Friends, family raise funds for headstone to honor beloved elementary school janitor, community member

A Tallahassee family wants to give its patriarch a proper final resting place nearly a year after he passed away.
Published: Mar. 21, 2022 at 11:05 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 22, 2022 at 9:47 AM EDT
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TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WCTV) - A Tallahassee family wants to give its patriarch a proper final resting place nearly a year after he passed away.

Right now, the grave site for Lewis Robinson in Oakland Cemetery has no headstone.

Robinson was a custodian at Sealey Elementary in the 1980s and 90s before a terrible accident changed his life forever.

He used his hardships to inspire countless others.

Oasis Robinson is his daughter.

“He was the world to me. He was my hero. He was my rookie. And I miss him dearly,” she said, holding back tears remembering her father’s 61 years on this earth.

“He had a heart of gold, he reached out to everyone. He helped, he always helped people,” she said.

Kelly Honhart saved a 2018 voicemail from Robinson on her phone. It’s now a cherished memory of a man she has known for decades.

“He was a janitor at my elementary school, and from the moment I met him, we just formed the craziest bond- he was another dad to me,” she said.

In 1992, a car accident changed everything. He would spend the last 29 years of his life as a quadriplegic. Even though she was young, Honhort remembers her fear well.

“Somebody I loved was seriously injured, we didn’t know if he was going to make it,” she said.

He did survive, and while no longer able to work as a custodian, he made sure his life was well lived.

Erica Nahoom met Robinson in high school. She said it was a life-altering experience.

“He was the nicest person I’ve ever met in my life,” she said. “[He] changed my perspective on life, made me realize you need to grateful for what you have and cherish the people that matter in your life. He was definitely one of them.”

In 2019, he recorded his crowning achievement, earning an associates degree at Tallahassee Community College.

“That was such an amazing accomplishment for him, and I’ll always be proud of him for that,” Nahoom said.

Robinson died in May 2021 after a lengthy illness. The burial was all the family could afford. There were no funds left over for a gravestone.

“He deserves more than that,” Robinson said.

On Saturday, the family decided to start a GoFundMe page to purchase a proper headstone. In just a few days, they’ve raised nearly $1,000.

It’s a lifetime of love, paying off.

“I can feel him smiling right now,” Robinson said.

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