A man who had operated a funeral home in Gary for 28 years had just finished fulfilling his duties at a funeral, his wife said, he collapsed and died.
Paul A. Robinson, the operator of the House of Robinson Funeral Home at 1900 W. 15th Ave., in Gary, died Wednesday, Feb. 24, outside of his funeral home. He was 58. His wife, Gwendolyn Robinson, said her husband had worked a service at the funeral home on Feb. 24 in the afternoon, with burial held later that day at Gary’s Oak Hill Cemetery.
Gwendolyn Robinson said her husband drove from the cemetery back to the funeral home and had just gotten out of his car when he collapsed. She said workers at the funeral home saw Paul Robinson on the ground and called for an ambulance when they were not immediately able to revive him. “He was non-responsive,” she said. “They went out there to try to wake him up.”
Paramedics took Robinson to Methodist Hospital Northlake in Gary, where he was pronounced dead. Gwendolyn Robinson said doctors were not able to explain to her what caused Paul Robinson to collapse.
Robinson had been the operator of the House of Robinson Funeral Home since 1988, and was someone who took his line of work seriously. Gwendolyn cited her husband’s membership in the National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association, and also his involvement in developing a program in 1991 entitled “This Could Be You.”
The program was geared toward explaining death, particularly under violent circumstances to people around 13 to 14 years old. According to a Jet magazine article published in 1994, Robinson would stage mock funerals and would have young people look into a mirror placed in a casket as a way of emphasizing that behavior tied to gangs and drugs could cost them their own lives.
“He traveled across the United States to promote that program,” Gwendolyn said of her husband.
Paul Robinson was born in New York City, but moved with his mother, Florine, to Gary when he was 8.
Paul Robinson was a 1975 graduate of Horace Mann High School in Gary. He is survived by his wife and their four children – a daughter, Annette, and three sons, Paul II, Phillip and Raymond.
Visitation will be held March 6 at the House of Robinson Funeral Home, with funeral services on March 7 at New Shiloh Baptist Church, 1727 W. 15th St. in Gary. Burial will be at Oak Hill Cemetery.