Robert Houston Robinson Sr., prominent newspaperman

April 6, 2017

Robert Houston Robinson Sr., 80, former publisher of The Sussex Countian newspaper in Georgetown, died Wednesday, April 5, 2017. A life-long Sussex Countian, Robinson was born May 5, 1936 and was the son of the late Julian Thomas Robinson and Mary Comfort Houston Robinson.

Robinson grew up in Georgetown and Rehoboth Beach. He attended the Georgetown schools and in the 8th grade entered St. Andrew's School in Middletown, DE, from which he graduated in 1955. He attended the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill on a United States Navy Scholarship. At UNC he was a member of the Navy drill team and St. Anthony Hall fraternity. A short novel he wrote while a student at UNC, "Going the Other Way," was published by Random House in a collection "Three: 1964." Robinson graduated from UNC in 1959 with Honors in Writing.

Robinson then served in the U.S. Navy. After completing his Navy service, Robinson became the third generation of his family to publish the Sussex Countian weekly newspaper, following in the footsteps of his mother and his grandfather, U.S. Congressman Robert G. Houston. He published the Countian for 30 years, retiring after selling the newspaper to The Dover Post.

A very creative person, Robinson had a variety of interests, great intellectual curiosity, and a notable sense of humor. In addition to his novel, Robinson was the author of a number of books on many topics, including "Visiting Sussex: Even if you Live Here," a guidebook to places of interest in Sussex County, "The Craft of Dismantling a Crab," which showed how best to clean crabs and other shellfish, "Old Country Churches of Sussex County," and "How to Do A Kandinsky." He also published works by other authors and for a time authored a periodical about shellfish. One of his short pieces appeared in the volume "The Best of Bad Hemingway," which featured parodies of the writing style of author Ernest Hemingway.

Robinson's two siblings, Margret Katherine Robinson Peters and Thomas Peter Robinson, are deceased. He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Dorothy Battle Rankin Robinson; his son, Robert H. Robinson Jr. and his wife Alix Karl Robinson of Georgetown; and by his daughter, Dorothy Newsom Robinson Scott and her husband Brewster Nelson Scott of Maplewood, N.J. He is also survived by four grandchildren, Clemens Houston Robinson and Graham Newsom Robinson of Georgetown and Samuel Baumann Scott and Catherine Battle Scott of New Jersey; his sister in law, Alice Pitt Robinson of Lewes; his brothers-in-law: the Rev. Albert FitzRandolph Peters of Seaford, and Robert S. Rankin, Jr. of Durham, N.C; and his nieces and nephews and their families.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, April 12, at 11 a.m., at Georgetown Presbyterian Church, 203 N. Bedford St., Georgetown. Friends may visit with the family Tuesday, April 11, from 4 to 6 p.m., at Parsell Funeral Homes and Crematorium, Dodd-Carey Chapel, 307 N. Bedford St., Georgetown. Interment will be private.

Please visit Mr. Robinson's Life Memorial webpage and sign his online guestbook at

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