James Alton Robbins

January 16, 1929 ~ January 12, 2022 (age 92)


James Alton Robbins of Covington, Tennessee passed away on Wednesday, January 12, 2022, at the age of 92.

Jim was born in Crossett, Arkansas on January 16, 1929, to father William Allie Robbins and mother Alice Vie Robbins.  The youngest of two children, he was beloved by his older sister, Martha Lane Harrison and his parents.  He enjoyed his childhood and was an excellent basketball player in high school.  Before attending college, he enlisted in the Navy.  He enjoyed his travels as a sailor and said his most memorable adventure was to Antarctica.

After his service, Jim returned to Arkansas and attended the University of Arkansas at Monticello.  While on a double date with other people, he met Ethel Thomason Robbins, and they married quickly afterwards.  They were married for over 50 years and had two children.  

Jim was an employee of ITW for most of his business life; first as a highly successful sales executive in several positions and then ultimately in plant management positions.  From 1970-1976 he started two successful manufacturing companies and held three patents pertaining to product design and utilization  He rejoined ITW in 1976 and oversaw the construction of the Signode and Paslode manufacturing plants in Covington and served as plant manager for both from 1976-1987.  He then left Covington to be the President of ITW Mima in Boca Raton, Florida.  When he retired in 1990, he and Ethel moved back to Covington.

Several years after the loss of his wife, he was blessed to meet and marry Peggy Shankle Robbins.  They had ten wonderful years together filled with laughter and love.  They could often be found enjoying the outdoors on their back patio as they watched the golfers play across the street.

One of the loveliest gifts Jim gave his family, was his example of Christian love and faith.  He was a beautiful example of the Father's unwavering love for each of us.  James was a member of First Baptist Church in Covington.

Throughout his life, as long as health permitted, Jim was an avid quail hunter and fisherman.  Many of his most cherished days were spent with his son and grandson hunting or fishing.  

Jim was preceded in death by his parents, his sister, his wife Ethel, and his precious granddaughter, Mary Alicia Hornsby.  He is survived by his wife Peggy; children Karla Robbins Hornsby and James Alton Robbins, Jr. (Betty); grandchildren Robyn Hornsby Dorris, Alexandra Naapier Robbins, James Haden Robbins, and Lydia Grace Robbins; and two great-grandsons, William Russell Dorris and Bishop Alton Dorris.

A visitation for Jim is planned for Monday, January 17, 2022, from 12PM to 2PM at Maley-Yarbrough Funeral Home in Covington, Tennessee.  All are invited to attend.  The funeral will follow immediately at 2PM.  Interment will take place in Bethuel Cemetery in Millington.

People wishing to honor Jim's lifelong commitment to family, faith, and community can make donations to the First Baptist Church of Covington, Tennessee or to the charity of their choice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Alton Robbins, please visit our floral store.

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January 17, 2022

12:00 PM to 2:00 PM
Maley-Yarbrough Funeral Home
1701 Highway 51 S
Covington, TN 38019

Funeral Service
January 17, 2022

2:00 PM
Maley-Yarbrough Funeral Home
1701 Highway 51 S
Covington, TN 38019

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