Mike Robison

(1954 - 2007)

Mike started working with us in the mid-1980's. Unlike most of us who were in our early 20's Mike was older and had come by a longer road. He had worked construction for 10 years before taking night classes at IUPUI and getting his electrical engineering degree. This harder road seemed to give him extra appreciation for his job and life. One day one of the engineers got ready to leave and said "Whew. It's been a hard day. I'm worn out". After he left Mike said (from experience) "I guess he's never roofed a house". To this day when someone complains about a job they don't appreciate I say "It beats roofing". His middle initial was 'R'. Someone added that to his name and his nickname of Miker was born.

In the old days Mike used to set in the office next to me so we got to know each other. He was an avid chess player and we'd watch him take on all comers. We worked together for a couple years with automated digital test code generation. That was probably the most enjoyable project I've worked on. Mike and I were a good team. We also started hanging around away from work. I had my Jeep so some of us would go 4-wheeling in the forest. Mike and Dean bought Jeeps also so for a few years we wheeled together in the Hoosier National Forest, around Bloomington, and we even made a trip to the Tell City area. Here are some pictures from those trips. Mike's Jeep developed engine troubles and he eventually sold it. One time I went water skiing with Mike and a couple guys from work. I'd never been water skiing before and I sucked, but it was fun. As darkness set they sat in the boat drinking beer while I had some Mountain Dew. The weather was beautiful and it was nice hanging out with the guys. We also went caving several times around Bloomington.

Around 1990 Mike asked if I wanted to go deer hunting on base. Neither of us had been deer hunting before and the thought was interesting. We both bought shotguns at Craig's gun shop and practiced with them. Neither of us had a truck so I borrowed my dad's old orange Ford truck. We met on base in the wee hours of Saturday morning for the pre-hunting formalities the base requires. It was COLD. We went to our area. Neither of us got a deer that day although I'm sure I hit one, but I couldn't locate it. The next Saturday Mike bagged a deer. He shot it in a valley. He had just finished gutting the deer when I arrived. He was proud of his kill. We had to drag the deer up a hill. It felt like a mile straight up. We huffed and puffed but eventually got the deer to the truck. That was the last time I went hunting.

Mount Whitney, California

About the time Mike got out of four wheeling he started his passion for rock climbing. I enjoyed listening to him explaining techniques, climbing stories, etc. He kept to a strict workout and diet when he was climbing. Two places I remember him climbing that stood out were in California at some 14,000 foot peaks and in Kentucky at the Red River Gorge. When he was in Kentucky they were walking a cliff trail and had to pass a couple copperheads.

At work he and I moved on to different projects but nearly every day we'd get together for lunch. He'd usually find me at lunchtime. When I'd see him he'd just nod and say "It's time". That was our sign for lunch. For some reason he started calling the credit union the 'credit onion'. I still think of it as the credit onion to this day. We'd eat lunch and do the Word Jumble and the Cryptoquip from the Indianapolis Star. Then, time allowing, we'd play a game of chess. 99% of the time Mike would kick my butt, but I learned a great deal. He knew the names of the moves several plays deep. I was always amazed at his knowledge...not just at chess.

Around the mid/late 1990's we both became heavily involved in different projects and our lunch activities became fewer and fewer. We still found time to hang out. I had bought a house and I picked his brain about construction ideas and information. He'd ask me about things related to guns, cars, EMS, fire department. He enjoyed programming and had started a website...Zspider.com...which unfortunately no longer exists. His website was cool and inspired me to start the Eurekaboy.com website you're reading today. I even use Westhost because that's who he used. I went to his house a couple times. Once to work on his computer. Another to check out the Harley he'd bought and to give him ideas for a water drainage project he was considering.

Over the years we'd meet in one another's office or in the hallway and catch up on things. Mike had bought a house boat and enjoyed being on the water. He had also taken up cooking and was good at it. Yummy! A few weeks ago Mike had asked me about going shooting. He had accumulated several guns he wanted to try out. One day many years ago he came to my house to look at a ParaOrdnance .45 I had. After he left I was decocking the gun and it fired...putting a hole in my bedroom wall.

He was also a great source of work related information and was a guy people went to for information. He had a lot of knowledge of VAX/VMS, digital test simulation/generation, CASS DTU, etc. He seemed to be an expert at the things that made others cringe. He was a member of several societies and groups and had a national reputation. Several years ago he became involved with printed circuit design. He noticed a need for generating replacements for obsolescent parts and over the years developed that into a large and successful project. He brought in a lot of revenue and work that was able to be spread amongst the division.

Last week he came by my desk with a box of flash drives he had bought with extra money from his projects. He said "An important guy like you needs a couple of these" and tossed me a couple drives. I said "Thanks, Santa Claus". He laughed and continued on his way. That's the last time I saw him.

Three days before Thanksgiving on Monday, November 19, 2007 Mike was driving to work when a truck swerved to miss a deer and struck his car...killing him.

Rest in Peace, Miker

Miker's MeM site

Michael Ray Robison

Michael Ray Robison, 53, of rural Bloomfield, passed away Monday, Nov. 19, 2007 from injuries sustained in an automobile accident in eastern Greene County.

Born May 5, 1954 in Indianapolis, he was the son of William Ray and Adle Bianca (Felix) Robison.

He was a dedicated employee at the Crane Naval Surface Warfare Center, where he worked as an electronics engineer.

He was the 2006 winner of the Chocolate Fest in Bloomington. He enjoyed collecting coins, boating, scuba diving and rock climbing. He helped start the Hoosier Heights rock climbing gym. His most recent hobby was working with stained glass. He loved vacationing and traveling with his family and friends.

Survivors include: his wife, Nancy (McMillian) Robison; a daughter Amber Robison and fiance' Cory of Bloomfield; step-daughter, Holly Gendron of Noblesville; a step-son Tim Gendron of Noblesville; two step-grandsons Logan Foster and Dilliam Gendron of Noblesville; and a cousin, Phyliss Felix of Indianapolis.

He was preceded in death by his parents and a brother, Timothy Lynn Robison.

Funeral services will be 7 p.m. Monday at Deremiah-Frye Mortuary, Greene & Harrell Chapel in Bloomington. Burial will follow at a later date.

Visitation will be held from 3-7 p.m. Monday at the funeral home.