Chuck Robbins

September 15, 1943


January 10, 2021

Chuck Robbins

September 15, 1943


January 10, 2021

On Jan. 10, 2021, we lost a wonderful father, husband, grandfather, friend, and mentor. Chuck Robbins was born to Cagie and Mary Robbins in Lincoln Park, Detroit. Chuck was an only child born into a family built on faith and hard work. Cagie worked on the General Motors assembly line until the day he retired, and Mary worked cleaning houses for any additional money they could save. Chuck was hell bent on leaving Detroit to find a better life out west.

Due to his athleticism and work ethic, Boise State offered him a football scholarship, where he thrived playing middle linebacker and pulling guard. At the time, Boise State was a junior college, so eventually he would have to take his talents to another college, which he did. His hard work and dedication would land him a scholarship at Eastern Montana College (MSUB). Chuck continued to play middle linebacker and guard at Eastern. Because of his leadership, intensity and aggressive mentality on the field, it led to his three-year stint as team captain. Chuck had a gregarious disposition and loved people and this led to his many lifelong friendships he established in college.The Eastern Montana football team still holds an annual get-together, which Chuck looked forward to each year. He loved seeing his friends, teammates and comrades. The common camaraderie men share when they step foot on the gridiron is truly unbreakable and unrivaled. Sadly, however, throughout the years, the group would get a little smaller and this year there will be one less.

Chuck never left Montana, for a couple reasons: he fell in love with the culture, the hunting, the people, but most importantly, he fell in love with the with his wife and lifelong companion of 45 years, Shelley Robbins (Grunstead). They began a family rooted in Biblical principles and faith, and God blessed them with three very outgoing boys: Zach, Levi and Ben. Chuck and Shelley devoted their lives to giving their children every opportunity, and they both sacrificed much for their sons. Shelley would be frantically running one of the boys to practice while making sure the other two had rides to their activities as well. That meant running the boys to baseball, basketball, soccer, hockey, skiing and football. They even tried piano lessons; we are pretty sure that one was Mom’s idea. During these early years, Chuck was working hard to build his business and provide for his ever-growing family. However, he always found time to coach his boys in as many sports as possible. Chuck was heavily involved with the YMCA and coached and ran the YBA program for many years. When his boys were preparing for the upcoming basketball season, he would organize a travel team and take them on the road to tournaments around the state. And once the season began, he never missed a game unless there were two going on at the same time. Chuck believed it was important for his boys to work hard and give a 100% effort to whatever it was they were pursuing. One of his favorite one-liners was, “if you’re not out there practicing, someone else is.” Dad was a fierce competitor; as early as we can remember, we would travel to his handball tournaments to watch him compete and compete he did. Dad pushed us hard because he knew we would need toughness and a dedicated work ethic to make it through this life. However, more importantly, he and Mom gave us a foundation in Christ Jesus.

Dad’s faith was the most important aspect of his daily life and he lived it out to the fullest. Our dad knew he wasn’t perfect, but he wanted to make sure his boys knew the Perfect Father — our Lord and Savior. As we look back on the memories of our father, we are constantly reminded of the early mornings where he spent his time in daily devotions, either at the dining room table or on the back porch. Dad also loved his men’s Bible studies. Year after year, he was involved with some type of men’s study with the goal of becoming more grounded in his faith.

When it came to hobbies, one of our fathers favorite pastimes was bird hunting. He introduced us to it at a very early age — starting with the bird dogs. We always had some type of bird dog in our family — German Shorthairs or Vizslas. It was a priority to get out and spend time in nature with his boys. Over the years, we have accumulated so many great memories of spending time with Dad in the rolling prairies of Montana and “chasing birds.”

In Dad’s later years, his passion and love focused on his grandkids. Mom and Dad have been blessed with nine healthy, rambunctious grandchildren. Dad always thanked the good Lord for giving him more time to build relationships with these kiddos, and he looked forward to every minute he could spend with them.

Over the last half of Dad’s life, he struggled with some health issues, which debilitated him when it came to his ability to walk. However, throughout each obstacle, Dad fought back. His motto was to “never give up.” His favorite cartoon was of a frog in the vice of a pelican’s beak with only his feet sticking out and hands wrapped around the pelican’s throat — the caption read, “Never give up”!

Dad, thank you for all the wonderful memories — we are forever grateful for your love, grace, discipline and sacrifice. Until we meet again, let us depart by saying what you always said to us: “I love you and I am proud of you.”

Services are open to the public and will be at 11 a.m. Friday, Jan. 15, at Faith Chapel, 517 Shiloh Road.

