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Longtime Dawson educator dies

'Miss Plennie' taught for six decades

POSTED: July 20, 2008 5:03 a.m.
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Robinson

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Known affectionately as “Miss Plennie” by generations of Dawson County school children, Plennie J. Robinson died July 2 at age 88, following a period of declining health.

A native of Royston, Robinson lived most of her adult life in Dawsonville. She served in the Navy during World War II before marrying her husband, Ralph, and moving to Dawson County, according to her obituary.

Considered by many to be one of Dawson County’s most beloved educators, Robinson, began her teaching career in the county’s one-room schoolhouses.

She taught elementary school in Dawson County for more than 65 years, before retiring in 2005.

“She taught me and she taught all my children,” said Nicky Gilleland, Dawson County school superintendent. “She was the most wonderful teacher I ever had. She just brought out the best in everybody.”

Generations of Dawson County students recall Miss Plennie’s “Grandfather Tales” as she shared her love for reading daily with her students.

“She was an inspiration to us all — the way she encouraged us to read and the way she brought books and stories to life,” said Gilleland, who credits Robinson as his mentor when he entered the education field.

Local historian and longtime friend Charles Finley said he still remembers sitting with Miss Plennie at lunch during seventh grade and listening to her read to the students.

“I was so mad in seventh grade, because all my friends were in Miss Plennie’s class and I wasn’t. But at lunch she would sit with the students who brought their lunch and read to them,” he said.

Her passion for teaching and sharing her love for reading will live on in the local school system with the dedication of the Plennie J. Robinson Library at the Dawson County Middle School on Aug. 3, which is set to open this fall.

Initially upon learning about the library dedication, Gilleland said Robinson scolded him, saying he knew better than to put her in the spotlight.

“But she was happy about it,” he said.

Finley is currently writing a book about Dawson County’s one-room school houses and relied

heavily on Miss Plennie’s input. “The last time I saw her in the home in Cumming, I thought she wasn’t going to remember me. But the first thing she said was, ‘Have you got that book done?’” Finley said.

Finley is putting the finishing touches on the book now and hopes to go to press in the fall.

“I tried real hard to get it finished, so Miss Plennie could see it, but I had been taking pages to her to read, and she was happy with what she saw,” he said.

Robinson was preceded in death by her husband.  Survivors include her sister and brother-in-law, Flo and George Koermer of Maryland; nieces and nephews, Ann Story, Stacey and Tim Gravitt, Sam and Kelley Story, Judd and Brynn Gravitt, Robert and Maryann Story, all of Cumming; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, Herbert and Blanche Robinson of Gainesville; C.I. Robinson of Dawsonville; various other relatives also survive.

Funeral services were held at the Bearden Funeral Home Chapel with Rev. Hugh Fields officiating.

Interment followed in the Dawsonville City Cemetery.

Bearden Funeral Home of Dawsonville was in charge of the arrangements.

E-mail Michele Hester at michele@dawsonnews.com.

 

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