Mary Childers Robinson
March 12, 1922 – February 18, 2012
Mary Childers Robinson, 89 of Santa Barbara, CA, passed away peacefully on Feb. 18 surrounded by her loved ones.
Nicknamed ‘Jody’, Mary was born March 12, 1922, in Terhune, Indiana to Mable and Harvey Childers, the youngest of four children and the only girl. Although Jody loved her small town and returned often to connect with family, she knew it was her destiny to see the world. Jody graduated from Methodist Hospital School of Nursing and went on to Indiana University to earn her teaching degree. She served as a nurse in the Army Air Corps during World War II, where she met her future husband, the late Robbie Robinson, a summa cum laude graduate of Harvard University. Jody and Robbie had 2 sons Bill and Mike and eventually settled in Santa Barbara. Robbie passed away in 1981. Jody touched many lives as a school nurse at Santa Barbara Jr. High, and for 30 years in the
ER at Cottage Hospital. It was here that she expressed her passion in life, helping others. She loved nursing, teaching, fixing up properties, and most of all, dogs. It all came together when she turned a century-old Queen Anne at Sola and Castillo St’s into a bed-and-breakfast, the Ivanhoe Inn. Jody bought a ranch in Arroyo Grande where she planned to retire, but everybody knew she never would. While in her mid 70’s, she was running the Inn, working in the ER and fixing up the ranch.
Jody was a generous, joyous and accepting soul who kept up her amazing pace through the end of her life. She kept her mind agile with Sudoku and crosswords, remained a faithful newspaper reader, and played a ferocious game of Scrabble into her late 80s, whooping younger players. In later years, she converted the Ivanhoe into apartments that drew students, artists and other vibrant people, along with their dogs. Did we mention that she loved dogs?
Jody was predeceased by her parents, her brothers, Casey (Cecil), John (Ilene) and Paul(Mary Florence), and several beloved canine companions, including Ivan an Irish wolfhound, the Inn’s namesake, and Pasha her beloved pit bull.
Jody is survived by her dog Mayla, two sons, five granddaughters and three great granddaughters. Bill Robinson & his wife Kathy of New Orleans and his daughters, JenniferWeedn, and Sarah & Amy Robinson; Mike Robinson of Santa Barbara and his daughters Shane Robinson and Brenna Robinson; and three great-granddaughters Aoywin & Seva Weedn and Fiona Sartin-Robinson. She is also survived by former daughters-in law Carol Mirassou and Kris Lyon, and by family members, friends and loved ones in Indiana. Finally, she is survived by many friends, including Jane Riley, Peggy Phillips, Ron Chen and many others. The family is grateful to Jody’s housemates, including laon Pohlit & his mother Pamela, and the many others who cared about Jody and gave her life rich dimension.
A celebration of Jody’s life will take place from 12–4pm Monday, March 12, her 90th, at the Ivanhoe Inn, 1406 Castillo St. Please bring your stories to share at the 1pm service. Jody will be interred near her parents on April 14 in Terhune, IN.
To honor Jody’s life, please make a donation to your local animal welfare organization.