Michelle Denise Robinson, 60 years old, passed on September 15, 2023 in Ames, Iowa. She was born on August 29, 1963 in Sherman, Texas. Michelle grew up in Ames, Iowa and graduated from Ames Senior High School. She achieved a Bachelor of Arts in Government from Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts. During her life she lived in Texas, Indiana, Iowa, Massachusetts, Kentucky, and Florida. She always enjoyed Ames and returned a couple of times as an adult to live there. She was an avid swimmer, dancer, musician, outdoor enthusiast, and social activist.
Michelle learned to love the outdoor environment through many family trips to parks, camping trips, and then a canoe trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Minnesota while she was in high school. Michelle was an avid swimmer and competed from a young age through Ames Senior High School and at Smith College. "Persistence pays off" became a truth that she lived by through sports and later in other aspects of her life. Michelle was also active in the arts. She started dancing at a young age and continued through high school where she performed modern dance. She played both violin and flute and sang in choirs through high school and college.
Michelle was a keen researcher with excellent critical thinking and organizational skills. She was interested in the government, her local community, and social activism wherever she lived. While at Smith College she was involved in the Student Government Association for four years and a key college seminar for her was on "Science, Technology, and Public Policy". After college, she was employed as a legal researcher in Massachusetts and later in Kentucky. She was a founding member of the Kentuckians for Free Expression (KRE) and helped organize a conference on Feminism and the First Amendment with the ACLU of Kentucky and Artswatch (a non-profit contemporary arts organization). As a member of the Kentucky Conservation Committee (KCC) she worked as a citizen lobbyist for environmental issues. She also worked at the Iowa Toxic Action Network (ICAN) and was involved with the Sierra Club Conservation Committee. Later, she became interested in local government and disabilities where she worked as a Disability Determiner in both Kentucky and Florida.
Michelle is survived by the following immediate family members and their spouses: father Eugene, brother Doug (wife Monica Booe), sister Sharna Igou (husband Michael Igou), brother Scott, sister-in-law Kathy (wife of Mark), and brother Matthew (wife Erika ).
She was preceded in death by her mother Marlene Robinson, brother Mark Robinson, and sister-in-law Kaycee Robinson (late wife of Matthew).
She is also survived by the following children of immediate family members. The children of sister Sharna are niece Kira Ochoa (husband Joe), nephew Jackson Clark, and nephew Calvin Clark (wife Meagan Mccleary). The children of brother Mark (wife Kathy) are niece Bridgit and niece Megan. The child of brother Matthew (wife Erika) is niece Lydia. And great nephew Rhett Ochoa is the son of Kira and Joe Ochoa.
A memorial service will be conducted in June of 2024 at St John's by the Campus, Ames, Iowa. Please refer to these web pages for more information:
In lieu of flower or other gifts, please consider a contribution to one of the following organizations that Michelle was involved with:
· Ames History Museum - donations at http://www.ameshistory.org/content/donate-museum
· Ames Public Library - donations at https://aplff.org/
· Story County Conservation (Friends of Conservation Trust Fund) - donations at https://www.mycountyparks.com/County/Story/Donations.aspx