Kathryn Isabel Robinson (2/17/1922 - 2/22/2013)

Cousins are many. Friends are few. What a rare delight to find both in you.

Our Cousin Kathryn Isabel Robinson

It is with great sadness that we lost Cousin Kat this evening at 8:00pm, February 22, 2013. She had her birthday on Monday making it to 91 years! She had completed her dinner and when the caregiver came to make sure she was ready for bed, she was found. Attempts to recessitate her failed and we got the call around 9:00pm.

We were with friends dancing but we left quickly as we assummed from the non-committal conversations on the phone that something bad had happened. We guess right.

Kat had a pretty amazing life and saw things we can only read about. She was nineteen when WWII broke out and she lived through the post-war boom!

Her and her Mother and Dad lifed in a "kit house" which they purchased and assembled in 1953 (we found the paperwork when she moved to Garden Manor). Georgia (Paul's Mom) took her to Europe in 1975. Beginning 1988 we had many adventures with Kat and Aunt Edith incuding going to the Carribbean, through the Panama Canal, and several trips to Mexico aboard cruise ships!

For the last twenty-five years, when Sue came into our lives, Kat was so much a part of our family. Almost every holiday Kat was with us and making things special.

We will indeed miss you dear one! God Bless!

Kat in a formal dress
On our cruise to Mexico where she introduced Paul to Brandy Alenanders
(We didn't know she even drank!)

Father: James V. Robinson - Born in Kansas, USA. Jun. 4, 1900 Died in Los Angeles Apr. 19, 1962
Rose Hills, Whittier Lakeside Gardens sec 13 lot 19100 grave 3

Mother: Opal Liles Robinson - Born McRae Arkansas Sep. 18, 1901 Death: Jan. 6, 1992 Los Angeles County
Rose Hills, Whittier Lakeside Gardens sec 13 lot 19100 grave 4

Just Some Of Our Delightful Memories

Memories of Kat Robinson
Coming home from the movies ... They were about four blocks away from her facility
so we would see a movie and then go out to lunch or dinner every few weeks

Memories of Kat Robinson
Sue and Kat in the Orange County Fair.... 160 feet up in the ferris wheel - Kat was fearless
She loved all the animals and squeeled with delight at the racing pigs

Memories of Kat Robinson
Thanksgiving at the Lind's (Our sone-in-law) 2002 with Kat and Dave McTevia, our neighbor

Memories of Kat Robinson
Christmas dinner 2000 ... These two would make between four and six pies...
They tried to teach Paul but 'ol "fat fingers" kept ruining the dough!

Memories of Kat Robinson
Kat and Sue July 4th 2008 ... Always dressed for the occasion

Memories of Kat Robinson
Kat and Jackie at Easter time... Kat was a favorite of the grandkids
No... That is not Kat's beer... Well, we don't think it was?

Memories of Kat Robinson
Coffee and chocolate truffles.... All is well
We got to know the See's Candy Store manager quite well.... She would send samples to Kat

Memories of Kat Robinson
When we visited Kat, she would get on the cell phone and we would call Gracie and Aunt Kay
At 90 years old technology is not scare her.... After all she had seen in her life

Memories of Kat Robinson
"Who me? Eating chocolate??" ...
Notice the See's candy bag in the background??

Memories of Kat Robinson
Decorating the Christmas Tree 2009
We got her an animated skating rink which she always enjoyed

Memories of Kat Robinson
At the Santa Ana Zoo with Kat...
She loved the monkeys and the barn animals that roamed the grounds

Memories of Kat Robinson
We brought her stuffed animals and she had quite a collection of them!
The closets and drawers were full!

Memories of Kat Robinson
A surprise visit June 2011
We always came with See's candy.... Chocolate truffles ... She always had a smile

Memories of Kat Robinson
July 4th... Hamburger and pie.... Life is good

Memories of Kat Robinson
Kat's 85th birthday ... At the basketball game (Harlem Globtrotters) with family

Memories of Kat Robinson
Kat's 89th birthday.... She loved her cats

Did You Know? - Kathryn means Pure and Isabel means "My God is a vow". 

She lived in Paramount since 1930 but gradually was unable to take care of herself.   Her parents took care of Paul's parents during the depression and when Paul Senior passed on in 1970, one of his wishes was that we take care of Kathryn as she has no family, never been married, and is up in years.   She was born in 1922 but swears she is only 81 :-)  

We visited her all the time and took her with us until the last year or so when she bacame so fragile.

She now lives in Garden Grove only a few minutes from our home and we visit her and take her places once a week! She loves movies and animals so the "show" and the zoo are favorite places.

You will find her many many places on the Liles Website but this web is devoted to her life after we moved her into an assisted care facility.

