(July 27, 2002)
Bain Lagard Robbins, 85, died July 27 at the Powell Hospital of natural causes.
He was born Aug. 7, 1916 in Flatridge, Va., the fourth son of John L and Alvirdia Herrington Robbins. The family farmed in Comers Rock, Va., until 1924, when they moved to Madison, Neb. and continued farming. In 1936 they sold all their farm equipment and moved to Powell in 1937.
Bain and his father helped build the U.S. Post Office on Bent Street. Bain was driving a gravel truck for a cousin, Stan Moore, when he met his future wife. He married Elenora "Nonnie" Heimer on Jan. 18, 1938 in Joliet, Mont.
Bain also drove truck for Fred Keller and worked on the Heart Mountain Canal.
In 1941, Bain and Nonnie built their home on South Douglas Street and resided there ever since.
In 1945, he started work for Oscar Hillman at Case Implement, working on tractors and other farm equipment. In the spring of 1948, he went to work for Edger Swallow and Maurice Knutson at John Deere Implement. He spent seven and a half years as a John Deere mechanic. In 1954, Bain joined the International Harvester team at Johnson-Bolmeier Implement. Bain worked for that business, which later became Swenson-Anderson, for the next 23 1/2 years.
He built a reputation as a capable and honest mechanic.
He was also known as Santa Claus to many youngsters and wore out three Santa suits. He loved children.
His Powell friends will remember him for his many years of umpiring softball games.
He also was a longtime collector of toy farm machinery.
Survivors include his wife, Nonnie; children, Gary and Carolyn Robbins, of Worland; Marty and Jeanette Robbins of Rapid City, S.D.; John Robbins of Powell; and Elva Lee and Jake Kauffman of Gillette; nine grandchildren, 22 great-grandchildren and eight great-great-grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents; two brothers; Gene and "Cup" Robbins; a sister, Mable Schmidt; and grandsons Michael Bain Kelley and Bain Allen Robbins.
Graveside rites were planned for today (Tuesday) at 10 a.m. at Crown Hill Cemetery.
Ballard Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.