ADAMS CENTER, NY — Carl Robbins, 83, Adams Center, NY, left from Upstate University Hospital on his final over-the-road-trip to Heaven on Feb. 24, 2020.
He was injured on January 17th and courageously fought for 5 and ½ weeks to return to the life and farm he loved, before succumbing to his injuries.
Carl lived a life of love, concern, hard work and commitment to his family and farming. He was well known throughout New York state by farmers, truckers, and patrons and employees of the farms, ag businesses, feed mills and diners he frequented. Carl loved getting to know people and asking questions about their families, hometowns, professions, and animals; the latter being a most important detail because Carl especially loved animals.
Carl was born Jan. 6, 1937, to the late Harold and Mary Robbins of Sackets Harbor. He graduated from Sackets Harbor Central School in 1955.
On Dec. 21, 1991, he married Cheryl Waite, of Adams. He was previously married to Artis Robbins, of Sackets Harbor.
Carl was a proud 3rd generation dairy farmer, owning Robbins Farms in Sackets Harbor. A progressive farmer, his business was always on the cutting edge in agriculture technology, a legacy his son, Ron, and grandson, Brian carries on today. Following the transfer of the farm to Ron and daughter-in-law, Nancy, Carl hauled cars with wife Cheryl throughout the Northeast for many years, and then came back to the farm to work with his son. He was the most dedicated worker on the farm, and was very proud of his family’s farming success.
Serving the community was important to Carl. He was elected to the Sackets Harbor Central School Board of Education from 1974-1988, serving as Vice President from 1977-80 and as President in 1980 and 1981. In addition, Carl was a member of the Jefferson-Lewis BOCES Board of Education from 1983-1993. He was also active in Farm Bureau, and served as President from 1976-78. Legend has it, his motivation for community service was the pastries that were served at board meetings, and he joined the BOCES Board for the upgrade from donuts to danishes.
He was loved by his extended family, wife, Cheryl, and his five children, Ron (Nancy), Cherie (David), Colleen (Steven), Patrick (Morgan), and Travis (Katie) . He thought the world of his 12 grandchildren, Brian (Jessica), Jeffery (Samantha), Julia, Mallyssa (Alexander), Matthew (Erica), Stephen, Halley, Graydon, Jaxon, Weston, Knox, and Finn, and his six great grandchildren, Collin, Colton, Harper, Bella, Abigail, and McKenna, and they all reciprocated that adoration. Carl loved dogs, and he will be especially missed by his yellow lab Max, and recently rescued chocolate lab, Winnie. Carl has joined his brother, George, as well as his beloved dogs Buddy, Jake, Bailey and Hershey in Heaven.
Some fond remembrances of Carl include:
He started his day by surveying early morning operations on the farm, and then had his morning coffee with friends at one of the several local diners he frequented. Following his dozen cups of coffee and the occasional French toast, he would head back to the farm to deliver a load of hay or pick up a load of corn meal. He would conclude his day with a final check on the farm and to make sure his shop cats were inside, dry and warm.
Carl went by many names, including Poppy, Bumpa or Bompa, Grandpa, Papa Carl, LRAC, Crazy Carl, and The Road Report.
He liked to know every detail of what was going on at the farm, and he did not want to be left out of the operations. He especially enjoyed pestering the mechanics and circling the farm to see what all was going on.
Carl was always right. “The Road Report Robbins” knew every road and every route in the Northeast. His directions were detailed, but they were always accurate. If someone said, “I’ll just put it in the GPS,” he would reply, “Oh I don’t trust those darn things!”, and he was right, because the GPS doesn’t know about those sharp turns or seasonal roads that can get a big rig delayed for hours.
Carl and Cheryl enjoyed boating on Lake Ontario, taking weekly boat trips with their friends. Even though he couldn’t actually swim, he especially enjoyed fraternizing on the dock with the other boaters in the marina. One night, Carl, with his “flare for the dramatic”, joined his best friends Dave and Billy in shooting old flares off the break wall, “sparking” local law enforcement to think Sackets Harbor was under attack and a Coast Guard response from as far away as Ohio. Every Saturday, Carl, Cheryl and friends, red solo cups in hand, would walk over to the Barracks Inn for a night of dancing to Bob Kissell. One such hot Saturday night, before making it to the Barracks, his group of friends decided to cut off his new Docker jeans into a pair of extra-short shorts, showing off his white, farmers-tan, legs.
Finally, this summer, Carl became sort of a legend around the NASCAR circles. Upon scoring pit passes from a family connection, he ingratiated himself with the pit crew of the JTG Daugherty Racing Team, as he and the crew swapped stories of life on the road and Carl told of his days hauling cars.
A funeral service will be held 2 p.m. Sunday, March 1, at the Sackets Harbor Central School Gymnasium.
In lieu of calling hours, a Celebration of Life will be held at the Adams Country Club at 3:30 pm, immediately following the service.
Spring burial will be in the Union Cemetery, Adams Center.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Northern New York Community Foundation, 131 Washington St., Watertown, NY 13601 to establish a scholarship in Carl Robbins’ honor; or to the SPCA of Jefferson County.
May the roads in Heaven be clear and dry, and the mile markers and exit signs well reflected.
Online condolences in the guestbook may be made at www.reedbenoit.com.