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Silver Taps Notification

William "Bill" Robinson '42 September 11, 2020 10:41 AM updated: October 26, 2020 1:09 PM

Dr. William Taylor Robinson
January 1, 1922 - August 28, 2020

Dr. William Taylor (Bill) Robinson was a resident of Woodland for 70 years and a pediatrician with the Woodland Clinic Medical Group for 40 years. He began working at the Woodland Clinic in July 1950 after having completed his residency in pediatrics at Children's Hospital in Los Angeles where he was the chief pediatric resident. When he joined the Clinic, it was small, consisting of seven doctors. He was the first pediatrician in Woodland and remembered that he was very busy, commenting that all the families in town seemed to be awaiting the arrival of a pediatrician. Before the arrival of Dr. Bob Hansen, the second pediatrician five years later, he was on call most of the time. The two internists at the clinic, Dr. Railsback and Dr. Cundiff, would relieve him for an occasional weekend or vacation. Bill often said that he chose Woodland because he was impressed with the Woodland Clinic, the small town atmosphere, and the bucolic tree-lined streets.

He and his wife Barbara along with their 1 year old son, Rick, arrived in Woodland during July, a bit taken aback by the summer heat. He was fond of telling two stories about his initial days in Woodland that convinced him that he made the right decision to settle in this small town. He said his first purchase was a fan from the Corner Drug Co. When he went back a few days later the woman behind the counter recognized him and told him she was sorry she had overcharged him fifty cents and returned the overcharge. He became a loyal customer of the Corner Drug Co. and remained so his entire life.

Another time that same summer one of the senior physicians at the Woodland Clinic suggested he arrange for a window cooler with Jake Barth. When Bill told Jake Barth that he couldn't pay for it until he received his first pay check, Mr. Barth told him not to worry, he could pay him later. He installed it the next day.

Bill was born in Wallace, West Virginia to Goldia and Halley Newton Robinson on January 19, 1922. Halley worked in the oil fields and the family moved to Big Spring, Texas in 1925. Bill attended grammar and high school in Big Spring, graduating in 1938. Upon graduation, he enrolled in Texas A&M College (now Texas A&M University) where he was accepted in an advanced ROTC program and chosen for the Ross Volunteers which was an elite drill team and honor guard. He graduated in 1942 and received his field artillery commission as a second lieutenant. However, he was given a deferment to attend medical school. He said the Army at that time needed doctors more than they needed second "louies".

He enrolled in Baylor Medical school in Dallas. When Baylor moved to Houston, he continued at Southwestern Medical College in Dallas. Upon graduation, he interned at Charity Hospital in New Orleans. There he met a cute blonde dietitian named Barbara McCurry, who later became his wife on January 24, 1947. When Bill completed his internship he was ordered to Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio with the rank of captain. Three months later, after he completed officers training school, he was assigned to Wm. Beaumont Hospital in El Paso.

After he finished his tour of duty in 1948, he began his residency at Children's Hospital. Bill retired from the Woodland Clinic in September, 1990, leaving his patients with this advice from him in a letter: "May you enjoy many pleasant years watching your children grow and develop. Cherish the fleeting moments you have with them. Time, in its relentless passage, will not give you a second chance." In 1991 he began working at the Solano County Health Department one day a week and did so for several years.

Bill was actively involved in many aspects of community life in Woodland. Among them, the Woodland Healthcare Foundation, the Woodland Planning Commission, the Woodland Rotary Club, a 50 year member of the Yolo Fliers Club, Meals on Wheels, and the Woodland Duck Club. Bill loved to hunt and he, along with Covey Pringle, Wally Brown, Tau Santoni, Tom Mezger, and Forrest Caldwell, was a founding member of the Woodland Duck Club. Bill's son, Dan, later joined and is still a member in good standing. While at the Woodland Clinic, Bill chaired the Sabin Oral Sunday program, a 1962 mass immunization program to protect the residents of Yolo County from polio.

In 2010 Bill and Dr. Bob Hansen were honored by the Woodland Healthcare Foundation for their dedication and achievements in caring for the children in the community. Bill Robinson was a remarkable man. He lived to be 98 1/2 years old and was sharp as a tack until the end. In his later years he enjoyed his weekly lunches with the retired doctors, his coffee with the fellas at Raley's, his lunches at the Fliers Club, his occasional poker games, and time with his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren. All of this was curtailed by the Coronavirus epidemic and he missed his social life these past few months. His children were blessed to have him in their lives for so long. He became their best friend and he will be sorely missed.

Barbara pre-deceased Bill on February 13, 2008.

He is survived by his four children, Rick Robinson (Cassie), Mary Robinson (Tim Flato), Lisa Robinson (Gary Davis), and Dan Robinson (Catherine Baker). He is also survived by 6 Grandchildren, Matthew Robinson (Jessica), Megan Baquial (Chris), Mikal Ann Robinson, Allison Flato, Eric Flato, and Russell Flato (Jennifer Sakioka). He is also survived by 3 great grandchildren, Warren Robinson, Caleb Baquial, and Ethan Baquial.

The Woodland Healthcare Foundation, Ducks Unlimited, and Meals on Wheels were charities near and dear to Bill's heart. Moreover, he would want you to cherish your families and enjoy each and every day. There is the hope of a memorial celebration in the future to honor this remarkable man.

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