William Thomas (Tom) Robinett, 91, passed away on April 19, 2020 in Hobbs, New Mexico. Tom was born and raised in Clayton, New Mexico. He was born on November 10, 1928 to Hiram and Hettye Robinett and had 3 sisters.
Tom was a true Renaissance man. He had an insatiable curiosity and a wide range of interests. He was an artisan who could create beautiful silver and turquoise jewelry, wooden bowls, and furniture. He was also capable of every task necessary to build a house, from start to finish. He was a jack of all trades and was able to fix almost anything.
He loved the great State of New Mexico and everything it had to offer. Tom was an outdoorsman and enjoyed camping, hunting, fishing, and traveling, particularly in Colorado and New Mexico. Traveling with friends in his RV club throughout Arizona, Texas and Colorado brought him great joy. He took special pleasure in music, whether as a listener, performer, or dancer. He enjoyed playing the guitar and the trombone and was a member of the Southwest Symphony Community Band. He also loved to dance and was very active in square dancing clubs throughout the area and even tried his hand at calling. Tom was the life of the party and always made a splash at weddings after spinning his wife around the dance floor for hours.
Tom was a long-time resident of Lea County, New Mexico and was very involved in all aspects of the community. Tom was an active member of the First Presbyterian Church of Lovington for 50 years and the First Presbyterian Church of Hobbs for 10 years, serving as an elder in both churches. He also served as a choir member and choir director and loved to sing a solo. Tom was also very involved in the Lea County Republican Party. He loved the GOP and routinely volunteered to further their cause. Starting in 1951, he served in the US Army and was stationed in Alaska for two years. Being an American patriot and serving in the Army during the Korean War were special points of pride for him. He was also a longtime member of the Lovington Kiwanas Club. Tom enjoyed rooting on the Hobbs Eagles and the Lovington Wildcats! He also enjoyed spending time with his dear coffee drinking buddies.
He held an almost unbelievable variety of jobs throughout his life, but he spent his professional career as an educator at Llano Elementary in Lovington, New Mexico where he served as a teacher and principal for over 40 years. He influenced the lives of innumerable students and colleagues. He had a true love for children. His favorite children were his grandkids and great grandkids and he was blessed with many. He was known as “Papa” to not only his 4 grandchildren and 9 ½ great grandchildren, but also to all of their friends. Papa never missed an opportunity to impart wisdom to his grandkids. He could often be found playing on the floor, telling stories, and doing tricks. A favorite trick of the grandkids was when he would hold himself parallel to the ground on a pole in the backyard.
Tom married the love of his life, Polly, on March 11, 1951 and they made a life for themselves in Lovington until moving to Hobbs in 2010. Surviving him is his wife of almost 70 years, Pauline (Polly) Robinett; their two daughters: Nikki Short and husband Jim of Azle, TX and Patti Burch and husband Cliff of Hobbs, NM; three granddaughters: Kristen Bennett (John), Robin Sefcik (Matt), and Staci Kaufman (Jon); one grandson: Ross Short (Christina); six great granddaughters: Ellie, Hadli, Cameron, Mimi, Kennedy, and Hollyn; and three great grandsons: Jackson, Rylan and Greyson with one more on the way!
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that memorials be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Hobbs, New Mexico or to First Presbyterian Church of Lovington, New Mexico.