Today: Memorial for Robin Winslow Smith


This obituary is based on information provided by the family.

A memorial celebration will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, June 24, at Holbrook-Palmer Park in Atherton for Robin Winslow Smith, a 47-year resident of Atherton who died at home June 15 surrounded by family after outwitting cancer for nearly five years.

In a memorial notice on the Almanac's "Lasting Memories" website, the family describes her as "a strong, independent woman with a sharp wit and a broad sense of humor, proud mother of four, dedicated special education teacher, engaged citizen, avid birder, world traveler, voracious reader, passionate environmentalist, dog lover, story teller, and a supportive friend and confidant to many."

A 10th generation American of the Winslow family, she was born in San Francisco in 1934, raised in Saratoga and Palo Alto, and attended Palo Alto High School. She graduated with a bachelor of arts degree from UC Berkeley as a member of the Gamma Phi Beta sorority.

She married Gordon Dean Smith Jr. in 1956, settled in Palo Alto, and taught elementary school.

She raised four children in an "inviting 1906 Atherton home where music and art were a rich part of everyday life," the family says.

As her children grew, she returned to teaching and focused on special education, receiving a master's degree from San Jose State University. She taught for more than 20 years, primarily in the Fremont Unified School District.

Once retired, she pursued her love of birding, serving as president of Sequoia Audubon and organizing many Christmas bird counts.

She visited all 50 states, including a drive up the Alaska Highway before it was paved, the family says. She explored all continents, including snowmobiling above the Arctic Circle, traveling by train to Mongolia, going on safari in Africa, and weathering Antarctica.

She worked for habitat protectionm including the conservation of Bair Island and the protection of Bedwell Bayfront Park as open space.

Survivors include her four children, Mallory, Colin, Evan and Alison; and a granddaughter.

The family prefers memorial contribution to a local environmental organization of the donor's choice.

Visit the Almanac's "Lasting Memories" website for more memorials and to leave remembrances.

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