Two members of the First Presidency paid tribute to O. Preston "Pres" Robinson, former general manager and editor of the Deseret News and well-known educator, civic leader and Church worker, at funeral services Nov. 13.
Brother Robinson, 87, died Nov. 10 of cardiac arrest in a Salt Lake hospital.He was a former professor of marketing and retailing at New York Uni versity and at the University of Utah, where he was also chairman of the Department of Retail-ing.
In 1950, he became assistant manager of the Deseret News, and two years later was named general manager of the Deseret News Publishing Co. and editor of the newspaper.
He was president of the British Mission, 1964-67, and served on the Sunday School General Board.
President Gordon B. Hinckley, first counselor in the First Presidency, and President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, were among those who delivered funeral remarks.
Other speakers were Christine Burton and Miriam Flanagan, Brother Robinson's daughters; and Karen Joy Rebholz, a granddaughter. A son, Bruce Hinckley Robinson, played a piano solo.
Also attending the funeral were Elder James E. Faust of the Council of the Twelve and Presiding Bishop Robert D. Hales.
In his address, President Hinckley said of Brother Robinson: "Yes, he was a scholar. Yes, he was a business executive. Yes, he was an author and a publisher. Yes, he was part of civic affairs. But when all the chips are down, the greatest, shiniest badge that Pres Robinson bore was the love . . . and tender care for his companion. . . ."
Brother Robinson was married to the former Christine Hinckley, sister to President Hinckley.
President Hinckley described seeing Brother Robinson "day after day, week after week, month after month, year after year" caring for Sister Robinson, who has been bedridden for several years. He described how Brother Robinson would "care for her, lift her and carry her until his own back ached, but without complaint."
President Hinckley said some may wonder why Brother Robinson died before his wife. "I have a feeling that for all of these years, he has cared and nurtured and comforted and made all the decisions, and it became necessary for him to go before and prepare the way. . . ," he explained.
President Hinckley reminded the congregation that Brother and Sister Robinson were married 61 years. He gave tribute to Brother Robinson for the "goodness of his integrity, of his loyalty, and of his faith."
"He knew, as we know, that life is eternal," President Hinckley concluded.
President Monson paid tribute to Brother Robinson as a teacher, newsman/printer, a missionary, a student/scholar and husband/father/
Brother Robinson was one of President Monson's professors in the School of Business at the University of Utah. President Monson said Brother Robinson "opened to our view the wonderful world of business. He had the capacity to individualize his instructions. He would take us one by one and point us to the area of our greatest potential."
Commenting on Brother Robinson's career as a newsman and as a printer, President Monson said the former Deseret News general manager "was one of the creators of the concept of the Newspaper Agency Corporation." (NAC is the joint production, circulation and advertising agency for the Deseret News and the Salt Lake Tribune.)
"He had an eye for quality," President Monson said. "He wanted to make sure everything was done right. . . . He was an inspired writer and a skillful editor."
President Monson recalled Brother Robinson's love for missionary work, both as a missionary in France from 1924-27, and as president of the British Mission. "In the mold of the Master, Preston Robinson changed for the better the many lives he influenced."
When Brother Robinson went to Great Britain as mission president, he had the opportunity to direct young missionaries "to the areas of their potential. . . ," President Monson noted.
Discussing Brother Robinson's scholarly achievements, President Monson described the former professor's library as "enormous and the books are well read."
In conclusion, President Monson characterized Brother Robinson's love for his children and for his wife. In letters during the past two years to President Monson, Brother Robinson referred to Sister Robinson as "beautiful" and "as lovely as ever."
Sister Burton recalled that her father once told her, "There are only two things we take with us [to the other sideT. Our knowledge and our relationships."
Sister Flanagan said her father was "always there for me - always."
Sister Rebholz noted, "He was a man of love, a man of righteousness. . . . I will miss him dearly."