In Memory of Joel Mitchell Robinson

Oct 14, 1958 - Sept 17, 2004

Swept Away in the Flood Waters at Fish Creek
Caused by Hurricane Ivan






     Joel Mitchell Robinson of Marshall County was swept away in the flood waters on Fish Creek Road late Friday night, September 17, 2004. Rapid flooding occurred that evening as a result of record rainfall associated with Hurricane Ivan.

     At nearly midnight, in that dark, rural area of Marshall County, Joel was trying to return to his home on Fish Creek. His sister said he apparently "encountered water on the road that has never been in that location before and he became a victim of this unforseen event." His truck was found in reverse gear, perhaps indicating he had tried to back out of the water. Somehow, he got out of his truck and was carried away by the rushing water. He couldn't swim but that may not have made much difference under such extreme conditions. His truck was found in 8-10 feet of water, a half mile downstream from the point on Fish Creek Road where it is believed he encountered the flash flood.

     After days of searching, Joel's body was found in Fish Creek on Thursday, September 23, about 2 miles downstream from where his truck had been found.

         Joel Mitchell Robinson, the son of Jimmy and Shirlene Gaynell (Baker) Robinson, was born October 14, 1958 at Reynolds Memorial Hospital, Glen Dale, West Virginia. He has one sister, Elisa Sharon (Sobutka).

     A descendant of Richard Robinson, born in Ireland in 1802, Joel was extremely proud of his Irish heritage.

     Following graduation from John Marshall High School, Joel received a B. S. Degree in Mechanical Engineering from West Virginia University. For many years he was employed by Ecolochem, a company that provides industrial water treatment services. The company is located in Norfolk, Virginia and was recently acquired by Ionics Corporation. Joel worked in the field, meaning he was was sent to plants all over the country.

     Joel married Dorothy Loy in 1993 and they resided on Washington Avenue, Moundsville, with their son, James Marshall Robinson. In January 2004, Joel moved to the home on Fish Creek that had belonged to his father, Jimmy, until his death there in December 2000. Joel's mother, Shirlene, died of ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease) in 1992. Joel was pleased that some of her artwork still hangs in the Marshall County Courthouse.

     Above all, Joel was a devoted father who cherished his young son more than anything in his life. He traveled the country but his heart was always in Marshall County. He wanted to save enough money to retire early so he could stay in Marshall County and be with his son full-time. He often expressed his dream of buying the Robinson Home Place on Pleasant Ridge. - He will be eternally on Pleasant Ridge, not in the homeplace but with his father, Jimmy, and other family members, at the Pleasant Ridge Cemetery.

     Joel was interested in genealogy and contributed his family information to the Marshall County WVGenWeb site. He also transcribed the 1870 Liberty District census while he was working away from home. He was particularly proud of having claimed the Civil War medals of FIVE of his relatives who served in West Virginia regiments during the Civil War. The medals were claimed from the West Virginia State Archives after providing documentary proof of his relationship to the soldiers.

     In politics, Joel was a Libertarian. In the kitchen, he was a good cook and made fabulous spaghetti sauce. He was also a beer connoisseur and spent a considerable amount of time studying the process and chemistry involved in making beer. He favored Belgian and German beers; a particular favorite was Chimay, a brew made by the Trappist Monks in Belgium. He managed to make an excellent brew that was really very comparable to it.

     Joel was an avid fan of the Cleveland Indians baseball team and he followed every game, either on television or on his laptop. - He enjoyed the "Sopranos," he knew every word of every episode of "Seinfeld," and he loved the old reruns of the "Beverly Hillbillys." - He liked to ride his four-wheel ATV in the country and he was always home for turkey hunting season that often coincided with his October birthday. On the road - because he was very smart - he was recognized as one of the best Trivia players in the country. Also on the road, for the past few years he had been trying to learn conversational French.

     In 1999, 2000, and 2001, Joel attended the gatherings of the Marshall County Virtual Genealogy Society. (And brought some of his homemade beer!)


Joel with Vernon Anderson


Vernon Anderson, Joel, V. Kay Mason, James Dague.



Provided by Lori.


Marshall County WVGenWeb

Pleasant Ridge Cemetery

All photos owned by Linda Cunningham Fluharty.