John Michael Robinson – Cumberland

John Michael Robinson – Cumberland

John Michael Robinson, 73, passed away on Sunday, February 28, 2021, in the Heritage Hills Nursing Center, Smithfield.

He was the husband of Rita Claire (Tambunting) Robinson and the late Patricia A. (Heinsohn) Robinson.

Born in Providence, R.I., he was the son of the late Thomas F. and Leona M. (Dechampes) Robinson. John was a lifelong Cumberland resident.

John honorably served in the U.S. Airforce for six years.

He was a member of the American Institute of Architects and the National Society of Professional Engineers. He was an active member of the Full Gospel Businessmen's Fellowship International, Clinics of Hope, and the Cumberland Historical Society. John was also formerly a member of the Big Brothers & Big Sisters of R.I.

John was an avid biker, world traveler, hiker and swimmer. He enjoyed kayaking on a weekly basis and walking daily with his wife.

John was awarded the honor of "Young Rhode Island Engineer of the Year" early in his career and recalled how that recognition influenced his approach to his projects and his work. He mentored many young architects, engineers and related professionals, often finding placements for them on his own projects. His mentoring was never forgotten by them.

John was a progressive and creative designer in many genres, specializing in healthcare and residential facilities for elderly and disabled populations. He pioneered the concept of incorporating "defensible space" in assisted living and nursing home facilities. This concept focused on the elements that established a sense of property and ownership in a home, and John incorporated these features into his residences (such as apartment front doors set back from hallways). These key design features, taken from classic American neighborhood design, inspired in residents a sense of pride and ownership in their spaces, and inspired them to decorate their front doors and entryways with meaningful personal touches.

As Chief Architect and Engineer, he produced widely praised structures throughout Rhode Island, including the Steere House Nursing Home on R.I. Hospital Campus, the Riverview Nursing Home in Coventry, Oak Hill Nursing, Westerly Health Center, Bayberry Commons, The Friendly Home, Atria Harborhill Retirement community in Warwick, the South Kingstown Senior Center, the Town of Lincoln Senior Center and Hope Alzheimer’s Day Care Center. He was a collaborator at heart, seeking input from town leaders, prospective residents and stakeholders.

John's goals were always to help and serve his fellow man, and family was at the core of all he did. An enthusiastic inventor, he designed a device for people with mobility on just one side to open condiment packets, naming it the TearRight (TR) after his own father's initials. Other inventions explored harnessing natural resources to provide energy. He shared his many interests and his love of life with his extended family, and also delighted in celebrating their many achievements.

Along with his wife, he leaves four sons, Raphael Marion, Gabriel Joseph, Michael Henry and Uriel Benedict all of Cumberland; two sisters, Marie Anne Strauss and Leona M. Blackwell; one brother, Peter X. Robinson, along with 45 nieces and nephews, grandnieces and nephews, and great-grandnieces and nephews. He was the brother of the late Madeleine O. Robinson, Marguerite R. Robinson, Thomas F. Robinson, Leo A. Robinson, Stephen L. Robinson. He was also the uncle to the late Crystal L. (Robinson) Perkins and Stephanie L. Robinson.

Relatives and friends are kindly invited to John's Life Celebration to be held on Sunday, March 7, 2021, beginning with visiting hours from 3 to 7 p.m., in the J. J. Duffy Funeral Home, 757 Mendon Road, Cumberland. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Monday, March 8, 2021, at 10 a.m., in the St. John Vianney Church, 3609 Diamond Hill Road, Cumberland. Burial will follow in Diamond Hill Cemetery, Cumberland.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in John's Memory to Lamb's Village, Pentecostal Assembly, 215 Sawyer St., New Bedford, MA 02746.

John 3:16 "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life."