Jean Stewart Robinson, 1924-2019

WALPOLE, N.H. – Jean Stewart Robinson died at the age of 95, Monday, Aug. 5 in her home in Walpole, N.H. Her brother, Dr. David Stewart, would have insisted she died of “old age.”

Born in 1924, she was the daughter of schoolteachers Pauline and David Stewart, the youngest of five children. She graduated from Hunter College in New York City with a degree in art education. In 1944, she married Naval officer Richard Robinson, eventually becoming the mother of three children, Jim, Jill, and Cathy.

Her family was what she loved most and held dearest. Her last days were filled with childhood memories with her siblings and future husband at Clausen Point in the Bronx and more than 70 happy years in Grafton with four generations of the Stewart clan. She recalled fondly her relationship as surrogate mom to the informal adoptees.

It was her beloved Grafton, Vt. that was the most frequent subject of her oil paintings, pen and inks, and pastels. It was in Grafton in the 1970s that she established Thistledown Gallery, giving it the name her mom had given the family homestead. For more than 20 years, Thistledown Gallery was a popular attraction for tourists, local residents, and the extended family. Her work was reproduced on limited edition prints, fine art notecards and postcards, decorative ceramic tiles, and on clothing.

Jean’s long life in art allowed for many media and many roles. She worked in many different media and a great variety of materials. During the turbulent ‘60s, her multimedia works were equally turbulent. They brought to mind the emotionally evocative political commentary her father had expressed in his cartoons decades earlier. In later years, Jean favored painting pastoral landscapes and sculpting in clay and stone.

Jean was predeceased by her husband Dick; her four siblings Grace Spinella, Robert Stewart, David Stewart, James Stewart; and nieces Joan Heilenday Stewart and Judy Spinella.

Jean is survived by her three children James Stewart Robinson and his wife Patricia of Indianapolis, Jill Robinson of Walpole, and Cathy Robinson and her partner Melanie Zwolinski of Walpole; sister-in-law Doris Dawn Hubert of Sugar Land, Texas; grandchildren Kelly Spencer, Jeffrey Irish, Kathleen White, Chelsea Roth, Patricia Davenport, and Andrew Irish; and 13 great-grandchildren and 11 nieces and nephews.

The family will have a private gathering at the interment.

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