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Walter "Pete" Robinson
Walter “Pete” Robinson of Salem, Va., formerly of Marion, Va., passed away Saturday, March 12, 2022 at his home.
Walter’s parents were Conley T. and Emma Pearl Robinson. Early in his life, Walter knew he wanted to be an educator. He received his BA degree in English from Emory and his Masters in English from Virginia Tech, graduating Cum Laude. One of the happiest moments of Walter’s life was being accepted by Notre Dame for post-graduate work. Walter loved everything associated with ND, especially Irish football.
Walter began his teaching career at Andrew Lewis High School in Salem, then moved to the new Salem High School. Walter also taught at VA Tech and VWCC in Roanoke. Walter loved teaching and completed 37 years in the profession.
Walter was preceded in death by his precious sisters, Eleanor R. Martin, Betty Ann R. Slemp, and Clara Jean R. Hastings; brothers, Richard C., Johnny, and Dimpy Robinson; niece, Linda Hastings of Nashville, Tenn.; nephew, Charlie Robinson of Gastonia, N.C.; sisters-in-law, Margaret Robinson of Harriman, Tenn., Lois S. Robinson of Marion, Va.; and brother-in-law Don Martin or Marion, Va.
Survivors include his sister, Thelma Kate Mathena and husband, Don of Marion; brother-in-law, Harold Slemp of Marion; sister-in-law, Nancy L. Robinson of Roanoke; nephews, Chris Slemp of Chatham, David Slemp of Washington, D.C., Steve Hastings and wife, Pam of Marion, Va. and Bobby Hastings of Knoxville; nieces, Susan R. O’Hare and husband Pete of Hixson, Tenn., Janet M. Holcomb and her son, Mark of Rogersville, Tenn., Amy Slemp-Walker and husband, Toby and children, Thomas, Noah, Jacob and Emma of Lindome, Sweden; special nieces, Robin M. Zombro and husband, Tim, of Staunton, Va., Elaine M. Tucker and husband, Joe of Marion, Va. and Janie R. Meggers, of Roanoke, Va.; grandniece, Emilee J. Priestley and husband, Alex of Wilmington, N.C.; grandnephew, Tyler J. Zombro and wife, Moriah of Charlotte, N.C.; and very loving grandnieces, Addison and Hannah Tucker of Marion; his “second” family…Godson Jamie Garst and wife Sarah and their precious sons Jackson, Parker, and Finn all of Salem, Va.
Walter loved to tease and laugh and have fun. Laughing with folks made his day. In honor of Walter have a good laugh and some fun with someone today!
A Celebration of Life will be held Wednesday, March 16, 2022 at 3 p.m. at Christ Episcopal Church, 409 West Main Street, Marion, Va. 24354 with the Reverend Emily Edmonson officiating. Visitation will take place from 2 until 3 p.m. Burial in Rose Lawn Cemetery will follow the Celebration of Pete’s Life.
In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity or to the Walter R. Robinson Memorial Endowment, c/o Salem Education Foundation, P.O. Box 1461, Salem, Va. 24153.
To share memories of Walter R. “Pete” Robinson, please visit www.seaverbrown.com. Care for Pete’s family has been entrusted to Seaver-Brown Funeral Service & Crematory, 237 East Main Street, Marion, Va. 24354.
One of the true greats and the man who started my love of literature and my path to majoring in English. Walter was a wonderful teacher and a legend of Salem education. He will be missed.
Brent Sower Mar 28 2022 7:57 PM
I am just learning of Mr. Robinson's passing. I had him for three years in English at SHS and he was one of my absolute favorite teachers. His wit, charm, humor and way to navigate a discussion were to be admired. He had a side eye glance after posing questions that was out of love and high expectations. Beowulf, A street Car Named Desire, Of Mice and Men and many more are all experiences he gave to us. With his tie over his shoulder and his wise grin, it was always a treat to be in his presence. Such an unforgettable man!!
God speed Mr. Robinson.
I will continue to teach my own students in your memory!
Shana King McDonough
SHS class of 95
Shana McDonougj Mar 21 2022 7:46 AM
Mr. Robinson was my favorite teacher at ALHS. I had him for 9th, 11th and 12th grade English where he instilled in me a life long love of Shakespeare. He also recruited me for his World Literature class my senior year. He said it would be difficult and fun. He was correct on both accounts! I'll never forget reading lines from "Waiting for Godot". Those words were tame by today's standards, but we all got a laugh that day. Most importantly, he prepared me for what I'd experience in college.
John G. Hincker Mar 19 2022 4:00 PM
Mr. Robinson was that very rare teacher who inspired us not to just learn, but to keep on learning. He had a joy de vrie about him and involved himself totally in teaching, the debate team, chaperoning school dances and, of course, attending every ALHS football game. I once became totally carried away writing an essay paper for him, so that it was severely in need of some judicious editing. He gave me an A+ but I am quite sure that was because it was useful to put one to sleep. I know that to be a fact because he decided I had entirely too much time on my hands and he put me to work, helping to grade papers. He was a joy and a delight and I am sure he will live on in all our hearts.
Sherry Hall Angell Mar 17 2022 6:28 PM
Walter was my neighbor for 20 years ,he was always smiling and had something nice to say about everyone. He will be sadly missed by everyone who was fortunate to have known him..
Mary Wood Mar 17 2022 6:55 AM
We knew Walter from our weekly breakfasts at Barnes & Noble. He was always teasing and mischievous, yet kind-hearted. He had a great smile and always left us smiling too. We will greatly miss hearing his funny stories and opinions on sports. He was a sweet, sweet man and our B & N breakfasts will never be the same. Sue and Woody Quinn
Sue Quinn Mar 16 2022 9:25 PM
I loved his English class! He made it enjoyable for me, which says a lot because it was not my strongest subject. He was a fantastic teacher!
Meghan Brown Mar 16 2022 12:02 PM
Walter is the reason I chose to major in English and wound up teaching at the junior high, senior high, and college levels for 28 years. I had him for 9th, 10th, and 11th grade English. Although he was very challenging, I came to appreciate his devotion to the students and English language and literature. I still sometimes to this day diagram sentences just for fun and to see if I can figure them out. He truly was a unique individual and a superior teacher.
Betty Hudson Brown - Class of '66 Mar 16 2022 11:22 AM
Walter was the bright spot in all our days at Salem High School. Gifted teacher, friend to all, he will be greatly missed. We loved him.
Nancy Kolmer Mar 16 2022 10:04 AM
Mr Robinson was my English teacher at Andrew Lewis in the mid 1960's. I have never seen a teacher that was as beloved either in high school, college or graduate school. We have certainly lost a gift that was given to a multitude of students. His family should be so proud.
Ken Yopp Mar 16 2022 8:37 AM