Memorial Sign honors Johnnie Robinson, Jr.

Micah Pickering
Leesville Daily Leader
There were many in attendance for the unveiling of the memorial sign for the late Johnnie Robinson Jr.
Louella Robinson, wife of the late Johnnie Robinson, was surrounded by family, friends, and many community leaders at the unveiling ceremony.

The DeRidder community gathered on May 3rd to honor the life and legacy of one of it's most beloved citizens. A memorial sign was placed in front of the home of the late Johnnie Robinson Jr. 

The sign recognized Robinson and his impact on the local community. The sign reads: "In honor of Johnnie Robinson Jr. for his outstanding commitment & service to his community."

Robinson's family and friends gathered alongside local community leaders for the sign's unveiling. DeRidder Mayor Misty Clanton was present at the unveiling along with the members of the DeRidder City Council.

Robinson's daughter Sherial Robinson spoke to the Beauregard Daily News about what it means to her and her family to see her father honored for his impact on the local community.

Sherial Robinson said: "We just wanted something to honor him. He did a lot for the community. I give glory to God for this. I am also thankful for the city officials who made this day possible."

She expressed her gratitude to everyone who helped make the sign a reality, and gave God the glory for making the whole thing happen. She also talked about the kind of man her father was, and why so many people remember him fondly. 

She said: "He was a real caring person. He liked to help people. He would go far beyond what he was assigned to do, and when he saw a need he would just jump in and do it. He never met a stranger, and loved meeting people. People loved him and he loved people."

Although he was originally a native of Natchitoches, LA, Robinson made DeRidder his home in 1946 working for the Long Bell Lumber /International Paper Company for 17 years. After that, Robinson notably worked at DeRidder First Baptist Church for 39 years where his influence is still remembered fondly by longtime members.

Pastor of DeRidder First Baptist Church Steve Graves spoke about his memories of Robinson during the unveiling, and lead the crowd in a special prayer. 

Graves said: "I loved Mr. Johnnie. He was kind, generous and faithful. I loved him, and we are honored to be here to celebrate this."

Longtime member of DeRidder First Baptist Church Mary Jane Wilbanks also shared memories of Robinson, noting that he was a dependable man of great faith and kindness. Wilbanks noted that he was always ready with a smile and a prayer for those in need. 

Wilbanks said: "He was there no matter what, whatever we needed he was there. He was a special guy to all of us at the church for all of those years."

Robinson was also known for working at the Brookshire Bros. grocery store in DeRidder well into his 80's. Sherial Robinson noted that her father was a real people person and enjoyed interacting with people. 

She said: "He never met a stranger, and loved meeting people. People loved him and he loved people."

The memorial sign honoring Robinson is located in front of 822 Rock St., Robinson's family home.