Malcolm's Story

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Malcolm Lee Robertson, age 79, Joplin, Mo., passed away on May 13, 2017 at his home, with his wife
by his side.
Malcolm was born on April 20, 1938, in Joplin, son of the late Henry Wilson Robertson and Frances Starkweather Robertson. He graduated from Joplin High School in 1956 and earned a BA from the University of Missouri at Columbia in 1960, where he was a member of the Beta Theta Pi fraternity. At the University of Missouri School of Law, he was winner of the moot court competition with his best friend, the late Ross Roberts. After receiving his law degree in 1963, he returned to Joplin, where he worked for over 50 years with the law firm of Blanchard, Robertson, Mitchell & Carter (formerly Seiler, Blanchard & Van Fleet).
Malcolm was active in the community as a member and elder of the First Presbyterian Church, a trustee of the Missouri Bar Foundation, a member of the Missouri Bar Board of Governors, and a member of the Rotary Club. He helped to develop the Greater Ozark Soccer Association in the 1970s and brought varsity soccer to Joplin High School in the 1980s, coached youth soccer for many years and was a member of the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association. In high school he played varsity football, ran the half-mile in track and was a member of the 1955 Class A Missouri state championship basketball team.
Malcolm grew up fishing and floating the rivers and lakes of the Ozarks, and his love of the outdoors continued throughout his life. He traveled with his family yearly to Paint Rock Lodge in the Big Horn Mountains of Wyoming, where he loved fly-fishing for trout, riding horses through the lodge pole pines, and backpacking in the high country, which he managed without complaint even with bad knees. He played golf with friends in the Diesel Fitters at Twin Hills Country Club and enjoyed fishing trips with childhood friends, from the Buffalo River in the Ozarks, to Alaska, to the Orinoco River, in Venezuela. Malcolm's reverence for nature, which he passed on to his family, is an enduring legacy of his life.
By those fortunate enough to know him, Malcolm will be remembered for his generosity of spirit, his strong ethical core, his easy laugh, and his gentle wisdom. A lover of language, he was known for his interest in books and poetry of all kinds, as well as his gracious and eloquent toasts, speeches, and prayers at family gatherings. He will be dearly missed by so many.
Malcolm is survived by his devoted wife of 49 years, Janice O'Donnell Robertson, of the home; his five children, Sean Robertson, of Tucson, Ariz., Margaret Robertson of Milwaukee, Wis., Marjorie Robertson, of Irvine, Calif., Michael Robertson and wife, Keija Parssinen, of Tulsa, Okla., and Catherine Lee Sloan and husband, Jason, of Joplin; his eight grandchildren, Burooj and Nuh Khan, Haley, Nick, Connor and Kate Sloan, and Malcolm and Ronan Robertson; his two older brothers, Henry Robertson Jr. and Patrick Robertson, both of Joplin; and numerous nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held on Thursday, May 18, at 3 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, in Joplin, with Pastor Dave Burgess officiating. The family will receive friends following the service in John Knox Hall at the church.
Cremation arrangements are under the direction of Parker Mortuary.
Published on May 16, 2017
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