Robert Ray Robinson, 76, beloved husband, loving father, and loyal friend, died peacefully at his residence Tuesday, Feb. 27, 2018, due to heart and kidney failure.

He was born Jan. 18, 1942, in McDowell County and was the son of the late Clara Marie Robinson. He was a resident of Rutherford County for over 52 years.

Growing up in Marion, Robert attended North Cove School where he made lifelong friends. While working at Drexel Furniture, he discovered a natural curiosity for the trucking industry, a field in which he worked for over 40 years. In 1985, Robert founded Southwestern Freight Carriers, Inc., with his former wife, Jane. For over 20 years, he devoted himself to providing quality employment for over 500 citizens in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia. After retiring from the transportation field, Robert became a licensed real estate agent with Peggy Blackwell and Associates.

A man of great faith, Robert was an active member of Florence Baptist Church. He was a member of the Fellow Believers in Christ Sunday School class, and worked with various church mission programs. He was especially devoted to the Florence Baptist Backpack Program that provides meals to students in Rutherford County Schools. Robert was also active within the community by working with Habitat for Humanity and serving on their Board of Directors; most recently, he served on the Foothills Credit Counseling Board of Directors. Through all of these interactions, Robert made numerous friends that he both valued and treasured.

Robert is survived by his wife of nine years, Martha McCurry Robinson, and two daughters from his previous marriage, Kim Henderson and husband, Terry, and Nikki Honeycutt and husband, Michael; three grandsons, Alex Harris of Forest City, Drew Henderson and wife, Bri of Asheville, and Adam Harris and wife, Harley of Shelby; and one great-granddaughter, Cora Elizabeth Harris of Shelby.

The family received friends Wednesday, Feb. 28 1, from 5 to 8 p.m., at The Padgett & King Mortuary in Forest City.

Funeral services will be held 3 p.m., today (Thursday, March 1), at Florence Baptist Church with Dr. Bobby Gantt and the Rev. Mike Elgin officiating. Interment will be held at Hicks Chapel Baptist Church in Marion immediately following the service.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Florence Baptist Church Backpack Program, 201 S Broadway, Forest City, NC 28043. The Padgett & King Mortuary is serving the Robinson family.

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