Cover photo for Deborah Ann Robbins's Obituary
Deborah Ann Robbins Profile Photo
1946 Deborah 2017

Deborah Ann Robbins

May 19, 1946 — June 27, 2017

Deborah Ann Robbins, 71

Long time employee of State Street Bank and Trust Company

The year after Deborah Robbins took early retirement from State Street Corporation, she went to San Pedro Sula, Honduras to teach for a year at Our Little Roses Foreign Ministries, a home and bilingual school for abused and abandoned girls. She went solo, not knowing exactly what she was getting into and having no training. Still, she developed detailed lesson plans covering daily classes in reading, math, small motor skills and art, all conducted in English. She served as lead teacher in a kindergarten class of 17 Honduran students. When asked how she managed, Ms. Robbins said she utilized all previously learned management and mentoring skills she learned at State Street Corp., where she worked from 1968 to 2003.

Ms. Robbins, of Lincoln, Massachusetts since 1988 and before that, Back Bay and Beacon Hill, died at home Tuesday, June 27, after living almost four years with stage 4 pancreatic cancer. She was full of faith and life and during her cancer years she traveled extensively, as recently as last March when she spent three weeks in Sanibel, FL. She withstood the crucible of cancer and joyfully modeled how to live with it and to die in peace. Notes, cards, emails and flowers poured in from her many friends and admirers her last days.

She was an active leader at Trinity Church Boston where she served as treasurer 1998 to 2003. She served as co-chairman of Stewardship, served on the Vestry and was treasurer for a time of the Vestry -- the first woman to serve as a Vestry officer.

When she was diagnosed with cancer, she joined Trinity's cancer support group. At the first meeting she said, "We're all on a path to Jesus. I'm not afraid of dying. I just hope I have more time to enjoy myself." She reached out to others in the cancer group with empathy and skill.

Deborah Ann Robbins was born May 19, 1946, in Fort Worth, Texas to the late Norman Ballou Robbins and the late Christine Smith Robbins. Her brother, Norman Ballou Robbins Jr., and his wife, Pamela Taylor Robbins, were at Ms. Robbins' side during her final days ministering to her needs along with other family members and Trinity friends, as well as neighbors and other friends who made sure she was never alone, fulfilling her wish.

Ms. Robbins graduated from Lake Forest College in Lake Forest, Ill., and she successfully completed a two-year program, Northwestern University/ABA National Graduate Trust School.

At State Street Corp., Ms. Robbins was from 2001-2003 Vice President and Product Manager, Wealth Manager Services Division. She had several other positions over the years at State Street, including Vice President and Department Manager, Premium Asset Services Group as well as President, State Street Bank & Trust Company of Connecticut.

She loved to travel, cook and entertain and she enjoyed playing golf.

Ms. Robbins planned her funeral service with clergy at Trinity, including asking the choir to sing parts of the Faure Requiem.
In addition to her brother and sister-in-law, she leaves her beloved dachshund Miss Cordelia for whom she made on-going living arrangements. A stickler for detail, she made sure the last years of her life were well planned.

She also is survived by her beloved nieces Ashley Robbins Gonzales and her husband Rudy Gonzales, Lindsay Robbins Martin and her husband Drew Martin; nephew Norman Ballou Robbins III and his wife Haley Britt Langston Robbins; great niece Mary McKay Martin; and grand nephew Wynn Thomas Robbins.

Her service will be held at Trinity Church, Copley Square, Boston Friday July 7 at 2 p.m. A reception will follow at the Chilton Club, 152 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston.

Memorial contributions may be sent to:
Tucker Gosnell Endometrial Cancer Center at Massachusetts General Hospital;
55 Fruit Street
Boston, MA 02114
Our Little Roses Foreign Missionary Society
PO Box 530947
Miami Shores, FL 33153

or a charity of choice.


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