Robyn’s Last Day – A Celebrated Life!

A GREAT HUMAN left us today – and our loss is enormous …. After work we golfed on Lodge at Woodcliff Golf Course and Robyn hit ball after ball like an angel – so that we decided to sign up for a tournament soon and play for charity to capitalize on our ringers. We then celebrated our best swings in my cabana where we shared refreshing chunks of watermelon.

RIP Dr. Robyn McMaster

         RIP Dr. Robyn McMaster

As we did often, we also exchanged stories of gratitude for family, for fun and for the awesome friendship and trust we’d shared over a quarter century. Today though, for the first time, we stayed outside and talked as if deep-called-to-deep until just after 9 PM. Five hours flew by in minutes in our minds!  Others described our friendship as poetry, as deeper than they’d ever seen, as David-Jonathan-like, and as extraordinary collaboration. We saw it as an awesome gift of God – unique in adventures that changed and awed us both.

What turned out to be our last day together also became a lasting treasure locked into flowers that surrounded us, birds that sang to us, faith that defined us, and laughter that drew us even closer together over a lifetime friendship and brain based work internationally. Today Robyn is golfing with angels and laughing with her dearly loved mother and grandmother! Her familiar smile remains fixed in my broken soul, and yet I sense that smile will outlive my lifetime, because of incredible memories we built within its warmth.

Kris reads Robyn's poem

       Daughter Kris reads Robyn’s poem

20 some years ago Robyn started supporting the Mita International Brain Center research because she saw the work changing lives, and felt called to help make a difference.  In spite of the fact that Robyn ended that call through a sudden and tragic fall which snatched her from our love far before we were ready to let her go, her international influence, keen intelligence and gentle care for others lives through every brain venture we lead forward without her kindness, enthusiasm, faith and support. Miss you already Robyn, but you’ll always be part of the brain based work and of my life, even after I figure out how to turn the dial away from sad!

Love from all of us to Carl, Robyn’s husband of 54 years, her kids Scott, Kristen, Sean, Tracy, Michael, Melody, her grandchildren Kenny, Jon, Tony, Nate, and Nick. Her loving sister Jill and brother David and his wife Lorinda along with many cousins, nieces and nephews – she loved you all fiercely and spoke of you constantly! Be blessed as her legacy in love. See details in The Daily News Obituary!

Viewing for Dr. Robyn McMaster took place on Friday, July 8th, at Harmon Watson Funeral Home – in Castile, NY.  A Celebration of Life service was held Sat, July 9th at Highpoint Community Church  in Corfu, NY 14036.

! TpT card

In addition to tributes and farewells in comments below – do see Robyn’s Face Book Circle responses. And with thanks to those farewells in Instagram responses. Friends and fellow leaders continue to say goodbye to our dear friend Robyn, at my TpT brain based resources site,  (under the ASK A QUESTION tab).  Wish I could share the enormous love still pouring in through dozens of emails, cards and calls from all over the world – but perhaps it’s more important for each of us to sense and remain grateful for Robyn’s genuine desire for blessing and prosperity that she still smiles over you and me today!

And thanks to the generosity of Sherri Tyler and many lives Robyn touched deeply her spirit and kindness will now live on at the Mita International Brain Center through a scholarship fund established in Robyn’s memory. The newly established scholarship will be awarded yearly and scholarship details will appear here.

Do not hesitate to submit names of a person or group who would benefit from the Dr. Robyn McMaster Scholarship for brain based support, coaching, mentoring, leadership strategies or teaching materials.

Post from the work Robyn loved – to help people who loved her.  Let’s use our brains to help heal our hearts after such enormous loss.

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Created by Ellen Weber, Brain Based Tasks for Growth Mindset

22 thoughts on “Robyn’s Last Day – A Celebrated Life!

  1. eweber Post author

    What an awesome reminder, Alex and thanks for your kind words! Robyn deeply valued you and your amazing circle of leaders, and she often spoke of all we were able to accomplish together because of talents people like you brought to our work together!

    You are so right – “it’s never easy to have a near and dear friend leave! ”

    I also agree that it’s an honor “to look back and cherish each and every memory”!!!

