Roger Robinson was a devoted husband, a proud father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a local star athlete, founder and former owner of a local newspaper and a retired Florida Senate Chief of Staff.
Roger was born Roger Allyson Taylor in Pensacola, Florida on August 21, 1948 to Joe Blue Taylor and Claudia Garrett Taylor (Patten). Roger’s dad, a highly sought-after baseball player, was playing for a local Baker team on July 31, 1949 as a favor to a friend when their second baseman was unable to play. That day an unexpected lightning storm struck the playing field, with the lightning running the path of the bases and striking four players. Joe Taylor was one of the players who was injured that day and, sadly, he succumbed to his injuries.
Roger was raised by his mother Claudia and adoptive father Allen Robinson, a radio and newspaper reporter. Allen Robinson was the on-air news reporter for the local radio station, WJSB. He prepared articles for the Associate Press (AP) and several neighboring newspapers. Each evening, Roger dictated the articles by telephone to the AP wire, Pensacola News Journal, Playground News, and other newspapers for his dad. A newspaper man was born.
Roger dedicated his life to Christ as a young boy at Antioch Baptist Church and was baptized at Wingard’s pond off Antioch Road. Like his father Joe, Roger was also a top baseball player in the region. Roger played for Crestview High School and Okaloosa-Walton Junior College. Roger graduated from Crestview High School in 1966 and, after spending two years at Okaloosa-Walton Junior College, he studied political science at Florida State University. Roger married Linda Stokes, the eldest daughter of former Okaloosa County Tax Collector Joseph G. “Buck” Stokes, in May of 1973.
He began his newspaper career as a reporter for the Okaloosa News Journal in 1971. After a brief foray into the commercial printing business, Roger and a partner went into competition with the Okaloosa News Journal, which was owned by a California-based media chain at the time. They named the publication the Okaloosa Consumer Bulletin. The paper, now known as the Crestview News Bulletin, will celebrate its 45th anniversary in 2020. In 1978, Roger was hired by the Pensacola News Journal to work in their Fort Walton Beach and Milton bureaus, where he became an award-winning journalist.
In 1993, state Senator W. D. Childers of Pensacola asked Roger to work in his Florida Senate office. He served as a legislative aide to Childers until term limits forced Childers to retire in 2000. Afterward, Roger worked with the campaign to elect Dr. Durrell Peaden to the vacant senate seat. When elected, Senator Peaden offered Roger a position as his Chief of Staff. While working with Peaden, Roger assisted in helping create groundbreaking legislation, including the Stand Your Ground law and the creation of the Florida State University College of Medicine. Both Senator Peaden and Roger retired at the end of legislative term in 2010.
Roger enjoyed hunting, freshwater fishing and the small farm his family owns near Wing, Alabama. In retirement, he and Linda have enjoyed travelling, including many trips to the Smoky Mountains, and the joys of being grandparents. Roger was a Florida State University Booster Club member, and for the last few years, a baseball season ticket holder. His passion, though, was Florida State Seminole football and has held those season tickets for the last forty years.
Roger was preceded in death by his fathers, Joe Blue Taylor and Noble Allen Robinson, his brothers, Allen Wayne Robinson and Kevin Blair Robinson, and many other family members and dear, dear friends.
Roger is survived by his wife of 47 years, Linda, his mother, Claudia, his daughter, Allyson (Jason) Oury, all of Crestview, his daughter, Chera (Phillip) Doty of Pike Road, Alabama, his grandchildren, Taylor Oury, Lauren Doty, Nicholas Oury and Caleb Doty, his great-grandson, Mason Oury, nephew, Darius Robinson, and very special cousins, Krista Clark and Patsy Hill. He always doted on “his girls” (Linda, Allyson and Chera), but the five grandchildren were the light of his life and he loved nothing more than being their Boopa.
The family would like to thank all his doctors and caregivers, especially Dr. (Uncle) Lee Thigpen, Dr. Asser El-Atfy, Bonnie Grundel, the staff at North Okaloosa Medical Center and the staff at Covenant Hospice. Roger also held a very special affinity for his lifelong friendships with his classmates from the Crestview High School Class of 1966.
A service for Roger will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Thursday, July 9th at First United Methodist Church in Crestview. Whitehurst-Powell Funeral Home has been entrusted with the arrangements.
Roger was keenly aware of the concerns his friends and family have related to the COVID-19 pandemic. If you choose to join us at the church, we ask that you practice social distancing in family groups and that you wear a mask/face covering while in the building. While the family yearns to love on and hug all their friends individually, there will be no formal visitation due to the risks that are present at this time. uilding. While we yearn to love and hug on each one of you individually, there will be no formal visitation to limit the risks that are present at this time.
If you would like to view the service but cannot or do not want to attend in person, the family completely understands. The church will live stream the service on their Facebook page at the following link: www.facebook.com/FUMCrestview
To send flowers to Roger's family, please visit our floral store.