|Robinson with the college's horse and buggy|
In this role, Robinson managed the school’s large support staff – as many as forty-two individuals in the 1894-95 academic year. Nearly all of these workers were African Americans, and many (including Robinson) lived in a small segregated neighborhood several blocks west of campus. There, Robinson and his wife raised their four children – three boys. One son, named Charles Duncan McIver, died at a young age. The other two sons, Ed and Milton, moved to New York City where one became a prominent orchestra leader. Robinson’s only daughter Annie, named after McIver’s daughter, graduated from Bennett College in 1932 and became an educator in Greensboro.
|Robinson (front center) with other members |
of the maintenance team
|Robinson just prior to retirement, 1944|
Ill health forced Robinson to retire in 1944 after a 52-year career, although he noted that he planned to “come to work on his good days, and that the college will have to get along as best it can when he can’t make the grade.” At his retirement, faculty and alumnae presented Robinson with a $300 gift to symbolize their “appreciation of his long and faithful service to the college.” He returned to campus numerous times after his official retirement, typically at the annual Founder's Day celebration in October.
On December 1, 1960, Ezekiel Robinson died at a local nursing home at the age of 93. Robinson was the last surviving member of the faculty and staff from the first year of the State Normal. He was interred at Maplewood Cemetery near the North Carolina A&T campus.