James A. Robinson passed away at his home on Tuesday, May 20, 2014. He was born on Dec. 17, 1918, in Veto, Ala., in Limestone County. He is survived by Lois, his wife of 45 years; his twin sister, Alma Browning of Ashland, Ala.; and his sister-in-law, Joyce Steinecke of Macllenny, Fla. He was preceded in death by sisters Bertha Martin, Mildred Davis of Elkmont, Ala., and Mavis Griffin of Prospect, Tenn.; and brothers Max Robinson and Noah Robinson of Elkmont, Ala. Jim, as he was called by friends, graduated from Elkmont High School, where he played varsity football and baseball. During his college years at Auburn University, Auburn, Ala., he participated in intercollegiate sports. He was a member of the track team and competed in many events, winning the SEC 2-mile championship. In addition, he graduated from the University of Maryland with a master of science degree in animal and dairy science.
During World War II, he served as a forward observer with the 377th Parachute Field Artillery, 101st Airborne Division, the famous “Screaming Eagles.” He saw combat in Bastogne, Belgium, where he received a Silver Star for gallantry in action. He also was awarded a Bronze Star and Purple Heart while serving in Holland and France. He left the service as a lieutenant colonel in the Army Reserve. After the war, Jim worked with the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agency. He supervised the receipt, care and shipment of 46 thousand animals to Europe. He was also responsible for selection and shipping of 32,000 horses to Japan.
Mr. Robinson joined the Department of State as a Foreign Service officer with the Agency for International Development, and served in Burma, Cambodia and the Philippines as a livestock advisor. His other posts with the American embassies were Porto Alegre, Rio de Janeiro and Brasilia, Brazil, Mali and Haiti. While in Brasilia, he was a special advisor to the minister of agriculture and his cabinet. He was a Food for Peace officer in Port au Prince, Haiti and Washington, D.C.
During retirement, Jim was a Master Gardener and could usually be found outside tending his flowers and vegetables. He was on the board of directors of the Friends of the Library, and he volunteered as a poll worker. He was a member of three Airborne Associations and the Retired Foreign Service Association. Jim also had been the proud owner of season tickets to Auburn football games.