June 17, 1930 – November 30, 2017
Bruce L. Robison, cherished husband, father, friend and surgeon, passed this world unexpectedly on Thursday, November 30. We will all miss his spirited nature and fierce love of life and family.
Bruce was born on June 17, 1930 at the 48-bed, three-story, frame building Palo Alto Hospital. A lifetime resident of California, Bruce attended middle and high school in Palo Alto, graduating from Paly High in 1949. After marrying his high school classmate, Bruce received his bachelors from Stanford in 1953 and moved to Los Angeles to begin medical school at UCLA. After completing medical school and his orthopedic residency, he moved back to Mountain View with Arline and his children Linda, Cheri, and Bill in 1962, and began his Welch Road orthopedic practice at Stanford. A skilled surgeon, Bruce believed patients should understand their injuries and conditions, so he took time to both educate as well as treat generations of patients during his thirty-year practice. He married Betty McIntyre in 1966 and welcomed daughters, Heidi and Hillary. Upon retiring from private practice, he became a Stanford clinical instructor of orthopedics with the Veterans Administration. After retiring from teaching, Bruce continued working at the Santa Cruz Free Clinic until 2013. Medicine was not simply a profession but an avocation for Bruce, and his medical expertise transcended his professional career as he treated, advised and consulted with countless family members and friends until the final days of his life.
One of Bruce’s great loves was skiing, a passion that began with high jinx and high school friends at Badger Pass ski area in the 1940’s, an era of lace up boots, bear trap bindings, screwed in ski edges and soggy wool clothing. Spending time in the mountains in pursuit of the perfect turn and the biggest face shot was a love he shared with all of his children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and numerous friends. Squaw Valley and the Tahoe basin were his home playground but he enjoyed thirty-five years helicopter skiing in British Columbia, and exploring the mountains of Oregon, Montana, and Utah. Bruce did not shy from a thrill, reveling in white water rafting, go cart racing, wind surfing, water skiing and inverted roller coasters - all in his eighties. He loved to laugh, tell jokes and share stories, but he truly loved family stories of adventure and misadventure best. Family was the bedrock of Bruce’s life; his reservoir of love was enormous and his ability to make each individual feel distinct and special was a gift. Every summer for thirty plus years he camped with four generations of his family, presiding over the silly Family Olympics with an “iron fist.” His enthusiasm and passion for all life had to offer was infectious.
He is survived by his wife of fifty-one years, Betty; his children Linda, Cheri, Bill, Heidi and Hillary; eleven grandchildren and eight great grandchildren.
His presence will be missed by many.