Dr. William Robinson (b. March 29, 1933; d. March 8, 2012) was a professor of biology at Northern Michigan Universit.
MARQUETTE - Dr. William Robinson passed peacefully Thursday, March 8, 2012 at the Jacobetti Home for Veterans. Bill was born in Ironwood, Michigan, on March 29, 1933 to Thomas H. and Lucille (MacKay) Robinson, who both preceded him in death. He graduated from Graveraet High School, earned his bachelor’s degree in game management from Michigan State College (now Michigan State University), served in the U.S. Army as an alto saxophone player from 1954 to 1956, earned a master’s degree in wildlife biology from the University of Maine, and a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Toronto.
He was employed by Northern Michigan University as a professor of biology for over 30 years, from where he retired with emeritus status. During his professional career he earned many prestigious awards, including Outstanding Professional of the Year in 1995 by the Michigan Chapter of the Wildlife Society, and Conservationist of the Year in 2000 by the Michigan United Conservation Clubs. Dr. Robinson coauthored a popular wildlife ecology and management textbook, wrote “Fool Hen: Spruce Grouse on the Yellow Dog Plains,” and “Fishing with My Uncles: Stories of Fishing and Life,” as well as countless scholarly journal and newspaper articles. He conducted landmark research studies on the American woodcock, spruce grouse, loons and white-tailed deer and helped spearhead the first translocation of timber wolves to the Upper Peninsula in 1974. He also had the opportunity to speak to Congress in the mid 1970s, where he went to bat for the environment. He dedicated much of his spare time to numerous environmental committees and wildlife organizations. In the other parts of his spare time he was an avid “birder,” loved to sneak off to his secret fly-fishing spots, enjoyed golfing with his wife Glenda (Paris), who preceded him in death in 2004, and bird hunting with his springer spaniel Millie.
Surviving him are his daughter Rebecca (Lawrence) Tavernini and his son Thomas of Marquette, his brother Richard, of Marquette, three grandchildren Katrina, Adam, and Nickolas and honorary grandson Gabriel. His many students and lifelong friends have always been family to Bill as well. There will be no funeral or visitation service. To best honor Bill’s spirit, think of him when you take a walk in the woods, or cast a line into a stream on the opening day of trout season. Please share a story or memory at the Swanson-Lundquist Funeral Home website or by writing to the family at 410 E. Crescent Street, Marquette, MI 49855. Condolences may be expressed online at www.swansonlundquistfuneralhome.com