Lifelong Louisa resident Alice Isabel Robinson has been through a little bit of everything in her life. She’s raised nine children as a single mother. She’s held two or more jobs and worked long, tedious hours to provide financially for her family. She’s had eight major surgeries on everything from her hands to her heart.
Yet at the age of 85, she’s still standing, and as thankful as she’s ever been.
“It’s been a good life,” Robinson said. “It was rough sometimes, but the Lord brought us through.”
Robinson celebrated her 85th birthday on Monday, Sept. 2 at the Betty J. Queen Center with her plethora of family members. At her age, Robinson’s family tree most adequately could be described as a Sequoia. By her five sons and four daughters, Robinson has 45 grandchildren, 73 great-grandchildren and six great-great-grandchildren.
It’s quite a list of descendants now, but raising her nine children required a healthy dosage of discipline from Robinson.
Robinson’s first husband moved to Maryland for business, and as the months passed, his trips home dwindled and eventually stopped. Using a stern temperament that she inherited from her grandmother, Florence Davis, Robinson raised her children to harbor a healthy dosage of respect and love.
“I raised them. I didn’t let them raise me,” Robinson said. “To this day, every one of them gives me respect.”
“I respect her very much,” said Robinson’s daughter, Virginia Winn. “What my mom said, she said it one time. You better do what she says!”
Robinson also took over as the financial provider of the family. Most of her days consisted of working at Billy Vaughn’s Dry Cleaners in Louisa from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. for just $1 an hour. After her shift ended, she would rush to the Louisa Manufacturing plant, pressing shirts and pants until 11 p.m.
To read the entire story, see the Oct. 17 edition of The Central Virginian.