Memories of Kat Robinson
It's Halloween and Kat is busy... She always got her own punkin' She would work for
an hour or more creating something!

Memories of Kat Robinson
Kat at July 4th 2002 at our home ... She was a fashion plate in her day!

Memories of Kat Robinson
Off to Disneyland 2007... That 'ol wheelchair got a lot of use!

Memories of Kat Robinson
Cousin Kat,Aunt Edith, and Uncle Otis... What a team
Otis dated Aunt Edith's sister Alma in the 1920's!!! They lived in McRae Arkansas then)

Kat Had A Mild Form Of Dementia Which Blocked Her Short Term Memories From Becoming Permanent... She Eventually "Lost Us"

Did You Know? -D ementia (from Latin de- "apart, away" + mens (genitive mentis) "mind") is the progressive decline in cognitive function due to damage or disease in the brain beyond what might be expected from normal aging. Although dementia is far more common in the geriatric population, it may occur in any stage of adulthood.

This age cutoff is defining, as similar sets of symptoms due to organic brain dysfunction are given different names in populations younger than adulthood (see, for instance, developmental disorders). In dementia, affected areas in cognition may be memory, attention, language, and problem solving.

Higher mental functions are affected first in the process. Especially in the later stages of the condition, affected persons may be disoriented in time (not knowing what day of the week, day of the month, month, or even what year it is), in place (not knowing where they are), and in person (not knowing who they are).

In 2011 Paul was lost to Kat's memory but Sue stayed right in their until Christmas 2012... We were fortunate to have her that long!

Family Get Togethers Were Common For Over Fifteen Years

Memories of Kat Robinson
Kat (in red), Rita (Sue's mom standing in the kitched), Aunt Opal (in blue) and Aunt Edith (in pink)
Georgia (Paul's mom and adjusting her glasses), Uncle Otis (always with the ladies), and Gracie (in black)

Memories of Kat Robinson
Kat and Georgia opening Georgia's birthday 1989 presents...
Mom was easy to tell.... She always had a cigarette going!

Memories of Kat Robinson
Kat and Edith attack the pumpkin!

She Was A Looker In Her Day!

Kat in her prime
Kat during WWII

Click for full sized image
L to R: Claude % Edith Parchman, Jimmy & Opal Robinson, Paul & Georgia Liles,
Kathryn Robinson, and Paul David Liles

Yup! That's Kat and me about 60 years ago

Cutting Hair in The Back Year Under The Big Tree

It is the early 1950's now.... I will never understand how the ladies knew it was time to cut hair but they would decid it was time and head for the tree with a bag full of combs and scissors.  They would chat for what seemed hours and cut each other's hair and put all sorts of stuff on their hair. As a kid all I remember was that it smelled horrible....

Did you know? - A permanent wave, commonly called a perm, is the chemical and/or thermal treatment of hair to produce waves, curls or straight hair. The use of the word 'permanent' is justified insofar as when the wave is permed, it remains so; however, as the hair grows, the new hair that grows has not been waved, while cutting the hair from the end removes that which is waved, giving the impression that the permanent wave gradually disappears. In cosmetology, it is termed a type of curl reformation.

This hair cutting time wasn't all bad.  It gave the "men folks" time to listen to the ballgame on the radio in the house or in the front yard.

I do remember the soft breezes moving though the big trees on the property.  Sometimes I can also hear the wind and see the ladies gathered together chatting away.

Concord Grapes On The Garage

Down the side of the garage at aunt Opals house was a wild concord grape plant which grew to cover the entire top of the garage.  In the late summertime my mother and aunt Opal would go up on the garage and pick the grapes (because the roof was not strong enough to hold any men). Kat would also go up and take me along with her!

We would eat grapes all the way home.  The would be wearing their aprons and gathering the large clusters of grapes.  They would move toward the edge of the garage and hand the grapes off to the men who carefully watched what was going on. I  can still taste them today!

Cranking The Old Iron Ice Cream Maker

Memories of Kat Robinson

If that machine were tied to a car it would have gone 90 miles an hour! Every summer weekend when we visited the aunts (and that was most weekends) the ice cream maker would come out, Dad would go to the ice house and get ice and salt, and off we would go!

My cousin Claudia and other cousins would join the "fun" all taking our turns cranking and cranking until it was difficult to turn. Kat was right in the midst of it taking her turn and the crank.

Once it was hard to turn we knew that ice cream was about an hour away... We had to pack the entire bucket in ice and let it sit I order to set up.

The melted water with all the ice would go into the ground down the driveway but it never seemed to bother the plants and maybe made the concord grapes even better than normal.

I remember this ice cream capable of delivering a brain freeze faster than any other ice cream I ever had.

