A memorial service celebrating her life will be held on Sunday, Dec. 21, 2008 , at 1: 30 p.m. in Trinity Lutheran Church, Main Street, Tulelake, with David Misso officiating. A brief reception will follow at The Honker.
She was born to Dewitt Earl Blackburn and Opal Luona Kurtz in Los Angeles on Dec. 28, 1922. Velma was raised in a small-town atmosphere in Fullerton, Calif. She especially enjoyed day trips to the beach and family trips to their cabin at Lake Arrowhead.
Velma met Fred Robison at Fullerton High School and they both attended and graduated from Fullerton Junior College. They married in her parents’ home in 1944 shortly after Fred enlisted in the Army Air Corps. She worked as a secretary at military bases wherever Fred was stationed.
At the end of World War II, Velma and her husband were successful in the homestead drawings for Tulelake, following in the footsteps of Fred’s parents who homesteaded in 1938. She and Fred overcame many obstacles in developing their farm over their 61 years of life together.
Velma’s life was her family and her community. She spent her time supporting Fred in his farming and creating a loving home for their children. While the children were young, she volunteered for the American Cancer Society and the Modoc County Election Board. Other community service included serving as a director of the Tulelake Recreation Board. When her children joined 4-H, she became a 4-H community leader, teaching sewing and training youth in leadership skills. All her children raised pigs for the fair and she always enjoyed fair time, watching their competitions, and visiting with neighbors and friends. When her children became involved in sports, music and other cultural pursuits, she was always in attendance, supporting her family.
Upon retirement, Velma and Fred discovered Mexico, eventually spending 21 winters at a trailer park close to La Penita. She developed her love of hummingbirds from a bougainvillea bush on their patio, where all species of hummers came to feed. She played pinochle most afternoons or went down to the beach to enjoy the sun. She made many lifetime friends from their time in Mexico.
Her most loved pastimes in recent years have been to simply spend time with her sweetheart on their farm, watching seasons change and enjoying the wildlife around their home, especially the hummingbirds and their covey of quail.
Velma was preceded in death by her sisters Ella Mae Morris and Doris Jean McCann.
Velma is survived by her sweetheart of 64 years, Fred Robison; sons Tom Robison (Karen) and Larry Robison (Becky) and daughter Nancy Bateman (Harvey); also by grandchildren Brian Robison (Amy), Amy Robison, Luke Robison (Angela), Sarah Robison, Drew Bateman (Jillian), Neal Bateman, Katie Griffin (Jared), Ryan Bateman, Kyle Bateman and f ive great-grandchildren. She is also survived by her brother Robert Blackburn.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be made to the Tulelake Volunteer Fire Department.