DETROIT - Mary Lou Rutz Robins, 81, began singing in God's heavenly choir on September 13, 2013.
She was born in 1932 and raised in Detroit, Mich. She attended Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio. While active in student life and a member of Chi Omega Sorority, she met a handsome orientation leader, Perk Robins, who would become her husband, life partner and best friend for the next 60 years.
Mary Lou and Perk were blessed with three children within five years. The rest of Mary Lou's life was in support of their being brought up in a loving and Christian home - a job in which she was tenacious and successful.
Education was an important theme throughout her life's work. All three children earned college degrees, in part to the role modeling from Mary Lou as they witnessed her completing her college degree after they were born. She was a second grade teacher for six years but put her husband first as they moved to accommodate his career within higher education in development and alumni relations. He worked at four institutions: Wittenberg University, Ball State University, University of Georgia and most recently, Georgia Southern University. Never paid, Mary Lou worked tirelessly at his side. She entertained in their home, mentored students outside of the classroom and often catered large meals to stretch a University budget as far as it could go in order to maximize its reach and further its mission. While at The University of Georgia, she was active in The University Woman's Club and led the effort to endow an annual scholarship for two female students as part of the University's bicentennial.
Mary Lou Robins asked that friends remember her through the words of Psalm 23: "And I will dwell in the House of the Lord forever."
Even though she was known by hundreds through her relationships at these universities, perhaps it was her God-given gift of song for which she will be best remembered. Having performed in numerous community theater musicals, Mary Lou felt a strong calling to minister through her soprano voice. Whether it was singing "Open the Gates to the Temple" during worship, "The Lord's Prayer" during a wedding or "O Holy Night" on Christmas Eve, she was a featured soloist in every church in which she was a member and in many in which she visited. She enjoyed being an active member of several choirs from Springfield, Ohio, to Statesboro, Ga., including Houghton Lake, Mich., where she was a summer resident for 21 years. She exhibited her faith through her music. She led her family closer to God through song. Two of her grandchildren are now professional musicians, having been heavily influenced by their grandmother.
Mary Lou is survived by an adoring family including her husband, Perk; son, Rick of Statesboro, Ga.; two daughters, Becky (Marc) Galvin of Watkinsville and Patty (Tom) Dailey of Greensboro, Ga.; two sisters who still reside in the greater Detroit area, Nancy (Keller) Doyle and Margaret "Peggy" (Louis) Zetye. She has one cousin, Pat (Jim) Mann of Oakland, Calif. Her eight grandchildren and one great grandchild were her most recent points of pride along with five nieces and nephews. She also is survived by her constant canine companion, Mr. P.
Visitation will be held at Hodges-Moore funeral home in Statesboro, Ga., on Monday, September 16 from 6 to 8:30 p.m.
A memorial service will be held on Tuesday, September 17 at 10 a.m. in Statesboro First United Methodist Church.
In lieu of flowers, the family would be honored for contributions to be given to: Statesboro First United Methodist Church, 101 South Main Street, Statesboro, GA 30458 where the gifts will support the choir performance at Carnegie Hall - a trip Mary Lou knew would be a highlight of her singing career, or to the charity of your choice.
Please visit our Everlasting Memorial at hodges-moore.com to sign the guestbook and share fond memories with the Robins family.
Hodges-Moore Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.