Franklin Parish Police Jury members and employees remembered William H. “Rawhide” Robinson as a caring, dependable individual who cherished his community.
The 11-year Police Jury veteran died Oct. 6 after a lengthy illness and was put to rest Oct. 9 at Coax Cemetery in Baskin.
Police Jury office personnel said Robinson was more than a boss but a friend. Many times he would check on employees by calling when they were sick.
“Rawhide is deeply missed by all of us in the Franklin Parish Police Jury office,” said office personnel in a written statement. “He genuinely cared for each of us. We could count on him any time we needed anything, rather it be work related or in our day-to-day lives. If any of us were out sick, he would call and check on us. He regularly came by the office just to say hi, ask how we were doing and if we needed anything. Rawhide had a great sense of humor. He could easily lighten the mood when situations became tense. Rawhide was not our boss; he was our friend.”
First-term Police Jury member Keiona Wesby said Robinson welcomed her with a call and was “a wealth of knowledge.”
“The Franklin Parish Police Jury has become somewhat of an extended family for me,” Wesby said. “We disagree and argue but we look out for each other just as family does. The loss of our beloved juror, Rawhide, is heartbreaking. He served this parish faithfully and seemed to always have the public’s best interest at heart. Before I was ever sworn in as a juror, it was Rawhide who gave me a call to welcome me. I’ll never forget that. He was so energetic and had a wealth of knowledge to offer and he did so, willingly. No matter how intense our meetings became, I could always count on getting comic relief from my buddy Rawhide. He will truly be missed.”
Robinson worked for the Louisiana Department of Transportation and Development for 30 years before his stint with the Police Jury.
While serving his last term, Robinson was on 11 of the 17 Police Jury committees. He served on the finance, personnel, recreation, public works, garbage, road bond, mosquito abatement, purchasing, courthouse, fire district and appeals committees.
Police Jury President James Harris and Robinson were appointed a few months apart due to juror vacancies.
“We both came on with the Police Jury about the same time, but we were friends a long time before that,” Harris said.
Harris said Robinson served his people even while he was in the hospital, taking calls.
“He served his people well,” Harris said. “He will be missed. I remember riding with Rawhide sometimes to conventions. We had a great time.”
Robinson, with his iconic cowboy hat, loved cows, chickens and camping. His love for outdoors and community, inspired him to play an important role in the planning and construction of Franklin Parish Activity Center on La Hwy 15. The outdoor facility is currently in phase two of construction and will host many regional outdoor events for years to come.
His love of community was great, but Robinson’s greatest love was for his family. He leaves his wife of 59 years, Dora Burns Robinson, his son: William H. “Howie” Robinson, daughter: Angela “Angie” Pierce, daughter-in-law, son-in-law, grandchildren and great grandchildren.
A complete obituary can be read in this week's The Franklin Sun.