DR. BOB ROBINSON Bob Robinson, of Las Vegas, passed away July 31, 2013. He was born Sept. 8, 1923, on a dry farm near Idaho Falls, Idaho. He was a resident of Las Vegas since 1939. In 1941, he graduated from Las Vegas High School, where he was president of the Honor Society in his senior year. For the next four and a half years, Bob served in the U.S. Army
, including 18 months in the Aleuthian Island Theatre, where he received three commendations for excellence in service. He attained the rank of staff sergeant. In 1945, he married Betty Faye Ellis of Burbank, Calif., and entered college at the University of Southern California, receiving his B.S. in Optometry (cum laude) in 1950 from the Los Angeles College of Optometry. Bob and Betty, with their son, Mark, moved to Las Vegas in 1950 and Bob opened his practice in optometry. The new Dr. Robinson joined the Las Vegas Junior Chamber of Commerce and the Elks Club
. As president of the Jaycees, he introduced the first Las Vegas Community Fair, which has grown to the status of a State Fair, the largest in Nevada. At the Elks Lodge, he was the chairman of the Christmas basket program for needy and chairman of the charity committee and of the annual Helldorado Rodeo. Dr. Robinson served as Exalted Ruler of the lodge in 1961-62, during which time they constructed their beautiful, modern lodge building, which is a center of civic activities for many organizations. Lodge work led him to a position as institutional representative for the Boy Scout troop of the lodge, which renewed his interest in scouting activities (he'd become an eagle scout in high school). In 1956, Dr. Robinson was appointed to the Nevada State Board of Examiners for Optometry and served three terms until 1964, under both Democratic and Republican governors who reappointed him. Bob was nominated in the Rotary Club
of Las Vegas in 1957, the first optometrist in the club since its founding in 1923. He and his wife, Betty, housed the Rotary exchange student for a year. Having this young man from Denmark as a second son was one of their most pleasurable experiences and they still maintain close contact with him. They spent two weeks at his home in Copenhagen; later, he took them on a tour of Scandinavia. Dr. Robinson served on the club's board of directors from 1962 to 1968 and was elected president of the club for 1968-69. His vigorous campaign for good programs and some good business approaches to the club's financial problems helped to revitalize the group. Other honors Bob has received include the Distinguished Service Award and the "Outstanding Young Man of the Year" award by the Nevada Junior Chamber of Commerce. After serving on the board of directors for the Boys Club of Clark County for four years, he was elected president in 1974. His primary responsibility in that position was to raise $132,000 to implement selected programs. In 1975, Dr. Robinson was given the "Man Behind the Boy" award by this organization. Dr. Robinson holds in highest esteem the "Optometrist of the Year" award for Nevada which received in 1974. His efforts over the years to bring the annual congress of the American Optometric Association to Las Vegas were realized this year, when the AOA appointed him site chairman for the congress here. The congress returned to Las Vegas in 1981. He was also active as a member of the Masonic Order and the Las Vegas Zelzah Shrine Temple. In 1972, he was elected to the Nevada Assembly, and was re-elected in 1974, 1976, 1978 and 1980. He served three terms on the Ways and Means Committee, two terms on the Government Affairs Committee, four terms on the Commerce Committee, where he had been chairman, and other assignments on the Agriculture, Labor and Management, and Health and Welfare Committees. In 1982, he was elected to the State Senate, where he served as vice chairman of the Commerce Committee and was a member of the Government Affairs and Taxation Committees. His primary political commitment was to protect the free-enterprise system and to promote the improvement of the business environment to insure continued growth and prosperity in Nevada. Bob retired from politics in 1986. In 1987, he was appointed as a director of Nevada State Bank, where he served for 20 years. He is survived by his wife, Betty; son, Mark and his wife, Sandra, of Pioche; grandson, Craig and his wife, Tera; and two great-grandsons, Cole and Wyatt, both of Las Vegas. Services will be private. A public memorial service is pending. Donations may be made to the Las Vegas Shriner's Transportation Fund, 2222 W. Mesquite, Las Vegas, NV 89106.