Kyle Robeson, major Champaign philanthropist and businessman, passes away


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA)–A major force in the Champaign-Urbana area passed away last Saturday.

Kyle Robeson was 92 years old. His impact is felt throughout the community as a businessman, philanthropist, and advocate for the boy scouts. The Robeson family has been known for its philanthropy for generations, even before Kyle Robeson was born. Throughout his 92 years, he became known as a man who wore many different hats throughout the community.

This book published by author Cal Acosta about the Robeson Department Store highlights just how influential a family the Robeson’s are.

His grandfather founded that store, and played a huge role in creating Robeson park. While his father Frank Robeson Jr. Was instrumental in helping to open Robeson Elementary School. Champaign School District’s Superintendant Susan Zola says their generosity has always ran in the family.

“We see from their commitment to the public library, their developments in southwest Champaign,” Zola said. “That this whole family is committed to the community,”

Although the department store closed in 1990, Kyle Robeson took the next step and became a real estate developer in town. One of his most lasting impact remains as a lifelong advocate, donor and supplier for the boy scouts.

“He is someone who is very forward thinking,” Jared White said. “he’s a major donor for our council,”

When the Prairieland Council opened its office and scout shop in 2000, they named the shop after him.

“Without gentlemen like Mr. Robeson and Mrs. Robeson, we would not be able to complete our mission and provide the scouting experience to all the youth in the CU Area,” White said.

Robeson is survived by his wife Phyllis, his daughter Kim and his son Eric.

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