Obituary: Petronella Robison

Tue, 02/07/2012 - 3:51pm

Petronella “Nell” Bonis Robison, 89, died January 5 at Roberts Health Center in North Kingston. She was the widow of Julius Robison and stepmother of Stephen Robison and the late Barbara Stern.

Petronella was born in Waalwyk, the Netherlands, the daughter of Adrianus Bonis and Wouterina Timmermans Bonis.

Nell’s professional life was as varied as her interests, including time as a nurse. She was a governess for the Heineken family in Holland, and also spent more than 20 years with the George Palade family, managing their household.

She loved to read, to walk, was an exceptional cook and knitter, and a good friend to many. She especially loved children. She travelled a lot, lived in Sweden, Switzerland and Iceland, and had many adventures in her lifetime. Block Island was special for her.

She was predeceased by Willem, Roel, Adrianus, Anna Marie and Hendrik. Surviving siblings are Cornelia Bakker of Waalwyk and Neeltja Hengenius of Apple Valley, California.

Nell is survived by Stephen and Nancy Robison, and five grandchildren: Michael Stern and Lynn Aghassi of St. Petersburg, Florida; Julie Fuller of North Kingstown, RI and Block Island; Daniel Robison and Hadley Truettner of Washington, D.C., and Block Island; and David and Snjezana Robison of San Francisco, California. She leaves nine great grandchildren: Alana, Zani, Sam, John, Max, Harry, Leo, Davorin and Maja. She also has nephews and nieces in Holland.

She will be greatly missed. A memorial service will be planned for a later date.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Block Island Medical Center, Box 919, or the Island Free Library, Box 1830, both of Block Island, RI, 02807.