The service will be livestreamed at

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Fruit Bearers, PO Box 2923, Leavenworth, WA 98826;; e-mailed to

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18 thoughts on “Chuck Robbins”

  1. Will miss my buddy Chuck we had many great conversations at his office. Chuck was always happy to see me as I was happy to see him. He was great for making time for friends and would have you sit down next to him that’s when the question and answers would start. We would talk about football Boise State football Chuck talked about his playing day’s at Boise State I liked listening to him. We would also get together at church in Red Lodge and would sit and just enjoy each others company. Chucks health limited his visits to church and I missed him when he wasn’t there that’s why I visited him at his office. We won’t have them anymore and that makes me sad. But I know he’s in a better place know more pain thanks for the time we had together Chuck I really miss you Rest In The Fathers Arms my Friend.

  2. A man who always put all he had into his Lord, his beautiful family, his hard work and into others. I smile everytime I think of Chuck. I loved his wit, his grace, his stories, and his humor. He helped me be who I am today just by being himself. I am honored to have worked for Chuck and it will always be a favorite time in my life. I had just started working for Chuck and he sent me to get lunch with a $24 check. I returned with the food and tipped the change. All of it. What a great tipper, I thought to myself. I was young and just assumed that’s what it was for. I will never forget the laugh we had over that, and the look on his face when he asked for the change and I told him where it was. It wasn’t the only time I’d entertain him so, but it was the first. Looks like I will always owe you that catfish I promised you, Chuck. And when I finally catch one, I will have stories to tell about you and why I am so excited about that catfish. Thank you for being you. May we all be so fortunate as to have someone in our lives that inspires us the way you have inspired me. May we all aspire to carry a soul so bright as yours and to shine it on others as much as you have. Sincerest condolences to the Robbins family, who carry his bright light onward. I wish you all comfort and healing at this difficult time.

  3. What A Great Guy..
    Many memories of times around Chuck At Eastern.
    He was always Happy & Friendly.
    On The Football Field, What A Competitor.
    Sorry For You Loss
    Vince Tomassi

  4. Shelley and the boys,
    I got to know Chuck working across the hall from him on 1629 Avenue D. He always had a smile and a positive outlook on life. He helped raise a great family. His hard work and faith in Jesus will be his legacy. May God help your family thru these difficult days.
    He is in a much better place now!!! I envy him.

  5. It was through our boy’s basketball that I met Chuck. His dedication to them and their sports was obvious and impressive. Over the years, he was someone I enjoyed running into and exchanging information on what our boys were doing. We, individually and as a community, were lucky to have him. To Shelley, his sons and family, my thoughts and prayers are with you. Thank you for sharing the well written words about Chuck.

  6. Chuck,
    A dynamic personality that always placed his family first. One who would never
    pass by you without saying hello. A super competitor that still had a soft heart for people and their feelings. Would not complain about his illness and setbacks.
    Had a super sense of humor that would end with a smile and a laugh. Folks
    more than liked Chuck, they loved Chuck Robbins!

  7. Shelley and family:
    Chuck was one of my best friends We were in high school together in Michigan, played football together, and did a lot of “hanging out !” He’s was constantly humerous, and always fun…after I got out of the army, (50 plus years ago) Chuck was in Billings and had me and friends come visit him for a hunting trip…introduced me to “wild” Montana, and I never went back to Michigan. Later we lived 400 miles apart, and I always regret not seeing him more..I’ll truly miss him..

  8. Summerfield Baldridge

    Sincerest condolences to the Chuck Robbins family. I met Chuck as a 15 year old interested in playing handball. He and Bob Pasquerello, and others, took their limited time to bring me along and I will never forget it. The challenge, reward, and camaraderie of that sport were on full display at the Billings Y. Chuck was a standout player and competitor that had fun while trying hard. I looked up to Chuck, and have been rewarded with a pass time for fifty years. Chuck also helped me start my first business–house painting. He was a realtor who worked with my Dad, and I took him up on offers to paint listed houses. Proof that he had a strong sense of humor was when he let me paint his first home/house: I painted many windows shut, and that was just as Shelly moved in.
    I am blessed to have known Chuck, and join all in celebrating his life and knowing he’s in the next one. Best to everyone. And if you get to the Flathead I’d be honored to spend some time.

  9. My condolences. Chuck had a great way of explaining things a couple times when I had questions for him.
    His comments about the beautiful summer weather we are having during the nastiest blizzards will sorely be missed.

  10. We are so sad about this enormous heartache you must endure after losing such an amazing husband, father, and friend. We pray for God to wrap His loving arms around you and comfort you as you are hurting.
    “Come to Me, all you who are weary and heavy burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

  11. Shelley, I am so sorry to read of your loss. I know how much you cherished him. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. Sending a virtual hug.

  12. We send you our heartfelt prayers as you and the family mourn your loss. Chuck was always ready to give out smiles, and we always appreciated his good-natured attitude. He no longer has those physical limitations that plagued his later years. God bless his memory.
    Steve and Jane Erickson

  13. ZooMontana would like you to know a gift was received in memory of Chuck from the Billings Association of Realtors. Please accept our condolences.

    Jeff Ewelt
    Executive Director

    1. My sincere and heartfelt condolences to Shelly and her family. These are wonderful people and we all lost a good man who left us with many memories. Mike Leffler

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