ROBBINS, JR. JOE FRANKLIN (1934 ~ 2013). The following is an obituary for Joe Franklin Robbins, Jr., former member of the Texas House of Representatives. The obituary was published in the Fort Worth Star Telegram.
Joe Franklin Robbins Jr. died Sunday, Nov. 3, 2013, at a nursing center in Austin at the age of 79. Mr. Robbins had a long career as a radio and television broadcaster, served one term in the Texas House of Representatives and was a state employee for several years before retiring at age 62. Graveside service: noon Thursday in the Texas State Cemetery, 909 Navasota St., Austin. Born Oct. 2, 1934, in Fort Worth, Mr. Robbins was the first son of Joe Robbins and Louise Augusta "Ducky" Boswell Robbins.
He grew up in Fort Worth, graduating from North Side High in 1953 and later earning a bachelor's degree at Texas Christian University. He served in the U.S. Marine Corps Reserves from 1955 to 1959. For most of his career, Mr. Robbins worked as a broadcast journalist at radio or television stations in Fort Worth, Lubbock and Austin, among others. He also taught briefly at Texas Tech University, where he was a sponsor of the campus radio station.
Mr. Robbins was an artist and always talked about setting up his easel and painting in his retirement years. But his real passion was for politics. He worked as a volunteer for a number of campaigns over the years, including campaigns of the late John Tower, the first Republican elected to the U.S. Senate from Texas since Reconstruction. Being a volunteer for other GOP candidates was not enough for Mr. Robbins. In 1976, he campaigned for and won a seat in the Texas House, becoming the first Republican elected to office in a partisan election in Lubbock County.
Survivors: His wife of 37 years, Mary Alice of Austin; brother, Jon Ed Robbins of Lakeside; sons, Kirk Robbins and Jeffrey Robbins, both of Austin; stepdaughters, Anne Nabors of Austin, Karen Diers of Arcata, Calif., and Rebecca Diers of Los Angeles; granddaughter, Kristine Robbins-Bizzelle of Cibolo; grandson, Marcus Robbins of Dripping Springs; and daughter, Angela Klingler of New Hampshire and her daughters, Melody, Ashley and Sara.
Published in Star-Telegram on Nov. 5, 2013