Editor’s Note: Dave Robertson is a long time friend who passed away October 24. His wife and I have known each other since childhood. This is for you, Carol.
David Robertson (88), a 15-year resident of Sea Oaks Community in Vero Beach, FL died peacefully October 24, 2018 of complications from pneumonia. He grew up in New York City and served in the Navy three years during the Korean War. He received his BA in Graphic Design from Pratt Institute and a Masters from Columbia University.
As a graphic designer, he first worked on Madison Avenue in advertising among the original “Mad Men.” Ultimately, it was teaching though, that became his true calling. He and his wife, Carol, moved to Rochester, NY in 1966 as newlyweds, where he began a 25-year career at Rochester Institute of Technology. As a professor and later as Department Chair, he created a nationally recognized and respected program integrating the fields of Graphic Design and Photography. He developed a popular course called Creative Problems and was one of the most sought-after professors in what became the Photographic and Imaging Arts degree in the College of Art and Design.
He left a legacy by helping build the reputation of excellence that RIT is known for today. As both a true mentor and friend to his students, he continued to stay connected to many of them throughout his life. He always welcomed the opportunity to offer professional and philosophical insight, with a keen eye and a teacher’s heart.
David and Carol have traveled together to over 75 countries and have collaboratively published five cookbooks of Mediterranean cuisines. They recently celebrated their 50th anniversary with a three-week, nine-country cruise around the Arabian Peninsula and through the Suez Canal to Barcelona.
David, who was very knowledgeable about film, briefly taught the film course at the Vero Beach Museum of Art, and created a popular Sunday night film series enjoyed for more than four years by many Sea Oaks residents.
He was a strong believer in volunteerism, devoting ten years to adult literacy tutoring and working with an Amerasian resettlement program. Hard work, compassion and a belief in lifting up those less fortunate was a deep-seated life philosophy. Self-deprecating, wise, resourceful, quick-witted and deeply thoughtful, David was known as a warm and funny conversationalist and an engaged, curious and talented man. He rightfully took pride in his role as a teacher, husband, father, and a much beloved “Poppy.” He will be so missed.
He is survived by his wife Carol, his two daughters, Jennifer Robertson-Geary and Erica Cyr, his siblings James and Jacqueline, and his four grandchildren, Madeline (20), Benjamin (18), Lucy (15) and Ella (5).
Those who so desire may make a memorial donation in memory of David Robertson to American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU Foundation)
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