Michelle and Barack Obama lead tributes to her late mother: ‘There will only be one Marian Robinson’ | EUROtoday

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Michelle and Barack Obama led a refrain of politicians and celebrities in paying tribute to her late mom, Marian Robinson.

Ms Robinson, often called the “first grandma” or “grandma in residence” throughout former president Obama’s time in workplace, died on Friday on the age of 86, based on a press release from her household.

“My mom Marian Robinson was my rock, always there for whatever I needed,” wrote Michelle Obama on Friday night. “She was the same steady backstop for our entire family, and we are heartbroken to share she passed away today.”

Barack Obama additionally mentioned: “There was and will be only one Marian Robinson. In our sadness, we are lifted up by the extraordinary gift of her life. And we will spend the rest of ours trying to live up to her example.”

A press release collectively posted on Medium by the Obamas and the Robinsons described how she had supported them by means of the turbulent years of his rise to energy, and had taken some “nudging” to depart Chicago and transfer in with them when he grew to become president.

“The trappings and glamour of the White House were never a great fit for Marian Robinson,” the couple wrote. “’Just show me how to work the washing machine and I’m good,‘ she’d say.’”

Tennis champion star and LGBT+ pioneer Billie Jean King expressed her “deepest condolences”, recalling a contented time she had spent with Ms Robinson in the course of the US Open tennis competitors in 2013.

First Lady Michelle Obama and her mother Marian Robinson
First Lady Michelle Obama and her mom Marian Robinson (AFP through Getty Images)

Comedian and TV host Loni Love additionally paid tribute, calling her “always classy, kind, and beautiful”, whereas Oscars variety activist April Reign posted: “RIP”.

Viola Davis, the actress and movie producer recognized for her starring roles in 2011’s The Help and the ABC TV present How to Get Away With Murder, wrote on Instagram: “What a quiet, powerful force you were.

“Your legacy is in what you planted: your belief that the children you bring into the world are already who they’re meant to be. Rest well, Mrs Robinson. ‘May flights of angels sing thee to thy rest’.”

Other tributes got here from New York congressman Adriano Espaillat, political strategist Shermichael Singleton, and Chicago mayor Brandon Johnson.

The Obamas’ assertion went on to elucidate her humorousness throughout her eight years with them within the White House.

“Rather than hobnobbing with Oscar winners or Nobel laureates, she preferred spending her time upstairs with a TV tray, in the room outside her bedroom with big windows that looked out at the Washington Monument. The only guest she made a point of asking to meet was the Pope.

Marian Robinson and Barack Obama hand out food at a charity giveaway in November 2009, Washington DC
Marian Robinson and Barack Obama hand out food at a charity giveaway in November 2009, Washington DC (Ron Sachs/Pool/Getty Images)

“Over those eight years, she made great friends with the ushers and butlers, the folks who make the White House a home. She’d often sneak outside the gates to buy greeting cards at CVS, and sometimes another customer might recognize her. ‘You look like Michelle’s mother,’ they’d say. She’d smile and reply, ‘Oh, I get that a lot.’”

Marian Lois Shields Robinson was born in 1937, one in all seven youngsters raised in what the Obamas described as “a tiny upstairs apartment on the red-lined South Side of Chicago”.

While she was rising up, she watched her dad and mom battle with racial segregation. Her father, Purnell Shields, was unable to affix a union or work for sure building companies due to the colour of his pores and skin.

The Obama family gathers to light the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC on 9 December, 2010
The Obama household gathers to mild the National Christmas Tree in Washington DC on 9 December, 2010 (SAUL LOEB/AFP through Getty Images)

As an grownup, Ms Robinson studied to be a instructor and later labored as a secretary, married Fraser Robinson and had two youngsters, Craig and Michelle.

The Obamas described Ms Robinson as a steadfast supply of assist and encouragement, together with when Michelle “married a guy crazy enough to go into politics.”

“At every step, as our families went down paths none of us could have predicted, she remained our refuge from the storm, keeping our feet on solid ground,” the household wrote. “On election night in 2008, when the news broke that Barack would soon shoulder the weight of the world, she was there, holding his hand.”

Feeding apples to giant pandas during a visit to China in March 2014
Feeding apples to massive pandas throughout a go to to China in March 2014 (PETAR KUJUNDZIC/AFP through Getty Images)

At the White House, Ms Robinson was all the time cautious to retain her personal separate area, reportedly staying away from the administration’s nerve centre within the West Wing and dwelling in an house on a unique flooring to the Obamas.

Nevertheless, she regularly accompanied the couple to official occasions corresponding to Christmas carol singing, in addition to diplomatic visits to the UK, South Africa, and China – the place she shook palms with Chinese president Xi Jinping and visited the Forbidden City.

After the tip of Mr Obama’s presidency in 2017, Ms Robinson moved again to Chicago and hung out travelling and “reconnecting with longtime friends”.

The assertion mentioned that she died peacefully.