Robin Arnold-Williams, D.S.W., passed away on October 29, 2017, in Durango, Colorado at the age of 61. Robin was the beloved wife of John Williams and devoted “Lab Mom” to Mindy, Jenny and Shadow. She is survived by her siblings Diane Arnold, David Arnold (Barb), Jim Arnold (Marion), Sally Worden (Dennis), and Jerry Arnold (Tina). She was proceeded in death by her father and mother Howard and Gertrude Arnold and sister Lynn Gearhart. Robin was born in Flint, Michigan.
Robin graduated from Central Michigan University with a bachelor’s degree in Social Work, and the University of Utah where she received her Master’s Degree and Doctorate Degree in Social Work and a Certificate of Gerontology. Throughout her life she lived in MI, UT, WA, and CO. Robin served in the Cabinet of UT Governor Michael Leavitt as the Executive Director of the Department of Human Services and in the Cabinet of WA Governor Christine Gregoire as the Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services. After retiring from public service she worked for Leavitt Partners, LLC. Throughout her career Robin was dedicated to making a positive difference in the lives of persons with special needs and disadvantaged persons. She found special pleasure in working with the Native American tribes of Utah and Washington. Her greatest professional fulfillment came in teaching social policy to Social Work graduate students at the University of Utah and University of Washington which enabled her to instill a strong sense of caring, compassion, and ethics in those who would follow her in human services careers.
Robin was drawn to the natural wonders of the western states and enjoyed visiting mountain towns and resorts with her husband and her Labrador retrievers hiking and exploring local shops looking for that special Santa to add to her collection. Her other love was “her bears”, the polar bears of northern Manitoba, Canada. She found deep joy in journeying to the shores of Hudson Bay on learning vacations to work with researchers studying the bears in their natural environment.
A celebration remembering Robin will be held from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. Wednesday, May 23, at the State Office Building Auditorium, Salt Lake City, Utah. Donations in memory of Robin can be made to The Mercy Hospice House (www.mhffnd.org), the Churchill Northern Studies Center (www.churchillscience.ca), or Susan G. Komen fund (http://www.komen.org).