Tom Karl Robinson, a longtime resident of Montclair, died on Friday, December 31, 2021. He was 87 years old.
Mr. Robinson was born in 1934 at Mountainside Hospital to Sadie and Benjamin Robinson. He graduated from Montclair High School in 1951.
He served in the United States Army as a private first class. After returning to Montclair, he soon met and courted the love of his life and future wife, Ada Roberts. They married in 1963 and had one son, Tom Karl Robinson II.
Mr. Robinson’s primary career has been as factory production manager; he has worked for many manufacturing companies such as Art Metal and Hartz Mountain. Driven and resourceful, he always looked for ways to learn and grow, from owning his own trucking company to investing in real estate; his ingenuity has led him down many professional paths.
While continuing these endeavors and supporting his family, he returned to school, earning both his associate’s degree from Essex County College and his bachelor’s degree from Rutgers University.
Mr. Robinson had a passion for classic cars. An automotive enthusiast and self-taught master mechanic, he would often tell his family and friends (and anyone who listened to him) about learning to drive at a young age, participating in amateur racing circuits, and restoring vehicles. old.
Known to some as “The Buick Man”, he was a proud Buick owner who reveled in his personal restoration of at least six of them, the first being a 1942 Buick Special.
His collection also included classic beauties like the 1961 Electra 225 “Deuce and a quarter” and, his pride and joy, the 1941 Buick Limited Limousine, of which he owned one of only seven in the entire country.
From his automobile passion, Mr. Robinson also founded, with eight other automobile enthusiasts, the Nostalgic Automobile Society of Montclair (NASM) and was president of the club for 31 years.
In addition to attending national car shows and local “cruise nights”, he often took his wife and family to parades and cultural events. Sometimes he would transport a bride and groom to their reception in one of his vintage cars, including his grandson with his wife.
Married for nearly 60 years, he and his wife set an example of an unbreakable union. This bond of love was visible to all when he “sailed” with his one and only.
He will be remembered for his great sense of humor, his kindness, his patience and all the qualities that are the true attributes of a man of substance and character.
Mr. Robinson is survived by his beloved wife of 58 years, Ada; their son, Tom Karl Robinson II; one brother, Harry (Denise); grandchildren, Ajani (Dia), Akilah (Jason) and Aminah; a niece/daughter, Gizelle (Robert); a sister-in-law, Stephanie; nephews, Neal, Adam and Chris; niece, Beth, and a host of other family members and friends.
Services were held on January 10, 2022 at Martin’s Home for Service.