MacGregor Robinson, 53, died on Sept. 4, Labor Day, at “Mungo Park,” his beloved home in Norfolk, after being diagnosed with cancer of the liver in late August.
Born Feb. 5, 1964, in nearby Winsted, MacGregor was predeceased by his parents, Hugh Robinson and Isabel “Tibby” (MacGregor) Browne Robinson and his sister, Isabel Browne Driscoll. His survivors include brothers Belmore Browne and James Robinson; brother-in-law Peter Driscoll and sisters-in-law Melissa Robinson and Meredith Browne; nieces Ann Robinson, Sibley (Driscoll) Muscinsky, and Morrigan Browne; nephews Ian Robinson, Lars Robinson, Rowan Driscoll, Adam Driscoll and Moss Driscoll; and legions of loving friends and grateful former students.
First and foremost, MacGregor was, in his own words, “a boarding school guy,” starting as a student at Brooks School in North Andover, Massachusetts. After graduation from Princeton University in 1986 and a stint as a reporter for the Lakeville (Conn.) Journal, MacGregor embarked on a 30-year odyssey throughout the independent school world: as an English teacher, administrator, student advisor and housemaster at Berkshire School in Sheffield, Massachusetts (1989-93, 1996-99), and then as an admissions professional and student advisor at the Gunnery in Washington Green, Connecticut (1993-5), Trinity Pawling School in Pawling, New York (1999-2015), and King’s Academy in Madaba, Jordan (2015-17). During the 1990s he also had the honor of working for King Hussein I and Queen Noor of Jordan while tutoring Prince Hashim and working with Prince Hamzah and the Princess’ Raiah and Iman. Last June, MacGregor returned to Trinity Pawling as its director for external relations.
Throughout his career, MacGregor, who also held a master of art degree in teaching from Brown University, traveled far and wide. He was invited into the lives of countless families. He deliberately focused on international admissions, making connections and befriending students and parents the world over. His calling led him to assess and embrace differing cultures while honing the professional art of mentoring with students of varied backgrounds and disparate aspirations. He relished young men and women for who they were and helped them to weave themselves into the fabric of their school communities and move on to the global common.
Every summer, MacGregor would return to his native Norfolk and head right for the shores of Doolittle Lake. He was a past president and member of the board of managers of the Doolittle Club.
Well-read, voraciously curious and possessed with a biting wit, MacGregor was a man of many passions ranging from California painters to Tchaikovsky, yellow labs to London, cribbage to Christmas, Volvos to leg of lamb. He was intensely devoted to his nieces and nephews, whose journeys through life he eagerly followed.
MacGregor and his family wish to express eternal gratitude to his lifelong friends for a great journey, and to the people and professionals at Smilow Cancer Hospital at Yale New Haven and Foothills Visiting Nurse Association for their radical compassion.
A memorial service will be held Saturday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m. at All Saints Chapel, Trinity Pawling School. A private burial will be held in June 2018 in the family plot in the Doolittle Woods.
Donations in MacGregor’s memory may be made to the MacGregor Robinson Endowed Chair for Mentoring at Trinity Pawling School in care of Reagan LaFontaine, Dir. of Advancement, Trinity Pawling School, 700 Route 22, Pawling, NY 12564. See also: https://www.trinitypawling.org/page.cfm?p=6516.
The Kenny Funeral Home, 39 Maple Ave., Norfolk, has care of arrangements.