Willie Clifford Robinson, Sunrise: February 20, 1938, Sunset: January 14, 2010
WILLIE CLIFFORD ROBINSON
In remembering and celebrating the beloved Willie Clifford Robinson, we are thankful for a life well lived. Willie, affectionately known as “Moto”, was born in El Dorado, Arkansas on February 20, 1938, to William and Lertesia Robinson. He was the first of eight siblings and attended elementary school in Arkansas. He accepted Christ into his life at an early age and was a member of Praises of Zion Missionary Baptist Church.
Willie served in the United States Marine Corp. from 1956 to 1962 when he was honorably discharged. He is a Past President and Commander of the American Legion’s Jackie Robinson Post #252.
In 1966, he was joined in marriage to Gertrude Elizabeth Woods and to this union was born two beautiful daughters, Andrea and Felicia Robinson. Later, the family relocated to Compton, California where Willie pursued his education at Compton Junior College, Loyola Catholic College, and UCLA focusing on Labor Studies.
Willie began his lifelong career in labor as a Field Representative for Laborer’s Local 300, AFL/CIO, in 1969. He was elected Vice President and a Trustee of the Union before retiring in 1999. He served as Project Director, L.A. Building Trades Council; Chairman, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists of Southern California; West Coast Region President, Coalition of Black Trade Unionists; Treasurer of the United Labor Committee; Chairman, A. Phillip Randolph Institute in Los Angeles; and Treasurer, Hannibal Contracting Engineers, Inc.
He was an organizer and people person who devoted his life to political and community activism for the betterment of working class people. Among the projects and endeavors to which he lent his considerable energy and talent was his service on the California Federation of Consumers Policy Board; the United Way that honored him with its “Stewardship Award”; he received the “Laborers AFL/CIO Award from L.A. County’s Federation of Labor for his role in helping to build a Homeless Shelter; and the Pacoima Youth Athletic Foundation, Inc. presented him a “Service Award”.
Willie was a natural at politics and this was evident as a member of the New Frontier Democratic Club and his work on behalf of the Democratic Party. He was a Jesse Jackson Delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 1988; a member of the L.A. County Democratic Central Committee from the 48th Assembly District; Chair of the 48th Assembly District from 1992 – 1998; and Chairman, L.A. Chapter, BAPAC Laborers’ Committee. Through the years, he campaigned for the successful election of many public officials including President Bill Clinton; U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein; Congress members Maxine Waters, Diane Watson, and Laura Richardson; Governors Gray Davis and Jerry Brown; Mayor Alioto for Governor; Senator Roderick Wright; Mayor Tom Bradley; and others too numerous to mention.
In recognition of outstanding community service, he received awards from the L.A. City Human Relations Commission, Boy Scouts of America, Los Angeles Marathon, Arkansas Travelers’ Award from then Governor Bill Clinton, a commendation from the California State Assembly and the Clinica Monsignor Oscar A. Romero Award.
Willie enjoyed life and the fellowship and camaraderie he found in the Searchers Social and Charity Corporation, a nonprofit organization that raised funds for scholarships. He served as the National President for several years during which time they traveled throughout the United States and the world. He loved fishing and his passion was playing dominoes.
Willie was called to rest on Thursday, January 14, 2010. While he has gone to glory, the remembrance of his generous, loving spirit will live on. Left to cherish his precious memory are his daughters Andrea and Felicia Robinson; two grandchildren Jennifer Williamson and Davon Pearson; great granddaughter Jeniah Cash; sister Jean Robinson; brothers Michael, John and Jerome Robinson; Nelson, Theodis and Larry Clarke; and a host of relatives and friends.
He will be sorely missed.