    We’d built those memories with remarkable people and in so many countries. Robyn’s amazing influence will always remain a huge part of brain based leadership going forward! So grateful for your kind words Alex, and I look forward to hearing how your own legacy for innovative and brain based leadership progresses! Do keep us up to date! Best, Ellen

  2. Alexander Petrocci

    Dr. Weber, it’s never easy to have a near and dear friend leave, but it is easy to look back and cherish each and every memory and continue the strong bond you both shared as best friends! Robyn was a huge part of our classes success and I know she’s looking forward to watching you continue the legacy of brain based thinking! You both certainly changed my outlook on the world for the better. My family and myself send our best love.

  3. eweber Post author

    Thanks so much Jim for tossing this delightful stack of memories into our treasure-chest of stories going forward. Just as Robyn often noted you did for others – you captured the heart and mind our friend and fellow-leader brought to work with fun expectations daily. She drew strength from her own close family and friends – and always reached out with that strength to support others. Your reminders to each of us gives the kind of strength that’s worth running with for another day! As for those grandboys she adored …. My sense is that she’s still sprinkling her pride and appreciation over each them from her new position in heaven!

  4. Jim Murphy

    Very, very sorry for our loss of Robyn. She was brilliant, always smiling and willing to help during her time with Rotary in Pittsford. Robyn, Ellen, Ruth and I did a project together and I had never seen such dedication and teamwork for the special needs children and their camp that would benefit. It was truly a joy to know Robyn; such a positive person! She talked of the brilliance of her grandchildren and beamed with pride and joy!
    She was a wonderful person and friend; my sympathy to her family, she positively touched a lot of lives.

  5. eweber Post author

    Thanks Donna, for all you did for Robyn during that momentous week when we did the conference in Seattle! I’d often hoped you two “birds of a feather” might meet at a place where ideas could be tossed into the air for a deeper discourse, and you made it happen. Thanks also for your own leadership which Robyn was thrilled to capture on video as it inspired her. Thanks for your recent help for Tan and Neal – you prioritize and operate in so many ways similar to Robyn’s that trust and friendships follow naturally. I value deeply your many awesome roles in my life and work over the past 40 years! Thanks for your prayers and thoughts! Robyn clearly reflected the “awesome sauce” of her family. I was with them again yesterday and Carl reminded me why Robyn loved the work so deeply and how happy that made him. Tough times but all good! Our broken world has much to learn from the depth of this family!

  6. Donna Mah

    Ellen, I was saddened to hear about the passing of Robyn. She was such a sweet, kind, brilliant lady and a true friend and business partner to you. Friendships like the one you had with Robyn is rare and special. My prayers are with you and Robyn ‘ s husband and family. A big hole in the hearts for sure. She is golfing in the heavens.

  7. eweber Post author

    Oh Gosh Tanveer – Robyn so valued your leadership insights and the risks you take for GOODNESS in the field. She taught us all how to listen especially well and how to learn from others at deeper levels! That includes learning your unique lessons about leading with heart in mind, as your insights here were central to lessons she loved! We also both loved your awesome Canadian influences as they fit so well together with our brain research and work! Stay blessed friend!

  8. Tanveer Naseer

    I join the others in feeling a sense of both sadness at her passing and joy in having the chance to know her at least from afar. From the very beginning, she was very supportive of my writings and her smiling encouragement – not to mention her deep insights into how our brain works – was felt in every comment and interaction I had with her.

    It’s rare to be able to touch people far and wide, but that is something Robyn did exceptionally well which is why I echo the Dr. Seuss quote “Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened”. And if there’s one thing the world could use more of these days its smiles. So my thanks to Robyn for being that smiling beacon.

    My condolences to Robyn’s family. Do know she touched many and made a difference.

  9. eweber Post author

    Thanks Jane, while joy stands outside my crushed soul and busted spirit where tears alone still find expression – I want to say that you already know how Robyn valued these same qualities in you. It’s people like you who can guide even a broken-hearted soul back to the essence of why we are each sent to earth and to be part of one another’s lives. Any who think it’s just about the work – have likely missed what so many found with Robyn (myself included) in that work together! While ours was a deep and platonic relationship – rarely a day together went by without her statement of love and deep appreciation for me and for the tiniest things I did for her. Where I saw warts – she tended to spot wonder … I see the same awesome gentleness in her children! Trying to run with Seuss’ words today ‘Don’t cry because it’s over. Smile because it happened!” and leaning hard on the proverb, “Joy returns in the morning.”

