Cover photo for Dr. William Chandler Robinson's Obituary
Dr. William Chandler Robinson Profile Photo
1939 William 2021

Dr. William Chandler Robinson

October 25, 1939 — January 9, 2021

William Chandler Robinson, October 25, 1939 - January 9, 2021 His entire life, William Robinson was a reader and scholar. A faculty member in the Graduate School of Information Sciences at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, “Dr. Bill,” as his students affectionately called him, taught and mentored hundreds of graduate students in Library Science. In his almost four decades at the University, teaching was his passion while also doing research, authoring articles, serving on committees, and contributing to the Tennessee Library Association. He served as acting chair of the department and won several awards for his teaching and service. Born and having grown up in Southern California, Bill lettered in both swimming and water polo in high school and played on teams at Claremont College where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree. After receiving a Masters of International Relations at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1962, he served his country honorably in the United States Army. He went on to earn a Masters of Library and Information Science at the University of Southern California in 1965, and a Ph.D. in Library and Information Sciences at the University of Illinois in 1973. Bill’s love of reading carried over to his personal life---particularly his enjoyment of fantasy and science fiction authors such as J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. Bill loved following world and local news, which made him an engaging and informed conversationalist. He instilled his passion for learning in his three children, reading them classics such as The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings. His success in doing so can be seen in the legacy of his children, who have carried on his love of learning by earning bachelors and graduate degrees in biochemistry, political science, and anthropology. Bill was an early adopter of computer technology in both his work and personal life. He taught distance learning courses and used software to further his love of art and photography by creating images both colorful and fantastic. He enthusiastically watched and followed the University of Tennessee basketball and football teams. Bill was an avid railfan and model railroad hobbyist. He visited railroad museums, rode excursion trains, and attended model railroad conventions across the country. In retirement, Bill frequented the county library and read for hours, enjoyed walking his dog, Abbey, traveled, took photos, loved his cats, enjoyed gardening, and kept up with current events. He continued his love of research by collecting and sharing articles of interest with his family and friends. He particularly loved to share articles about women in science with his daughter. Bill is survived by his wife, Shelly Robinson, his children, Megan (Terry Triplett), Robert (Jennifer). and Daniel (Jamie), his grandchildren Olivia, Beck, Baylor, and Oren, and his brother, Rick (Barbara). Preceded in death by his mother and father, Jean and Harry W. Robinson. In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent to: The Nature Conservancy, 4245 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, VA 22203; Dr. Bill Robinson Scholarship Fund, Office of Gift Giving, UTK, 600 Andy Holt Tower, Knoxville, TN 37996; The N.C. Transportation Museum, P.O. Box 69, Spencer, NC 28159; or Doctors Without Borders, P.O. Box 5030, Hagerstown, MD 21741. To send flowers or a memorial gift to the family of Dr. William Chandler Robinson please visit our Sympathy Store.
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