Laurence (Larry) Jay Robbins, 70, died in Denver, Colorado on February 12th 2021, after a two-year battle with cancer.
Larry was born in Baltimore, Maryland in 1950 to Martin and Marjorie Robbins. Throughout his life, Larry was an outstanding student and avid athlete. He joined his high school swimming and tennis teams, and was recognized as an excellent golfer by age 16. He played lacrosse at Duke University, where he graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in chemistry.
Larry pursued a career in medicine in the footsteps of his father, who was Chief of Urology at Baltimore’s Sinai Hospital. Larry graduated from the University of Rochester School of Medicine in 1975 and completed an internal medicine residency at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia in 1978. He went on to pursue fellowships in general internal medicine and geriatric medicine at the University of Colorado and Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center respectively.
His distinguished career as a geriatrician began at the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center in 1986, where he remained on staff as Chief of Geriatric Medicine until 2019. During that time, he was also Associate Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. Larry had an impact on medicine around the world, volunteering in former Yugoslavia and more recently in Zimbabwe. After retirement and despite his cancer diagnosis, Larry continued to volunteer his time teaching at the VA hospital.
It is impossible to fully describe the impact Larry had on the lives and health of thousands of veterans and their families over the past 35 years. His wealth of knowledge and experience could only be defined as extraordinary. He possessed the gift of explaining the most complicated and frightening medical conditions in simple, comforting terms to veterans and their families. The bond of trust this produced is rarely seen in medicine today. Even in the most difficult situations, his patients often felt comfort in knowing he was directing their care. As his patients approached the end of their lives, they and their loved ones went through those final moments feeling at peace.
Larry was an exemplary clinician and dedicated educator. His passion in life was sharing his knowledge and experience with others. He made a significant impact on the education of thousands of healthcare providers. Larry’s work had a tremendous influence on the understanding and practice of elder care. His students and colleagues are better providers to elderly patients because of Larry.
Larry loved to spend time outdoors and was a talented golfer and fisherman. He loved living in Colorado and enjoyed long hikes around his property in Evergreen.
Our presence on earth and the footprint we leave impacts our loved ones and the community we call home. Through his generosity, leadership, and pedagogy, Larry made the world a better place. His legacy will be carried on by those he influenced and mentored.
Larry is survived by his wife of 40 years, Susan, his daughters Megan, Carrie, and Hannah, his siblings Martha Ruane and Carl Robbins, and a large extended family.
A memorial service will be held at 3:30pm on Friday, February 19th on Zoom.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to:
Bfit Bwell at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado
The American Cancer Society
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