Rachel Elizabeth Smith Robertson, 90, of Warren, PA, died Friday, January 18, 2019, at home surrounded by her family.
Rachel was born in Warren, PA on November 3, 1928, the daughter of the late Evelyn Elliot Smith and Donald Clare Smith. She was a 1946 graduate of Warren Area High School and went on to graduate from Bradford Junior College and Penn State University.
Rachel married her high school sweetheart, Dr. John Robertson, and after a few years living in various places, the young family returned home to Warren to settle down in this town where both their families had deep roots.
In her high school yearbook Rachel was described as “always in a hurry” and until her legs began to fail her in the last years of her life, most of us had to walk a little faster if we wanted to keep up with her. As a young woman she worked as an educator at Penn Electric; later she managed her husband’s medical office. She led the Girl Scout troop, delivered Meals on Wheels, was active in the Women’s Club, volunteered at the Altar Guild, and the Crary Art Gallery and the Westview Cemetery Association, canned jars and jars of spaghetti sauce and always had home-baked cookies in her kitchen jar.
Rachel was a strong, independent, creative woman. She was a weaver and crafter and maker of unique and beautiful creations of all kinds. She always had some project going: She wallpapered her ceiling with butterflies, laid slate floors, designed tables, refinished a piano, decoupaged a door, and sewed her children’s clothes. She had a deep appreciation for beauty in art and nature. She was a practical, unfussy, unpretentious person who thought Joe Pye weed as lovely as roses and the company of kids as engaging as that of adults.
Rachel was a relaxed and gracious host who enjoyed nothing so much as sitting out on her back patio, talking and laughing with family and friends. She and John loved the theatre, were longtime members of the Shakespeare Club and in their later years particularly enjoyed going up to watch the plays at Niagara on the Lake in the summer months. She enjoyed parties and socializing, but rarely claimed the spotlight. When someone needed her help she always showed up, but came in quietly without great fanfare. She was a devoted daughter, wife and mother and friend.
Rachel was preceded in death by her parents, and her beloved husband of 64 years, Dr. John Lampe Robertson. She is survived by her brother, Clyde Clare Smith II of Old Greenwich, CT ; her five children, Lynn Robertson-Hotz (Paul) of Mountainside, NJ, Kris Robertson-Smith (John) of Falcon Heights, MN, Jane Dobrzanski (Derek) of Hancock, MD, Ann Heilweil (Victor) of Salt Lake City, UT, and William Robertson (Katrin) of Ann Arbor, MI; and her eleven grandchildren, Alexander Hotz, Dr. Arda Hotz (Jay), Blake Hotz, Tremearne Hotz, Tyler Booth-Robertson (Rose), Alice Robertson-Smith, Tanner Dobrzanski, Nate Robertson, Tessa Robertson, Tasha Heilweil and Anika Heilweil.
Friends may call on Tuesday, January 22, 2019, from 9am to 10am in the Trinity Memorial Episcopal Church parlors. A funeral service will be conducted at 10 a.m.
in the church with The Rev. Matthew Scott, Vicar, officiating. Interment will be in Westview Cemetery. Those wishing to place memorials may do so through the Crary Art Gallery, the Hospice of Warren County, or a charity of your choice. Arrangements have been entrusted to the Donald E. Lewis Funeral Home, Inc., 304 East St., Warren, PA. E-mail condolences may be sent by visiting www.lewisfuneralhomeinc.com