Margarette, was baptized at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church. She attended the Parish public schools, Baldwin Elementary, Sager Brown Junior High and Franklin High Schools, graduating as Salutatorian of her graduating class. To her family, she was known as “Smilin’ Jack” because, like the 30’s comic character, her glowing smile never seemed to leave her face. Margarette’s jovial demeanor was always a joy to behold.
In 1956, the Houston Medical Center was the first to hire Margarette as an Operating Room Nurse (ORN) at St. Luke’s Hospital. There again, she broke another barrier becoming the first black ORN. Margarette served on the Operation Room teams of many distinguished surgeons including open heart surgery pioneer, Dr. Denton Cooley.
Later she met a young realtor and entrepreneur, Judson Wilbur Robinson, Jr. who captured her heart, at an El Dorado Ballroom social gathering. They married in 1958 and to this union were born two sons, Judson, III, and Gerald (who died as an infant). The couple, along with his daughter, Pamela Yvonne, became a close-knit family, residing in the Pleasantville community. Margarette was actively involved in several civic and community organizations including: the Pleasantville Civic Club, Knights of Peter Claver Ladies Auxiliary at Our Lady Star of the Sea and at St. Mary’s Catholic Church and The Links, Inc.-Houston Chapter.
As a doting wife and mother, Margarette took great pride in cooking delicious meals for her large extended family. She knew how to put the “smothered” in chicken. Her pots of gumbo, her peach cobbler, her dirty rice all reflected her “Louisiana flair” for seasoning and her desire to share her love with family and friends.
In 1972, she retired from nursing to devote full time to Judson W. Robinson & Sons Real Estate and Mortgage Company, as Vice President of the family business. Her hard work and unwavering support of his campaigns, projects and initiatives were the pillars of her husband’s historic political victories. Upon his death in 1990, she was appointed by Mayor Kathy Whitmire and the City of Houston City Council to serve the remainder of his term. As Councilmember-At-Large for Position 5, Margarette created history once again. Her tenure extended the Robinson Family’s bridge of public service. With the subsequent victory of her son, Judson III, their 26 year collaborative legacy remains an unsurpassed commitment to the people of the City she loved.
After City Council, Margarette became the Health Advisor for the Office of Harris County Commissioner, Precinct One. For five years, she was responsible for coordinating community outreach events, fairs and health awareness initiatives for the Honorable El Franco Lee. Her enthusiasm for health and quality of life extended to her entrepreneurial project when she became a consultant for the Mary Kay Cosmetics. And, of course, she passed on her infectious energies to many members of her family and friends who joined her in this endeavor until her health declined.
After spending a pleasant Sunday with her family sharing her well wishes, prayers, hugs and “her smile,” Margarette joined her husband in their eternal heavenly home on Monday, May 28, 2012. She leaves in God’s care her son, Judson (Cora) Robinson, III and daughter, Pamela Robinson; grandchildren, Jerika (Lance) Johnstone, Cortney and Judson Robinson, IV; great grandchildren, Farrah and Kingston Johnstone; two brothers, Lawrence (Delores) and Father August Thompson; three sisters, Marcel Provost, Shirley (Josh) Edwards, and Marion (Alfonzo) Richardson; sisters-in-law, Dr. Josie Johnson of Minneapolis, MN, and Algenita Davis (Ardie) Segars of Houston; brother-in-law, James Robinson of Atlanta, GA; and a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, relatives and devoted friends.
Services were held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church located at 3006 Rosedale on Tuesday, June 5, 2012
In lieu of flowers, donations are requested to be made to the Houston Area Urban League.