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William 'Bill' Robishaw, 90, Westlake Historian, Author and Educator

He was the first principal of Holly Lane Elementary School, former historical society president and veteran.

William 'Bill' Robishaw spent years documenting Westlake's history and sharing his knowledge.

The former Westlake resident, who died on March 9, was the first principal of and author of two books on the area's history: You've Come a Long Way Westlake, and You've Got a Long Way to Go, and Westlake Looking Back to Dover.

In 2011, the same year Holly Lane celebrated its 50th anniversary, Mayor Dennis Clough declared Oct. 22 'Bill Robishaw Day' in honor of his contributions to the community.

Robishaw was born August 25, 1921 in Cleveland and graduated from Dover High School in 1939. He served three years in the Arm Air Corp during World War II, assigned to a base in Italy.

He graduated from Baldwin Wallace College with a bachelor's degree in elementary education in 1950 and went on to teach school in rural Ohio for four years. He then returned to Westlake and taught for seven years before serving nine years as principal of Holly Lane and 12 years as principal of Bassett Elementary. He retired in June of 1982.

In 1962, Robishaw and his wife Jean were named Mr. and Mrs. Westlake 

Robishaw was president of the Westlake Historical Society for 14 years. In that time, he edited and oversaw the publication of A History and Civics of Dover Village, a 1930s manuscript by a Dover High School teacher. In 1980, the society published his book Westlake Looking Back to Dover, and in 1993, You've Come a Long Way, Westlake and You've Got a Long Way to Go was published.

Robishaw also served as chairman of the Suburban West Opportunity School for children and youth for disabilites during the late 1960s and is a Past Master of the Dover Masonic Lodge and a past Patron of the Order of Eastern Star.

Following his retirement, Robishaw and his wife moved to Port Charlotte, FL in 1984. They joined the Port Charlotte United Methodist Church, where Bill was active in audio-visual and sound systems for 14 years. He also volunteered in Charlotte County elementary schools from 1985 to 2000.

Robishaw is survived by his three children James of Port Charlotte, FL, Gary of Santa Clara, CA and Donna Conlon of Rochester Hills, MI as well as his five grandchildren Heather Kirk, Chris, Danny, Michael and Meghan Robishaw. He also has four great-grandchildren Liam, Aiden, Kiley, Kirk and Maddison Robishaw.

His beloved wife of 67 years, Jean (nee Cilimburg) died in 2010.

 

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