Kat's New Ford Crown Victoria

Memories of Kat Robinson

She was proud of that Crown Vic! I remember driving all the way out just to see the new car.  It was the first car she ever owned and she picked it out herself even though her dad, Jimmy, got mad because it was a Ford and not a Chevy

Uncle Claude (Edith's husband) and Dad (Paul) told Jimmy to be quiet and let her enjoy her car.  It almost caused a family feud but Jimmy came around and let the Ford stay!

It was a beautiful car which Kat drove around for years and years polishing the paint and chrome every few days!

The New House Goes Up From A Kit

Did you know? - Kit houses were produced in the United States beginning in the first decade of the 20th century. Their popularity lasted into the 1950s, but their heyday was in the 1910s and 1920s. Seven national companies operated during in the period, along with many regional and local companies selling homes in kit form.

I can remember the new house going up... Every week we would go out to Paramount from West Los Angeles (remember, no freeways yet) and see the progress.  I loved taking the sawed off 2x4's home to make things!

Their house cost about $1,400 dollars... Imagine that! It is still standing to this day!!

Shuffleboard In The Driveway

While growing up I remember that on Thanksgiving, we used to go to Aunt Opals house.  Her little house was probably 600 square feet and was built in the 1920's.  The house still stands today and is used as a rental house.

The house was on a lot that was about 70 x 400 so there was plenty of front yard.  The front yard was croquet-land sometimes and sometimes it was a large garden!

Most memorable is the fact the women would go into that super small kitchen and cook all morning while the men would sit outside.  No, there  was no TV but they did listen to the radio!  When the turkey went in, the ice cream makers were pulled out, filled up and started.  We usually had two and sometimes three ice cream makers going. 

Thanksgiving In The Little House

In the late forties and throughout the fifties, my family went to Aunt Opals for Thanksgiving. Aunt Opal and Uncle Jim lived in a tiny house in Paramount, California. The neatest thing was that they lived next door to Aunt Edith and Uncle Claude who also had a tiny home at that time. Tiny means about the size of a modern two car garage... Maybe 800 square feet.

My family was from Arkansas and Oklahoma. They came to California in the early thirties because of the conditions being so bad in the South.

Aunt Opal and Uncle Jim came first and settled in Paramount. The properly was wide open in those days. No sidewalks or curbs, the yard went to the street.

Their houses were on deep lots so we have a front yard about 150 feet deep and 80 feet wide. Until the mid fifties, when they both built new houses in the front yard, they yards had vegetable gardens out front we still had plenty room for playing.

The little houses was filled with family and if my memory serves me, the ladies stayed in the kitchen and cooked up a storm while the guys sat outside under the trees and listened to the football game. We didn't have TV's yet. By the mid fifties, we had little black and white TVs, a real improvement.

My cousin Claudia (my age) and I would sneak into the kitchens and grab olives and other goodies and sometimes we were full by the time dinner was served. Full except for the room we keep for the homemade ice cream!

Most memorable is the fact the women would go into that super small kitchen and cook all morning while the men would sit outside.  No, there  was no TV but they did listen to the radio!  When the turkey went in, the ice cream makers were pulled out, filled up and started.  We usually had two and sometimes three ice cream makers going. 

The food that came out of that tiny little kitchen was amazing. Sometimes I can still smell the aroma of those beautiful turkeys and hams and green beans and mashed potatoes. We started eating about one o'clock and ate the rest of the day.

By late in the afternoon, all the guys were taking naps under the trees (probably trying to avoid clean up duties! I remember a fair amount of beer going down but these folks never got tipsy.

I remember grace being said and people joining hands around the table. Oh, the table was always outside on the driveway. It was the only place we could all sit down together. I always sat with the kids until I got to be ten and then I was promoted to the big peoples table. That was a major milestone in my life. .

Lost Kat In Mexico... Almost!

Memories of Kat Robinson

So we arrive in Ensenada, Mexico the next morning and all plan to get off the ship a visit Ensenada except Aunt Edith, Kat, Sue and Paul. 

We have a little bite for breakfast and then sit back and enjoy the rest. 

Around 10:00 am, Sue and Paul decide to find Kat and "E" and go to an on-board activity. 

No Kat!  No "E"!  We searched the ship top to bottom. Claudia is going to shoot us, we lost her Mom!

Finally, we are going to the Captain to report the missing ladies and we see, out of the corner of our eye, Kat and "E" walking up the gang plank carrying shopping bags and wearing sombrero's! "

We asked what they were doing and they said "Well... we are in Mexico so we decided to go shopping!"

I was dreading having to call cousin Claudia and say "I lost your mother in Mexico". They were adventurers!

Memories of Kat Robinson
We love you.....

See some additional older picture of Kat

Goodbye Dear One... You Are Finally At Home Now

Kat and the animals... She would have approved with a giggle and a smile