Dr. James Allen Robson, 74, died on Tuesday, Sept. 14, 2021, in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. He was born a Vandal in Moscow, on June 9, 1947, to Bob and Penny Robson, while his father was attending law school at the University of Idaho.
If home is where the heart is, Jim Robson’s heart was truly in Idaho. His early childhood was spent in Grangeville and Kellogg while spending summers on Lake Coeur d’Alene.
Jim loved sports and was very athletic. A skier who defied gravity, he learned to ski and raced at Lookout Pass and the surrounding mountains during high school. Jim was in Ski Club at Kellogg Senior High, as well as on the golf team, the football team, and the basketball team, which won the state title in 1964 his junior year.
He attended the University of Idaho in the pre-dental program on an accelerated three-year program. In the summers, he would ride his 10-speed bike to work underground at the Bunker Hill Mine to cover his college expenses. He pledged Phi Delta Theta at the University of Idaho, where he found fame as “the White Rat,” which was a nod to his appearance rather than his personality. Jim lettered in Alpine Skiing and worked as a “hasher” at the Alpha Phi house.
After graduating from the University of Idaho in 1969, he attended the University of Oregon School of Dentistry in Portland and graduated in 1972 as a DMD with a degree in Dental Surgery.
The Health Ministry of British Columbia recruited the newly minted Dr. Robson for a one-year education reimbursement externship, where underserved communities could receive much-needed dental health care. After finishing his commitment, he continued his Canadian dental practice adventure for two years.
In 1976, Jim bought a log cabin from the estate of his Great Aunt Irma, who ran a small grocery store in the building, which is located next to the Avondale Golf Course on Miles Avenue. After he remodeled the building into a state-of-the-art dental office, patients could be distracted by watching golfers’ putt on the first hole while having dental work done or be comforted by the stone fireplace in the operatories.
Professionally, Dr. Robson was very active in local, state, and national dental associations. He was a member and President of the Panhandle Dental Association, the Idaho State Dental Association, and the Idaho Delegate to the American Dental Association for many years. Universally loved by his patients and respected by his peers, a genuine dentist’s dentist”, Dr. Robson retired in 2019 after 47 years of successful dental practice.
As a loyal and avid fan of the University of Idaho Vandals, Jim was a long-time supporter of Vandal Athletics. He served on the National Alumni Board of Directors and enjoyed Vandal game day and all the festivities around tailgating and cheering his beloved Vandals at the Kibbie Dome. Many weekends, you could count on Jim and Shelly supporting their Vandals at home and on the road.
Jim is preceded in death by his paternal grandparents, Ira ‘Bud’ and Marge Robson and his parents, Bob and Penny Robson.
Jim is survived by his treasured wife, Shelly, and a handsome big, black cat, Sammy, his son, Mitch Robson, daughter, Sara (Ellis) Cucksey, granddaughters, Olivia Robson and Camas Cucksey; and great-grandson, Jay Kingham. Also surviving are his three siblings, Lynn Robson, Leslie Robson (Kevin Whaley), Rob Robson (Nita), and numerous nieces and nephews.
A Celebration of Life for Jim will be held from 2 to 5 p.m. on Sunday, September 26, at the Hayden Lake Country Club. Please come ready to hear humorous and moving stories about a man that had strong opinions that he was not afraid to share, was universally loved, who loved everyone, who made people feel like the most important person in the world when he was with them, whose generosity of spirit, time and energy was bottomless, who was larger than life. Join us as we toast Jim with a ‘Captain and diet’ and say ‘Adios’. The family requests guests to wear golf and Vandal attire.
In honor and memory of Dr. James A. Robson, the family suggests gifts to the Dr. James A. & Shelly D. Robson Athletic Endowment at the University of Idaho. Please make a gift online at www.uidaho.edu/givenow and enter Robson in the designation search field or send your gift to:
Dr. James A. & Shelly D. Robson Athletic Endowment DE468, c/o University of Idaho Foundation 875 Perimeter Drive – MS 3143 Moscow, ID 83844-3143
Please visit Jim’s online memorial and sign his guestbook at www.yatesfuneralhomes.com