HARTFORD, CONN. – Elaine (Mark) Robin of Bloomfield, Connecticut, died at Hartford Hospital on April 19.
Elaine was born and raised in New York City, graduating from the High School of Music & Art and Hunter College, where she majored in Home Economics. At age 20, she married William Robin with whom she lived in Providence, Easton, Pennsylvania, and Centerville, Massachusetts, before their final move to Bloomfield, Connecticut in 2007. She was the daughter of the late Charles and Mollie (Weissbloom) Mark, and sister of Sidney, Manny and Bernie Mark, Felice Lippert and Ann Tannenbaum, all of whom predeceased her.
In the early 1960s, while preparing for certification as an elementary school teacher in Providence, Elaine took the train to New York City every other week to participate in one of the first Weight Watchers classes with Jean Nidetch, founder of Weight Watchers International. After shedding 42 pounds over the course of a year, Elaine accepted the challenge to lead her own Weight Watchers classes in Providence, becoming the first owner of a regional Weight Watchers franchise. Elaine was the president and director of Weight Watchers of Rhode Island and Eastern Massachusetts from 1965-1981, when she and Will retired to Cape Cod.
Elaine had an adventurous, mischievous and optimistic spirit with which she embraced life and enriched the lives of others. She was constantly creating and nurturing beautiful things, including indoor and outdoor gardens grown “from seed,” elaborate sewing, knitting, quilting, carpentry and ceramics projects, and beautiful meals, all prepared with love. She was an early technology buff, beginning in the 1960s with her CB radio, on through the latest computer technology for the visually impaired. She was a natural teacher and beloved friend who loved tackling challenges of all kinds, including those that weren’t her own.
In addition to her husband, Elaine leaves daughters Susan Bookbinder (Steve), of Newton, Massachusetts, Ellen Robin (Michael Katz) of Sebastopol, California, Beth Robin (Peter Manuel) of Leonia, New Jersey, Deborah Robin (Jack Horak), of West Hartford, Connecticut, and former son-in-law Sandy Isenstadt of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Progeny include grandchildren Sarah Bookbinder (Harold Park), Rachel Bookbinder, Maya Bookbinder; Ivan Katz (Zoe Unruh), Asher Katz, and Jonah Katz; Sophie and Lili Manuel, Aaron and Anna Isenstadt, and great-grandchildren Eve and Seth Park.
Her memory will be cherished by many friends who considered her their second mom, beloved nieces and nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews, and lifelong friends who found their way to her home, table, and heart. Most recently at Duncaster in Bloomfield, Connecticut, Elaine befriended residents and staff alike. The family especially thanks Duncaster staff members Lou Desario, Sara Janowski-Therion, Laurie Wikiera, and Peter and Cathy Petillo for their friendship and talents, as well as Jacqueline Harrison, who provided companionship and assistance to Elaine during the last months of her life.
Contributions may be made to the Duncaster Staff Education Fund, 40 Loeffler Road, Bloomfield, CT, 06002.