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Blanche Amanda (Lewis) Robinson

June 13, 1923 ~ June 30, 2020 (age 97)


In the early morning hours of Tuesday, June 30, 2020, surrounded by family, Blanche Amanda Lewis Robinson was born into her new heavenly life peacefully in her home. 

She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Herbert L. Robinson (Herbie), 13 brothers and sisters: William Alonza Lewis, Jr., James Thomas Lewis, Sr., Martha May Lewis Odom, Annie Daniel Lewis Register, Charles Rouse Lewis, Benjamin Taylor Lewis, George Washington Lewis, and John Redden Lewis; and two grandchildren, Lauren Suzanne Brown and Russell Lee Robinson.  She is survived by her three children, Brenda Gayle Robinson Brown (Bill) of Manteo, NC, Cheryle Vines Robinson Prater, (Joe) of Garner, NC, and Herbert Carson Robinson, (Mary Ellen) of Asheboro, NC and “adopted” daughter, Janice Bullock Smith, of Rocky Mount, NC along with 7 grandchildren: Catherine Gayle Brown Howell (Darrell), Candice Leigh Brown Davis, Jessica Suzanne Robinson Routh (Gregory), Carson Alexander Robinson (Ashley), Jennifer Ellen Robinson Blanton (Brandon), Brittany Amanda Prater Stowell (Dustin), and Joseph Hiram Prater, IV and 7 great-grandchildren: Hannah Catherine Howell, Brendan Ward Howell, Ryland Laurence Howell, William Redden Davis, Paisley Suzanne Routh, Tanner Gregory Routh, and Layla Amanda Stowell.

On June 13, 1923, in a small, rural, Farmville, NC home split down the middle between two counties, her life took root. As the second to the youngest of 14 children, Blanche was loved by all.  Over the next few years, both her mother, Annie Daniel Vines Lewis and father, William Alonza Lewis, of Farmville, NC, died. She then began a new life in Rocky Mount, NC with her loving aunt she fondly called, “Momma Blanche”, for whom she was named. It is here where her roots continued to strengthen, as she grew closer to her cousins which became siblings and helped shape her into the woman she became. This home was also a teacherage, which fostered her love and respect of education that was imparted many years later to her children and grandchildren.

In 1936, she met Herbert L. Robinson, and began a love that would last for over 50 years.  They were blessed with children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, all of which she loved beyond compare.  They shared the years together singing in the North Rocky Mount Baptist Church choir and later, the First Presbyterian Church Choir.  Together they traveled, visited friends and family across the country, and enjoyed spending time together.

Just 8 short months after the birth of her first child, Brenda Gayle in 1942, her husband, Herbert, was deployed to serve in WWII.  During her 4 years as a war bride, Blanche lived with her best friends and sisters Annie Daniel “Dan” Lewis Register and Martha “May” Lewis Odom in Newport News, VA where they raised their children together. Upon Herbert’s return from the war, they moved back to Rocky Mount and their family grew with the addition of Cheryle Vines and later Herbert Carson.  With the family complete, the memories continued to be made, founded in faith and love.

Blanche loved her children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren with a flair only a child could love.  She often chased her children around the house making scary ghost sounds that garnered laughs and eager chants of, “Do it again! Do it again! Do it again!” Later in life, as her grandchildren came along, she shared her ability to scare with humor and would spit out her false teeth, open her eyes widely while we all chanted, “Do it again! Do it again! Do it again!”

Blanche was a treasure chest with an abundance of riches.  She was full of pearls of wisdom that were made beautiful from the smallest grit born of experience through her many years. Each one uniquely shaped for the person who was seeking advice during one-on-one conversation and not given as idle chatter. There was not a time where she was not approachable and ready to talk.

She also had the strength of diamonds that few will know and understand. The years of commitment to her husband, her family, and foremost her God, provided her with a silent strength that shepherded her and many others through difficult times.

There was also a heart of gold within Blanche that never tarnished.  It was soft and malleable, bending and shifting to encompass those who needed love the most.  She gave her love, her time, her talents, and her money unselfishly and privately to various charities, many times to the point where she went without.  

As any good treasure chest should be, Blanche was a trusted keeper of secrets.  When an intimate thought or conversation was shared with her, she kept it locked safely within and protected it relentlessly. However, if you did not specifically tell her it was a secret, you can believe she was going to share it!

As an exceptionally frank person who believed in transparency and honesty, Blanche often told you exactly the facts, whether they were what you wanted to hear or not and often without a filter.

In the last few days of her life, she continued to bless those around her as she shared her love of music through sing a longs, late night conversations with her quick witted responses, and reassurance of her love for us.  She asked that we write a book about her 97th birthday, but there was no way to distill her entire life of wonder and sadness, struggle and bounty, love and loss into one day. 

When others spoke of Blanche, many used the words, Steel Magnolia, lady of character, and spunk.  She was graceful and elegant, yet knew struggle beyond most, all while knowing how to deliver a risqué joke with the best of them.  She knew the perfect balance of when to put on the white gloves and cross your ankles and when to let your hair down and have a stiff drink.

Blanche Amanda Lewis Robinson sought comfort and joy in the little things, knowing one day, when you look back that they were truly the big things.  We want her to know that she is safe, she is loved by her church, loved by her family, and most of all loved by her God.

Private, immediate family services will be held, Friday, July 3, 2020 at 11:00 am at First Presbyterian Church, Rocky Mount, NC.  Graveside services, open to friends and extended family, will be held at 2:00 pm at Forrest Hills Cemetery, Farmville, NC.  Flowers may be sent to First Presbyterian Church, Rocky Mount, NC.  Family will receive visitors at the home. If preferred, donations in her memory can be sent to: Barium Springs Home for Children (CHA), PO Box 1, Barium Springs, NC  28010.

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