  10. Jane Perdue

    While I never met Robyn face-to-face, I always felt a closeness. Good ideas and good people resonate. You’ve both made a difference in people’s lives, bringing us goodness that continues. Here’s to remembering her with joy!

  11. eweber Post author

    Kare, thanks! A small step forward again today helps to remind me how your talent and Robyn’s talent amazingly reaches across differences and draws together the kind of insights extended in care – that continue to inspire me deeply! For Robyn it is now eternal legacy – for you and I – influence is still possible to lean into today for others. That thought helps me to move life forward here at the Mita Brain Center, in Robyn’s honor. We’ll catch up … yes!

  12. Kare Anderson

    I join the legion of others whose lives were touched by the gentle ways and wisdom of Robyn– so sorry to hear of her passing Ellen, you were and are a remarkably insightful pair. It must be a comfort to see, here and elsewhere, how much she mattered to so many of us. I look forward to catching up with you by phone, when you can. Poignant time

  13. eweber Post author

    Gavin you said it so well! You also were an awesome part of that exchange as a fellow leader and much admired colleague of Robyn’s. She is smiling over us all today – and her influence will impact us for good in our broken world! Thanks friend!

  14. eweber Post author

    Thanks Jackie! And thanks also for the reminder that awesome humans like Robyn impact one another’s lives even online! More and more of our international work and higher education work has transferred itself to online networks, and even there tone becomes the body language of communication. Robyn carried tone acumen into every exchange – and that roots itself in her love for people and her deep faith that God created all and cares deeply for all! Rather than preach that – she chose to live it – and that essence of care (and her willingness to remain humble and learn from differences) remains far beyond her precious life!

  15. Jackie Cameron

    I am so sad that Robyn will no longer be part of my online life. I was never happier than when her cheery face popped up in a comment or like on social media. Though we never met I felt she was a friend. I am sure I am not the only one she made feel that way. Thoughts are with you Ellen and her family at this time. Jackie

  16. eweber Post author

    Dearest Suzanne, Our work with Irish leaders like you, and that amazing evening we spent in your home when we worked in Ireland, brought smiles to our memories again and again. Robyn’s family is as amazing as she was, and yesterday I met with her precious children in my home – a meeting I’ll never forget. Their love and their appreciation for my help to Robyn at the end gave me enough strength to get up this morning in spite of the shock that still envelops me. Amazingly, Robyn and I literally stated often that the other person would always put family first (by choice) in our friendship and work together. So we stepped aside again and again to give space for the power and value of each others family. It became a natural extension of our deep love and friendship and I see its results in the way people can care more deeply by caring for the key roots that define their best friends. Robyn, has a big family and when I made that suggestion I saw each of them as part of the bringing together of our lives! They are still very important to Robyn and to me, as yesterday proved. Hugs to you and our MANY wonderful friends in Ireland.

  17. Suzanne Denieffe

    Ellen, I am so saddened to hear of Robyn’s passing. From your visits to us in Ireland, I know what a good friend she was to you and such a great advocate of brain based learning. I know she will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her. Suzanne

  18. eweber Post author

    Patti, thanks. Robyn called those dialogues, “Extended conversations” – and she consistently and deliberately engaged those whose voices too often get silenced in the name of some traditions. She’d so value that you celebrate with us! So do I! In an up-coming brain conference and graduate class I will now try to lead as Robyn would have helped and inspired me!

  19. eweber Post author

    Thanks Jesse, as you know Robyn’s desire to help others led her forward thinking that reached to where people lived and inspired them forward! Trust she is reading and smiling over dozens of emails flying into my box from all over the world this week. Not sure one needs passwords in heaven 🙂

  20. Patti Dobrowolski

    This is such a loss. I know that the work you did together and the dialogues you had formed the groundbreaking work you continue to bring to the world. My heart goes out to you and your team. I celebrate her greatness with you.

  21. Jesse Stoner

    Shocked and deeply saddened to learn of Robyn’s death. She made a significant contribution to the field and will be greatly missed. My sympathy is with her family and friends.

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