Humble resident and businessman Wayne Cleveland Robbins died Aug. 3 at the age of 88. His son, Bill Robbins, said his father died as anyone would wish if they had the choice, “peacefully in his sleep.”
Wayne was a 1946 graduate of Humble High School and a longtime supporter of Humble ISD students in education, athletics, the FFA program, and participated in numerous other local philanthropic efforts.
Wayne's father, William “Cleve” Robbins, started a Chevrolet dealership in Coldspring, Texas, in 1928. He moved the business to Humble in 1930, where it operated on Main Street for 41 years before moving to their location on Highway 59 in Humble in 1971. Wayne joined the senior Robbins' business in 1948 and Bill joined his father in 1975. Robbins Chevrolet expanded to include Robbins Nissan in 1990, and has been a fixture in Humble for 86 years.
Bill said his father was happy, healthy and active until the day he died. He still drove, and could be found working at the dealership most days from 7 a.m. until about 3 in the afternoon.
Bill described his father as very caring, helping many during his lifetime, but never wanting recognition. Wayne maintained the values of a simpler time.
“He believed that your word was your bond,” said Bill, “and tried to befriend people with that same core value.”
When Wayne wasn't working he loved to fish on Lake Livingston, he played golf all over the world and, above all, he attended district athletic events. Bill said that if there was a category for most high school games and events attended, Wayne would have a secure place in the “Guinness Book of World Records.”
Wayne was also a founding member of the Humble Rotary Club.
“Wayne Robbins was always bigger than life,” said friend and fellow Rotarian Jess Fields.
Fields said that despite Robbins' requests for Fields to call him by his first name, he always called him Mr. Robbins.
“I just could not do it, because I had so much respect for him,” said Fields.
Fields said Robbins remained active in Rotary and was the top ticket seller in the annual Rotary Fish Fry/Spaghetti Supper over the years.
Robbins, Fields said, was always actively involved, both in person and with financial support, of Humble ISD students.
“Wayne was the number one Humble Wildcat fan, never missing a home football game and attending most of the away games,” said Fields. “He was very active in the Humble Rodeo and FFA events, normally purchasing the grand champion steer.”
Humble ISD Athletic Director Troy Kite echoed Fields' account in talking about Robbins.
“Wayne Robbins has had a tremendous impact on Humble ISD athletics,” said Kite.
He described Robbins as “a phenomenal man and avid sports fan.” He said that he met Robbins even before he came to the district, and their relationship grew over the years, both professionally and as friends.
“He and his family have always been there to support our athletic programs,” said Kite. “Wayne has been a fixture at Turner Stadium from the time I got into this office.”
Wayne was married to his wife, Connie Dell, for 50 years, until her death in 1998. The couple leaves behind four children – Robert Wayne Robbins, Joy Nell Robbins, Gay Dell DeLuish and William Cleveland “Bill” Robbins – five grandchildren, eight great-grandchildren and one great-great grandchild.
“He will be missed,” said Fields, “but he leaves behind quite a legacy with his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
Services were held Aug. 7 at Rosewood Funeral Home, followed by a Celebration of Life at the Humble Civic Center. The family asked that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Humble ISD Athletic Department, Attention: Troy Kite, 20200 Eastway Village Drive, Humble, TX 77338.