Saturday, November 17, 2012

Barbara Manchester Robinson, 44-1 Nov 2, 2012

ROBINSON, Barbara Manchester, age 91, of Tullahoma, passed this life on Friday, Nov. 2, 2012, at her residence after an extended illness.
Mrs. Robinson was born on Oct. 17, 1921, in Batavia, New York, to the late Ward Beecher Manchester II and Jennie Adele George Manchester. She graduated from Batavia High School in 1939 and from Russell Sage College of Women in 1943. While attending Russell Sage College, she was a Civil Air Patrol pilot by the age of 19. She completed her Commercial Pilot’s License in February 1942 with 200 hours of flight time. Her goal was to train male pilots for the war effort.
Barbara joined the Women AirForce Service Pilots (WASP) in August of 1943 after receiving an offer from Jackie Cochran. She graduated from WASP training in Avenger Field, Sweetwater, Texas, Class 44-1 and was assigned to the Army Air Force Weather Wing, flying a Twin Beech to 33 weather stations each month. Barbara was honorably discharged on Dec. 20, 1944, after flying about 1,000 hours. While serving in the armed forces, Mrs. Robinson received an American Campaign Medal and a World War II Victory Medal. She later received a Congressional Gold Medal for her service during World War II.
She married her husband William on May 23, 1945 and June 6. 1945. Barbara helped her husband of 67 years graduate from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and joined him on various USAF assignments until his retirement in 1969.
Barbara was involved in many organizations. She was a member of the St. Barnabas Church choir for 37 years, a member of the Altar Guild for 32 years, having chaired it twice, a regular and board member of the Tullahoma Fine Arts Center, Daughters of the American Revolution member, Heirloom Quilters Guild member, AEDC Women’s Club member, and a Republican National Committee member. She sang in the Tullahoma Civic Choir and the Women’s Barber Shop group, “The Barbersharps.”

She was an artist who used many different mediums to depict the beauty she saw in the world. She painted portraits and landscapes in oils and acrylics. She used her sewing abilities to make clothing, embroidering, counted cross stitch, knitting, crocheting, needlepoint and quilting for which she received numerous awards. She also was an artist in lapidary and silver smithing, stained- glass work and ceramics. She enjoyed camping and bird watching as well.
A memorial service for Mrs. Robinson will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 17, 2012, at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church in Tullahoma  with Rev. Michael Murphy officiating. For those who wish, in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the St. Barnabas Building Fund, P.O. Box 446, Tullahoma, Tenn. 37388 and the Women’s Air Force Service Pilots Museum at Avenger Field, P.O. Box 456, Sweetwater, Texas 79556.
Mrs. Robinson was preceded in death by her parents, Ward Beecher Manchester II and Jennie Adele George Manchester; and two brothers, Ward Beecher Manchester III and John Alan Manchester. She is survived by her husband, Major William C. Robinson, USAF Ret.; five children, William Stephen Robinson (Sharon), Alan Ward Robinson (Sharon), Donna Robinson Sanders, Thomas Edward Robinson (Tracy), and Judith Robinson King; 15 grandchildren, Stephen Anthony Robinson (Christine), Karen Marie Baker (Cole), Kristen Terese Goodman (Mike), Richard Michael Robinson (Sloan), Anastasia Robinson Woo, Vanessa Robinson Woo, Yancie Abbott Sanders, Elizabeth Grace Carr, Cynthia Marie Robinson, Timothy Andrew Robinson, David Matthew King, Donavon William King, Lillian Judith King, Jeffrey Riffe (Cynthia), and Franklin Ray Sanders, Jr.; 12 great-grandchildren, and two great-great-grand-children.

Kilgore Funeral Home in charge of arrangements.
 v/r reposted from the  Nov. 13, 2012 edition of the Tullahoma News


The following respectfully written and posted by Nancy Parrish

In 2009, Barbara's husband, Bill, created a wonderful tribute to Barbara's service and to the WASP at the Beechcraft Heritage Museum in Tullahoma His devotion to her and to shining a light on her service in WWII was heartwarming.   I had the honor to meet Bill and Barbie in 2010, as the WASP gathered in DC for the Congressional Gold Medal Ceremony.  They were a wonderful pair-- and on this occasion, Bill was at her side, flying in the Wingman position. 

When Bill called to share the sad news of her passing, he added, "We didn't say goodbye,"  and then explained that "I'll Be Seeing You" was 'their song,' when they fell in love.  Do you know the words?  I'd like to share them ... because for Bill, their love story goes on-- as he said to Barbie in their last conversation, "Be seeing you." 

Chorus: "I'll Be Seeing You"
I'll find you in the morning sun
And when the night is new
I'll be looking at the moon
But I'll be seeing you 
God bless Bill and the Robinson family-- and all of those who have been touched by this sweet WASP.

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