Obituary: William “Bill” King Robbins Jr.

William “Bill” King Robbins Jr. of Houston, philanthropist and Baptist deacon, died April 13. He was 91.


William “Bill” King Robbins Jr. of Houston, philanthropist and Baptist deacon, died April 13. He was 91. Robbins was born Nov. 29, 1931, to Helen and William King Robbins Sr. After he graduated from Robert E. Lee High School in Baytown, he earned Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees from Baylor University and a Juris Doctor degree from Baylor Law School. In his early years, he served as an officer and director of various international subsidiary companies of Union Carbide Corporation and as legal counsel for Humble Oil and Refining Company, now Exxon Corporation. A Korean War veteran, Robbins was the founder and CEO of Houston-based North American Corporation, which engages in consulting, finance and investments, along with oil, gas and energy activities. He and his wife Mary Jo created the Robbins Foundation to support Christian missions causes, education and health care internationally. At Baylor University, their philanthropy supported institutional initiatives and scholarships to the Robbins Institute for Health Policy and Leadership within the Hankamer School of Business, as well as supporting Robbins Chapel within Brooks College. In March, Baylor dedicated the Mary Jo Robbins Clinic for Autism Research and Practice, named as part of a leadership gift by Bill Robbins in his wife’s honor. The clinic is housed within the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, named in recognition of a 2014 gift from the couple. “We are praying for Mary Jo, their family and so many in our Baylor community who had formed deep friendships with Bill over so many decades of support,” Baylor President Linda A. Livingstone said. “We mourn his passing, but we honor his life of service and the tremendous faith that guided and inspired him. The impact he leaves behind at Baylor is nothing short of transformational. He has supported, guided and exhorted our faculty and administration in the areas of healthcare and leadership, and the legacy that he and Mary Jo have created is truly humbling. Bill was renowned as a business leader and healthcare expert, but, most of all, he was known as a man of faith. What a powerful legacy.” At Baylor, Robbins was a member of the Endowed Scholarship Society, the Bear Foundation, the Old Main Society, the 1845 Society and the Heritage Club. He also was a life member of the Baylor Law Alumni Association. He served on the advisory councils of the Honors College and the Hankamer School of Business Robbins Institute for Health Policy and Leadership. He also was on the Robbins College of Health and Human Services board of advocates and the Baylor University Foundation board. He formerly served on the Baylor University board of regents and on the board of trustees at Baylor College of Medicine. He also supported Baylor Scott & White Medical Center-Hillcrest in Waco and the Baylor Louise Herrington School of Nursing in Dallas. Survivors include his wife Mary Jo Huey Robbins; children Cynthia K. Robbins, Jackson Gorman and wife Cheryl Scoglio, and Crystal Baird; and two grandchildren. Visitation is scheduled April 20 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. for the family and 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Grand Chapel at Forest Park Lawndale Funeral Home in Houston. A memorial service will be at 11 a.m. on April 21 at Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston. Memorial gifts may be made to the Robbins Foundation, 4265 San Felipe, Suite 300, Houston, TX 77027 or to Tallowood Baptist Church, 555 Tallowood Rd, Houston, TX 77024.

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