Dr. Russell Eugene Robbins, 91, departed this life on January 8, 2018. He was born August 17, 1926 to Blanche and Harry Robbins in Olney, IL. Russell leaves a strong legacy in education, beginning his career as a public school teacher, principal and basketball coach in Illinois. He spent two years in Talara, Peru, serving as the director of an elementary school before taking a position as an assistant professor at Northern Illinois University. Russell moved to Pensacola in 1967, where he had the honor of helping establish the Elementary Education Department at the University of West Florida and served as the first department chairman, where he later retired as Professor Emeritus.
Russell served in the U.S. Army from 1946 –1949. He received his Bachelor of Science in Education from the Indiana Central College, Masters of Education from the University of Illinois, and Doctorate of Education from the University of Colorado. He was a member of First Presbyterian Church for 49 years.
Russell was preceded in death by his wife Sylvia Robbins and son Stephen Robbins.
He is survived by son; Russell (Gail) Robbins, Jr., Napa, CA, daughter; Deborah (Mike)Layton, Pensacola, grandchildren; Matthew (Samantha) Layton, Long Beach, NY, Katy Layton (Cuyler) Hendricks, Tampa FL, Stephen Robbins Jr., Gulf Breeze, FL, Mitchell Robbins, Orlando, FL, Justin Robbins, New York, NY, Sydney Robbins, Napa, CA; two great grandchildren, Myles Layton and Buckley Layton both of Long Beach, NY.
Russell had a passion for sports, especially the Chicago Cubs and University of Illinois Fighting Illini. Earlier in his life he traveled the world with his late wife Sylvia and a special brother-in-law, Donald (Janet) Smitley.
The family wishes to express sincere gratitude to the wonderful caring staff of Azalea Trace and the love and support of the congregation and ministers at First Presbyterian Church.
A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church on January 27, 2018 at 10:00 AM. Family visitation will follow. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to First Presbyterian Church, 33 East Gregory Street, Pensacola, Florida or a charity of your choice.