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Good friend remembers
Mark Robinson

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Good friend remembers
Mark Robinson

by Bob Ellsworth

The following comments are excerpted from a reading by former Worldwide Church of God elder Jack Martin on behalf of Mr. Ellsworth at the funeral of Mark Robinson of Plano, Texas, Feb. 7, 2009. Mr. Robinson was an elder and pastor in the WCG in the 1970s. He died Feb. 1, 2009, after a brief illness.

PASADENA, CALIF.--Woody Allen once remarked that, although he didn't believe in an afterlife, he was taking along a change of underwear just in case.

These comments are in no way reflective of Mark Robinson's personal theology. However, they are certainly, without any doubt, 100 percent vintage Robinsonesque-brand humor.

Divine humor

Mark's humor was always at its apex when dealing with theological issues. No doctrinal change, no ministerial foible and no church crisis ever escaped Mark's sharp, incisive wit, unique perspective and special analysis, always generously laced with his good-natured--and never embittered--sense of humor and irony.

These and all of Mark's qualities were firmly rooted in his strong and value-oriented upbringing in the environs of Ambassador College and the Worldwide Church of God ministry, in which Mark served as an elder for many years.

When religious affiliation and organizational influences faded, Mark's genuine personal interest in both the Bible and theological topics never waned.

Unlike many who tend to abandon these interests when church membership or church attendance is no longer in vogue, Mark always knew where he was personally grounded and quietly maintained a genuine and continuing faith.

Always stressless and imperturbable, Mark was consistently great company when he and I had occasion to travel together many times: to Israel, Mexico, Brazil, Japan, Hong Kong and Macau.

Comfort person

Like comfort food, Mark was comfort people, always easygoing, engaging and relaxing to be with, and always ready with great conversation: politics, history and, of course, theology.

Mark and I were roommates for some years while he served in the ministry, and I have many good memories of those times as well. He had his own unique personal style, one of substance without pretense.

I am saddened to see Mark depart this life so suddenly and prematurely. Quality friendships of 30 or 35 years' endurance are a special and rare privilege, and it is painful to lose one as steady and enjoyable as this one was.

I will truly miss Mark, his contributions, observations and companionship, and I do hope we meet in the afterlife that he still firmly believed in.

I can just hear him saying, "Bob, what are you doing here?"

This will be Mark's way of picking up right where we left off.

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