Thursday, March 30, 2006
remembered as friend, leader in community banking
Members of the banking community and friends of the late Lanier Robison, a prominent banker and landowner in Marshall County, remember him for his many qualities and accomplishments.
Charles Lanier Robison Jr., 78, died at his home March 21, 2006. He was the son of a prominent banker and a third generation banker at Merchants and Farmers.
Lanier was an asset to Marshall County, said retired Bank of Holly Springs president S.B. Tubby Gresham. He had a vast knowledge of Holly Springs which he was always happy to share.
Gresham said the three locally-owned banks had and continue to share a unique cooperative purpose and goal for the benefit of Marshall County.
Lanier had a big role in this, he said. Not only was he a fellow banker, but a good friend. Over the years we golfed together and spent hours together watching our sons high school football games. He will indeed be missed.
Merchants and Farmers Bank president Greg Taylor, who worked with Robison about 18 years recalls the way Robison helped others.
He was really a giving person, Taylor said. He contributed to lots of local charities out of his own pocket and he helped older people a lot.
Robison particularly enjoyed working for the Marshall County Literacy Council and saw a great need for adult literacy, Taylor said.
He knew the importance of helping them and always took time to advise and counsel to the elderly who asked him for help with personal or business matters, Taylor said.
His love for farming was always with him even though Robison leased his cattle farm out in recent years.
He enjoyed his farm and always enjoyed visiting with the folks he leased to, Taylor said. He was an outdoorsman and loved hunting - especially duck hunting in Arkansas.
Taylor said Robison in later years became very involved with his grandchildren, taking part in school activities with them and going to plays and sports activities with them.
Robison started out in life as a farmer and rural mail carrier but came into banking at the request of his father, Taylor said. Robisons family roots go back possibly as far as the founding of Merchants and Farmers Bank in March 1899, Taylor said.
Jim Crell, executive vice-president with First State Bank, said he enjoyed a 30-year relationship with Robison, even before Crell moved to Holly Springs.
He was always very personable, made you feel at home, Crell said. He always had a laugh and a smile. He was a swell guy and a good banker.
Crell and Robison, in 1976, completed a two-week banking school course at Ole Miss together.
Childhood friend Blanton Jones, called Robison a best and longest friend I ever had.
He would do anything for me, Jones said.
The two lived next door to each other as children for a while and visited back and forth at each others homes.
Jones recalled that Robison played basketball, was on the track team and loved his main sport, football, which he played more of at Northwest Junior College. They continued a life-long friendship spending much time in recent years on the golf course together.
Robisons great great grandfather, Alfred Brooks, was a first settler of Marshall County, according to his wife Carole Coopwood Robison.
Robison attended Mississippi State University where he joined Kappa Alpha Fraternity and received a Bachelors degree. Robinson graduated from the University of Mississippi Banking School.
Robison came to the service of his country, first in World War II as a Navy man and in the Korean War served in the Air Force.
He was a member of the American Legion.
His civic involvement included membership in the Marshall County Cattlemens Association and a member of the board of directors of Marshall County Literacy Council. In 1971, Robison joined the Rotary Club and he later received the prestigious Paul Harris Fellow Rotary Award.
His professional activities included president, CEO and chairman of the Board of Directors of Merchants and Farmers Bank, and member of the Mississippi Bankers Association.
Robison was an active member of the Holly Springs Methodist Church 70 years.
He was the father of two children, Charles Lanier Robison III and Eleanor Robison Horton, and grandfather to Lauren Austin Robison, Charles Lanier Robison IV, Grace Ann Robison, Anna Carroll Horton and Robert Harrison Horton.
Robison was the son of Charles Lanier Robison Sr. and Maggie Totten Mullins Robison.
Robison was laid to rest Thursday in Hill Crest Cemetery following memorial services at First United Methodist Church with Rev. Milton Boyd presiding.
Pall bearers included Greg Taylor, Ben Seale, Gary Barnett, Jim White, Steve Bowers, Todd Grant, Sammy Bailey, Tommy Taylor, Shep Smith, Blanton Jones, Bill Schneller and Bob Carrington.
Honorary pallbearers were Eugene Brown Sr., David Bennett, Jack Wittjen, Bob Crutcher, Bill York and the board of directors and employees of Merchants and Farmers Bank.
Robison was born August 22, 1927.
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