud of his wife and family. He smiled and stood a little taller when he talked of his children. Regrettably I received the notice of his passing on June 17. He will be in my prayers as will his family. So long Will, you will be missed by many.

    Loretta Young

  6. I worked with Will during my years at C.R. Bard, Inc. Will was a true professional, a gentleman, a very intelligent man. He had a strong baritone voice and a presence that could intimidate when he wanted to intimidate but, to his friends and colleagues, he was a gentle giant. I’ll miss him.

  7. I worked with Will at CR Bard in 2000. As mentioned by others he is someone who touches your life because of his integrity. I had not heard from him in awhile and was trying to locate him when I found this tribute. I am so sorry to hear of his passing.

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