Remembering Ed Robbins

Longtime Westport resident Ed Robbins died December 8 in Morehead City, North Carolina. He was 77.

Here in town, he and his wife Sue were active participants in their 3 sons’ lives. Ed seldom missed a sporting event, and was a quiet, proud supporter of all their activities.

The Rocky Mount, North Carolina native was always drawn to the sea. Family lore has it that as a teenager, he refurbished an old sailboat and successfully navigated across Bogue Sound. He returned; the boat did not. 

That experience only encouraged life-long adventures on the water. Over the years he chartered sailboats in the Caribbean, Mediterranean and Sea of Hebrides with family and friends.

Later in life he obtained a 100-ton captain’s license from the Coast Guard, and was affectionately called “Captain Ed” by those who knew him best. 

Ed Robbins

On his 36-foot powerboat and favorite retirement present to himself, Wizard, Captain Ed spent the better part of 2 decades navigating the waters from Quebec to Hilton Head.

Always up for an adventure, whenever an idea for a trip came up in casual conversation with friends, Ed’s automatic response was, “I’ll go!” He had an insatiable curiosity of nature and cultures across the globe. He firmly believed and often quoted Mark Twain: “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” Ed explored 6 of the 7 continents soaking in all they have to offer.

An engineer by trade, Ed worked 30 years for IBM as a sales and project manager. This career suited his rational and practical mind well. He loved a good project; whether home improvement, tinkering on his boats or overseeing a complex product launch at the company, he was always game for a challenge.

His ability to knock out a home project list will be remembered fondly by his 3 daughters-in-law. During retirement he was charitable with his time, finances and advice.

In Morehead City he was a founder of the Friends of Spooners Creek, which raises funds to keep the local channel dredged. He served on the Beaufort Historical Association as a board member and president. He was also a board member of the Friends of the Maritime Museum and the Maritime Heritage Foundation.

Perhaps his greatest joy was his 6 grandchildren. His favorite time of year was when the family descended on his coastal North Carolina home every summer.  He’d spend countless hours on the water imparting to his grandchildren his love and knowledge of the sea, as he had done for his 3 sons. The joy and happiness of that time would sustain him for the year, and his family will forever cherish those memories. They’ll also never forget how to tie a bowline knot.

He is survived by his wife Susan; sons, George, John and Drew; their wives Camaryn, Barbara and Alison; grandson Reid and granddaughters Scarlett, Phoebe, Dorian, Olive, and Josephine.

Due to the pandemic, a memorial service will be held at a later date.

The family suggests memorial contributions be sent to a cancer charity of your choice or the Crystal Coast Hospice House. Box 640, Newport, NC 28570. To submit an online condolence note, click here.

3 responses to “Remembering Ed Robbins

  1. Jacque & Bill O'Brien

    Ed was a beautiful person and always a wonderful friend! Thank you for posting this Dan!

  2. George Robbins

    Thanks for posting, Dan. Our father loved living in Westport and being a Staples parent. He cherished so many amazing Westport friendships even into his retirement in North Carolina. Our entire family will be forever grateful for the time we spent in 06880. Happy holidays to all our friends and ex-neighbors.
    George, John, and Drew – Staples ’90, ’92, and ’95

  3. Lisa and Ed Friedland

    Ed and I send our sincere condolences to Sue and her family. We moved to Arrowhead Road when we were in our early 30’s and looked up to Sue and Ed as role models- parents of three sons, experienced homeowners, sharers of a lending library of fabulous tools that were lent freely and with helpful advice about how to use them. Ed was often out on the road filling cracks so the pavement would last longer for all of us. An example of the perfect, slightly older and wiser neighbor whose style we try to emulate years after they moved away.
    Ed Robbins was a kind and wonderful neighbor who taught this once young couple from New York how to be a neighbor in Westport.
    Sue, when we can safely travel and gather again and if you make your way toward Westport know that there’s a guest room for you here on Arrowhead Road.