Age 75, passed peacefully from complications of Parkinson’s Disease on July 7, 2017 surrounded by her family at Highland Hospital in Rochester, New York.
She is predeceased by her mother, Kay (Kildare) Stuart and father, Lavere Cowell along with her brother William Cowell. Robin is survived by her two sons, Christopher James Griffin of Bath, New York and Shawn Michael (Amy Rees) Griffin of Penfield, New York; and her two daughters Michelle Griffin (John) Kaupp of Pittsford, New York and Cheryl Griffin (Murray) Hall of Palm Desert, California. Robin is also survived by her eight grandchildren: Neal Kaupp, Johnny Kaupp, Meghan Kaupp, Shannon Kaupp and Sean Kaupp; Patrick Griffin, Michael Griffin and Alexandra Griffin; and one very special great grandson, Graham Griffin Chambery.
Robin grew up moving often as her father was a U.S. Navy meteorologist who was stationed in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii when the Japanese attacked in 1941. Her mother, who was pregnant with her at the time, was evacuated to Fargo, North Dakota where Robin was born May 15, 1942. Most of her younger years were spent in Pearl Harbor and later in California where she attended Mar Vista High School in Imperial Beach.
She sure loved growing up in Imperial Beach. As a Mar Vista High School junior, Robin entered multiple beauty pageants, winning the titles of Miss HS-2 and Miss Angel of Ream Field in 1959. She entered the Miss Imperial Beach pageant twice, winning the title in 1960. Robin went on to capture the crown of queen of Chula Vista’s Fiesta de la Luna in 1960 and also won Mar Vista Homecoming Queen as a senior the same year. She was also on San Diego’s KFSD-TV show “Focus” and on an episode of “Border Patrol.”
She joined the Army in 1961 and was stationed in Maryland at the Aberdeen Proving Ground where she met her husband James Griffin. She moved to Arkport, New York where she had four children and taught ballet and gymnastics classes. She received her four year degree at SUNY Geneseo and her Master’s of Teaching degree at Elmira College. She went on to teach elementary school at Canisteo, New York and then moved to Anaheim, California in 1978 to work as a computer analyst for Carter Hawley Hale. She also worked as a data dictionary analyst for Burlington Air Express and later returned to teaching as a sub at Yorba Linda and Corona Elementary schools before teaching full time at Bryant Ranch Elementary, 1994-2003.
After being diagnosed with Parkinson’s she retired and moved back to Brighton, New York to be near her family. She lived on Gailhaven Court before moving to St John’s Meadows where she made many friends and had fun taking day trips and playing bridge, scrabble and dominos with them. She also enjoyed being a docent at the Rochester Museum and Science Center where she could continue her passion for teaching.
She will be remembered as a very loving and devoted mother, grandmother and friend. She was an amazing planner and organizer and led by setting a good example for others. She loved her family, friends and the wonderful aides that helped her with her Parkinson’s issues.
There is no funeral planned as Robin donated her body for research to the University of Rochester where she will continue to teach the next generation of medical students.