Marvin Jonathan Robinson, 68, of Atlantic, passed away unexpectedly on Thursday, May 28, 2020, at Carteret Health Care in Morehead City.
Due to the current situation with the Coronaviris, the family will celebrate Jonathan’s life with a graveside service to allow public attendance. The graveside service will be held at 2:30 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 2020, at the Atlantic Community Cemetery by the Rev. Jack Colenda. Friends are welcome to join the family at graveside. In keeping with the CDC guidelines pertaining to the Coronavirus, those who are ill or at-risk (elderly, immune-compromised) are encouraged to stay home. Those who attend will be asked to bring and wear a protective mask. Help us honor the Robinson family while practicing safe measures.
Jonathan gave his life to his family and his community, believing in education and making sure that his children, Staci and Mathew, received the same college education that had meant so much to him. He was proud of their accomplishments and shared in their lives daily. As a grandparent, “my boy Owen” became the center of his happiness and he relished the Fridays that were his days to be Owen’s “Papa.”
Jonathan understood the value of family and community and gave tirelessly to both. For him, the welfare of those once-vibrant fisheries communities east of North River was his calling and he dedicated his life to meeting the needs and providing opportunities for Down East.
Jonathan’s community service reached beyond the county. He was appointed to the NC House of Representatives serving on commissions and boards that helped shape fisheries policy during the 1990s.
He was currently serving as Carteret County commissioner representing Down East for the past 22 years. His passion was Down East and no one ever doubted his commitment. His manner was sometimes rough and rugged, but his eloquent mastery of words always captured the sincerity of his efforts.
He was employed by the NC Driving School for the past 12 years, inspiring, encouraging and often entertaining the next generation of Carteret County young men and women.
Jonathan served for many years as Atlantic’s “Compass Points” correspondent for the Carteret News-Times, providing not only the news but stories and history of his home community. Jonathan’s ability to put into words the spirit and beauty of the people and places that mattered to him was amazing, and his writings challenged others to stand strong together.
Jonathan was a graduate of East Carteret High School and Atlantic Christian College. He was a lifelong active member of the Atlantic United Methodist Church.
Jonathan was a proud Eagle Scout and was very involved over the generations of scouting Down East with Troop 252. He served as coach for various ball teams over the years and helped lead community projects throughout Down East.
Jonathan was first and foremost a commercial fisherman, working with his father and the older men of his community as a young man and then fishing on his own boat, the “Down East”, built by he and his father, for many years. Jonathan was part of one of the last long-haul crew on Core Sound working out of Atlantic. The legacy of this crew and its importance to North Carolina fisheries history is documented in the book, “The Workboats of Core Sound.”
Jonathan was an important voice for Down East locally and statewide, always willing to give his time and experience to support critical issues for the working people of Carteret County and beyond. He accompanied fishermen at public meetings and legislative hearings, attended countless community events, spent time with researchers and reporters needing to learn more about coastal issues, and always made time for recognizing the day-to-day milestones around him. Whether it was an Eagle Scout pinning of a young person or the funeral of an elder, Jonathan made time to care about the people of his community.
Jonathan Robinson’s impact on Down East will live on in his family, his lifelong friends and the people he has touched through his service, but his humble way, his heartfelt laughter, his hard-earned wisdom and his faithfulness to his community will be missed forever.
He is survived by his daughter, Staci Robinson Rhinehardt and husband Michael of Marshallberg; son, Jonathan Mathew Robinson and fiancé Farrah Griffin of New Bern; grandson, Owen Robinson Rhinehardt of Marshallberg; and nephew, Sean Harvey of Williston.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Marvin and Harriet Willis Robinson; sister, Annette Robinson Harvey; and nephew, Dennis Harvey.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Atlantic United Methodist Church at 146 School Dr, Atlantic, NC 28511 or Boy Scout Troop # 252 at P.O. Box 94, Smyrna, NC 28579.
Family and friends are welcome to submit online condolences at www.mundenfuneralhome.net
Arrangements by Munden Funeral Home and Crematory in Morehead City, NC.