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Posted By Whitney & Murphy On October 20, 2020 @ 8:52 am In Obituary | 7 Comments

Ilse Robbins obit pic 2

Ilse was born on February 5, 1938 in Cleveland, Ohio to Alma and Joe Richter. She died on October 16, 2020 following a lengthy struggle with COPD. Ilse followed her parents and siblings to Phoenix, Arizona in 1958 where she attended and eventually was graduated from Arizona State University. She met and married her husband, Richard J. Robbins, a pilot stationed at Luke Air Force Base. Following their marriage, they moved to a number of locations throughout the United States until his orders sent him to Vietnam where he was killed in April of 1966, after his plane was shot down. During this time, Ilse gave birth to five sons, two of whom died in infancy. In 1976, she gave birth to a daughter and through a heartfelt and difficult decision-making process gave her up for adoption. In 2018 she was reunited with her daughter, Kristina Johnson, and cultivated a loving relationship which was active to her dying day.
Ilse was a dedicated and devoted mother to her children, a beloved sister, a dedicated aunt, and a wise friend. She was a steadfast participant in the Catholic faith and strove to live her life in accordance with those beliefs. She was generous and compassionate. During her lengthy career as a personnel administrator at Maricopa County General Hospital, retiring in 1992 after 20 plus years of service, she was well known for her unique and unbeatable methods of employee advocacy.
Ilse was also known for her irreverence, her wit, her intelligence, and her contrariness! Her viewpoints on various topics could be startling, but never boring.
Ilse managed to impart to her children what would end up being her defining essence-love, compassion, reverence for honesty, and dedication to others.
Ilse was pre-deceased by her husband, Captain Richard Robbins, and their sons, David and Benjamin. She is survived by her children, Joel (Cathy), Eric (Kari), Adam (Julie) and Kristina (Joel). She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren, Laney and Ben Robbins; Brennan, Jane, Reese, and Cate Robbins; Rachel, Max, and Emily Robbins; and Paisley, Westin, Peyton, and Wyatt Johnson; and step-grandchildren Tait and Dylan Johnson. She is also survived by her siblings, Joseph (Barbara Burns) Richter, and Aleda Richter West (Stephen). Grieving their loving, fun and funny aunt are Justin and Logan West, and Lauren Richter Thompson.
In lieu of flowers the family is requesting contributions to the Leukemia Foundation for Arizona’s Children in which Ilse was a long term and highly valued Board member. Donations can be made online at azlfac.org.
Services including a Rosary and a Mass will be held at St. Mary’s Basilica, 231 North 3rd Street, Phoenix, Arizona 85004 on Thursday, October 22, 2020, with a Rosary beginning at 9:00 AM. Remembrances starting around 9:30, and Mass starting at 10:00. If you feel uncomfortable attending a gathering, a live stream of the Funeral Mass can be viewed at https://www.facebook.com/WhitneyMurphyFH/live/ and please say a prayer for Ilse and for our family.

Condolences for the family of “ROBBINS, ILSE”

Condolence from PAULA FOLEY on October 20th, 2020 1:29 pm

I did not know Ilse well, but will remember her always as a woman with a very KIND spirit. Any conversation with Ilse always proved to be an interesting one. In my encounters with her thoughout the years, I found Ilse to be thoughtful and genuinely interested in others with the ability to lighten the room with her quick wit. Surrounding you in prayers as you celebrate her life.

Condolence from Tony Mack on October 21st, 2020 3:23 pm

I was very sad to hear of Ilse’s passing. She was a wonderful, kind and funny person. Ilse was friends with my mother, Mary Sanford, and she stood by my family when my mother was sick. Ilse was the first person to visit me and my wife, upon my little sister’s death. She was always so much fun to be with. She will be missed.

Condolence from Whitney & Murphy on October 22nd, 2020 8:01 am

To the Robbins family,

My thoughts and prayers of comfort and peace are with you during this very difficult time.

Cheri Ritch

Condolence from Whitney & Murphy on October 22nd, 2020 8:02 am

Thinking and praying for you and your family at this challenging time. Sending hugs and love to you from Chicago!!

Suzanne Waddy

Condolence from William Cochran on October 22nd, 2020 10:31 am

Rest in peace dear friend. What a joy it has been to reminisce about all the many years we spent together at the Maricopa Medical Center. I will be forever grateful for all the kindnesses and help you gave me during that time. You were always a ray of sunshine.

Condolence from Steve and Kateri Weiss on October 22nd, 2020 2:27 pm

My future wife(then girlfriend)and I were in the midst of supervisor issues at Maricopa Medical Center in 1986. There was graft, theft and misuse of county materials and employee hours, and we didn’t know where to turn with the information we had. Someone on the staff told us about the County Health’s “ombudsman”and that we could bring her our grievance.

So it was we snuck over to Ilse’s office and spoke with her about our situation. She was incredibly impartial, maybe even a bit challenging as we explained, and she explained we needed evidence. Once we provided that evidence, Ilse became our defender and launched what eventually became a County Health investigation. As she said to us, “you shook the bars on the cage at the bottom and the reverberations traveled to the top. ” Ilse grew our confidence in at least finding one person who would stand up to the administration, and she held our hands through the process that eventually changed many County policies and ended the sordid career of several people in supervisory positions. She taught me that evil flourishes when good people remain silent.

We managed in the process to have a friendship and I remember her sharing her stories about traveling via train to Chicago, and that purple “fainting couch” for best reading of trashy novels!

From Kateri and I, thank you Ilse for all you did for us and assuredly many others and Rest In Peace.

Condolence from Debbie (Everett) Neitch on October 23rd, 2020 10:42 pm

My heartfelt condolences go out to the family. May God’s peace be with you.
I worked with Ilse in Human Resources from 1972 so I saw the boys growing up and I remember Aleda. It’s been a very long time. I’m
sorry I didn’t get to see you all in person as a mutual employee just sent out the obituary today. I loved Ilse and your description of her Is so perfect. Hugs to you alll.

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