Richard Anthony Robinson
October 23, 1967 – March 24, 2021
Richard Anthony Robinson was called home on March 24, 2021 after a life-long battle with sickle cell anemia. Born in Harlem, New York to Miriam Rouse Anderson on October 23, 1967, Richard was not expected to live very long. Always the fighter, Richard did not go anywhere for 53 years! Anyone who ever met Richard considered him a true miracle. Richard grew up in the Bronx with his mother, grandmother, aunts and uncles. Around age 10, Richard and his mother moved to Durham, North Carolina to pursue other opportunities. Not long after, Richard was graced with a baby brother, Vincent Paige. Ten years the elder, Richard took Vincent under his wing. Richard valued his family and actually took the time to play games with his little brother. Many a toy army man fell to the penny tosses of both brothers; and later, many a chess opponent was beaten thanks to Richard’s tutelage. The family grew up in South Durham, and Richard walked his little brother to C.C. Spaulding elementary each day before proceeding on to Hillside High School, which once stood on the North Carolina Central University Campus. Richard was quick to protect his brother from harm’s way. At times, he cared for him like a parent. Vincent remembers being told that, “there are 7 billion people on this planet, but all we have is each other.”
Richard attended Hillside High School. He was a proud snare drummer in the marching band. He learned great skills under the band leadership of the legendary Clark Alston Egerton, Jr. Richard was an accomplished drummer, and his flair earned him the nickname “The Magnificent Sticks.” Soon after graduating in 1986, Richard and Vincent were walking past North Carolina Central University one day. Richard turned to Vincent and said, “I am going to go to that school.” The next day, he walked in, applied, and was admitted. Richard was attentive to his studies, but he made sure to experience the social aspects of college as well. Richard continued his drumming in the NCCU marching band and was also honored to pledge Kappa Kappa Psi. Richard graduated with dual degrees in Psychology and Biology in 1993. Later in life, he returned to earn his Master’s degree as well.
Richard had a childlike innocence, and trusted everyone. He had high values and tried to instill the difference between right and wrong into his brother and his beloved nieces and nephews. Richard was inquisitive and talented. He loved writing poetry and he was passionate about his drums. He remained active with his fraternity and volunteered with the NCCU band long after graduation. Richard loved learning for its own sake and was a great conversationalist. He loved big trucks and going fast. Richard especially loved that he had tempted fate and won for so many years. He was passionate about sickle cell awareness; and volunteered avidly with Bridges Pointe Sickle Cell Foundation in downtown Durham, whose mission is to support and empower young adults with sickle cell. In his later years, Richard suffered a lot and became more of a homebody. In September 2020, Richard suffered paralysis after an accident. This, coupled with his disease, led him to his ultimate triumph of obtaining everlasting life.
Richard was loved by family and friends and will be missed. He is survived by his mother, Miriam Anderson; brother, Vincent Paige (Wendy), nephew Anthony Paige, who carries his name onward in legacy; niece Alexie Paige, nieces Chelsea, Casey, Kali, Briana, and Bobbi nephews Tyreke and Jaden, and great niece, Naomi, as well as many other family members and friends too numerous to name. The family is especially grateful to Steve Rutland, a dear friend who watched over Richard in his time of need.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating to https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-send-richard-robinson-home?utm_source=customer&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_campaign=p_cf+share-flow-1