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How can we best describe Mother Ossie M. Robinson? She was a gifted educator, a stellar alto singer, an inspiring community leader, a devoted wife to the late Deacon Bishop Robinson whom she married almost 63 years ago, a loving daughter-in-law to Gertrude and Sam Horne, and a caring mother of two daughters – Rev. Barbara Awoniyi and Dorquetta Robinson and two grandchildren – Dedric Robinson, Sr. and Danielle Awoniyi and one great grandchild - Dedric Robinson, Jr. and the fourth of twelve children born to the late Tommie Harris, Sr., and Edna Straughter.
She leaves to mourn as of August 22, 2023, a sister who she was very close to – Dorothye Wright and Corene Walden who resides in Miami, Florida and several loving and caring nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death are her ten siblings – Floyd. Tommie Jr., and Willie and eight sisters -Sally, Pansy, Hagar, Bessie, Elizabeth “Lizzie”, Nancy and Rose.
Mother Ossie Robinson was born June 5, 1933, and raised in Thomas County, Georgia. In her early years, she joined Piney Grove Missionary Baptist Church. Her zeal for leadership and education took her to many places in addition to her birthplace. After graduating from Liberty High school, she went on to attend Albany State University in Albany Georgia graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. She did further study at Florida A & M University and received certification in Modern Mathematics from the University of Georgia’s Extension Center.
Mother Robinson was employed as an educator at several Grady and Thomas County schools, having taught at Magnolia Chappelle and Central Middle Schools prior to retiring after over 30 years of teaching. After retiring, her love for seeing people learn and helping them achieve their goals, led her to take on various roles to include being the Director of Genesis Day Care, a counselor at Southwestern State Hospital and an adult education teacher.
Throughout her professional career, Mother Robinson nurtured her relationship with her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as a member of the Providence Missionary Baptist Church. At Providence, she was an influencer of many people especially children and youth. She served as secretary of the Thomasville Missionary Baptist Association. Her gifted alto voice led her to part of the Thomas and Grady County Willing Workers Singing Conventions, past secretary of the City-Wide Choir Union, Providence Adult Choir member and the Georgia-Florida 5th Sunday Choir Union. She also worked with missions and youth through the Second District Young People Ministry, serving as past president of Kelly Rose Temple #1005, Council for the General Missionary Baptist Convention, and secretary of the Special Olympics area #14.
Her gift as a servant leader was evident to others who elected her as the assistant secretary of the NAACP. Her zeal to help others also drew her to the masonic order where she served as Loyal Lady Ruler of Minnie L. Washington Assembly #34, state secretary of the Shining ‘C’s Grand Assembly, Order of the Golden Circle, past worthy Matron of American Beauty Chapter #214, Past Grand Martha Member of the Thomasville Past Matrons Council, past district matron of Thomasville District #10.
Awards are many for Mother Robinson’s strong commitment to doing as Jesus taught his disciples when he said to them in Matthew 23:11 “But anyone that is greatest among you must be first servant to all.” She was recognized as the Teacher of the Year in 1965 and 1980, Outstanding Young Woman of the Year, President of Thomas County Association of Educators, Outstanding Service Leadership at Pavo School for 8 years, President of the Georgia Association of Educators, President of the Providence Gospel Chorus for over 20 years, Outstanding Service Achievement from Thomasville District #10, and Boston and Thomasville Willing Workers Woman of the Year in 1989.
For her service as the President of the Thomas County Association of Educators (TCAE), Georgia Association of Educators (GAE), she was also recognized.
If asked about how they feel about ninety-year-old Mother Robinson. Certainly, her daughters, grandchildren and beloved family members would likely feel proud with how Mother Ossie M. Robinson allowed herself to be used by God to uplift, inspire, and encourage. They would likely say “Rest from your labor. Well Done!”