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Obituary: Betty (Elizabeth) Robinson

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Miss Betty (Elizabeth) Robinson, 91, drew her last breath Friday evening, July 10, at Loma Linda Hospital. An independent thinker and analytical lady, she bid farewell to the mountain wilderness and classical music world she loved.

Born near Minneapolis on Feb. 16, 1907, she arrived in Los Angeles as a young woman. She attended UCLA and USC, obtained a teaching credential and taught business courses at Los Angeles City College for 25 years. Weekends, Betty headed for the San Gabriel and San Bernardino mountains, where she hiked with Sierra Club members. During summer vacations she headed for faraway places, including a trip around the world. One stop was Bombay, India, where her one niece, Mrs. Bobbie Bharucha, lived with her Indian husband, son and two daughters.

Upon retiring, Betty came to Idyllwild and established her home. An outdoor enthusiast and classical music listener, she joined the Garden Club and ISOMATA’s Associates, attending the latter’s musical and theatrical performances. A Friends of the San Jacinto Mountains County Parks founder, she helped write its bylaws and served as a volunteer at its Idyllwild Nature Center.

Nature and National Geographic were her favorite magazines. She observed her feathered friends feeding from her bird feeders and her playful squirrels and raccoons. Although she did not own a pet, she especially liked kitties.

Distant shores still beckoned her, and she visited Alaska’s Glacier Bay. Frequently taking pictures, she sorted them out and showed them to Idyllwild friends.

At 90, she released her home to ISOMATA, sold her car and moved to Redlands, a town known for its university, culture and historic homes. Bill Lowman, Katie Grigsby and Col. Jerry Holsclaw helped her locate in Plymouth Village. She enjoyed her new apartment, tree-shaded grounds, companionship of friends (including Mrs. McElderry) and attended Redlands Symphony and Summer Bowl programs. On April 14, her friend, Dorothy L. Strang, took her to hear the ISOMATA orchestra perform at the University of Redlands. Betty’s energy was failing.

Miss Betty Robinson is survived by one niece, Mrs. Bobbie (Elizabeth) Bharucha, who now lives with her husband, Jal, in Bradenton, Fla. Glendale accountant Mr. James F. Hodges, who also has an Idyllwild home, is the executor of her estate, She will be buried at Forest Lawn in Hollywood. A joint ISOMATA-Nature Center memorial service will be held for her in the fall.

When Betty’s heart stopped beating, the Three Tenors were performing at the Eiffel Tower. She would have enjoyed their singing. Betty was a wilderness and classical music lady, who strove to surmount national and religious boundaries.

This was written by Dorothy L. Strang of Long Beach.

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