top banner

Obituary Listings

Joe Robinson

January 22, 1943 May 1, 2021
Joe Robinson
There are condolences waiting approval on Joe's Tribute wall
Obituary for Joe Robinson
Joe Robinson, age 78, died May 1, 2021.

Live Stream Link:

On Saturday morning, May 1st, (May Day) traditionally observed with dancing and singing around the “May Pole”, tied with colorful streamers or ribbons, is a celebration of springtime with early blooming, buds beginning to show, and fresh growth peeking through the ground ready to start a brand new year. Disturbingly, it also came to be regarded as a day of celebration in another style —Joe Lee Robinson’s transitory nature of earthly joy to eternal life with our Heavenly Father. His demise on “May Day” at the age of 78 was news that reverberated throughout the South Memphis area and brought reactions of the respected figure from every corner of North Mississippi and neighboring communities in the Mid-South. His sudden departure has left family and friends with feelings of loss. Family and members of the community remember him as an “inspiration” and a “dear friend”.

Joe Lee Robinson, known for the moniker of “Robert and J.R.”, to his family and friends during his childhood as well as his adult life, was a very generous person—generous in his observation, generous with his time, and generous in his giving. There simply was no one quite like him. His larger-than-life personality made him a lively individual while he walked this Earth with a phenomenal passion and a sincere spirit. He was “one-of-a-kind” and will be greatly missed; however, always cherished in the hearts of his family and friends.

“Robert/J.R.” blazed so brightly, and he died as he lived—courageously. His intense feelings of affection were unprecedented, his kindness and concern for others were unrivaled, and his commitment in all aspects of life was unparalleled. He wanted to empower people to move through whatever challenges they had in life with a sense of strength, dignity, and love. He saw a great lesson in how to live and work even while he wrestled with his illnesses.

“Robert/J.R.” was born January 22, 1943 in Marks, Mississippi. His father, Willie “Sugar” Robinson, Sr. and his mother, Nelia Granger Robinson launched farming interests and raised a family of eight offspring in the Hinchcliff community, north of Marks. He attended the schools in Quitman County, Mississippi and was a member of the Quitman County High School Class of 1963.

He confessed his faith in Jesus Christ in the denomination of the gospel at Bellview Missionary Baptist Church. Throughout his life he remained deeply committed to the Biblical principles instilled in him.

“Robert/J.R.”, who came across as just a “regular guy” from Mississippi, was determined to find work other than farming. After hearing that Memphis was a good place to live, he headed to Tennessee. In 1963, when Robert was 20 years old, he relocated to Whitehaven/ South Memphis. He would go on to have a stint working a variety of odd jobs as a handyman in addition to a career as a commercial transport driver.

He met and wed Queen Ester Hardy, the mother of his only child, Barbara R. Jackson in 1963, and later nuptial vows with Dorothy Sorrells were solemnized.

In addition to his parents, he was predeceased by his wives—Queen Ester Hardy and Dorothy Sorrells; four brothers—Isaac Robinson, W.D. (Big Willie) Robinson, Willie Robinson, Jr., and Roger G. Robinson; four sisters—Clara Mae Robinson, Glennie Mae Robinson Gates, Rose Cupil, and Paula Marie Robinson; a granddaughter—Chandra Jackson; and two stepsons—Kenneth Sorrells and Rickey Sorrells.

Survivors include his loving and caring daughter—Barbara Robinson-Jackson; two stepsons—Jeffery Sorrells, Sr. and Curtis Sorrells; a close companion—Dorothy Bell; two sisters—Katherine Robinson Wilkins (Eugene) and Doris Ann Robinson; step brothers—Charlie McBride, David Johnson, and Allen Johnson; special cousins—Ruby Jean Welch and James Cotton, a notable nephew—Garrett (Jack) Williams; four grandchildren—Shanteria Jackson, Jeffery Sorrells, Jr., Jermaine Sorrells, and Jovan Sorrells; eighteen great-grandchildren, and a multitude of beloved nieces, more adored nephews, other doting cousins, and dear friends.

A face we love is missing
A voice we know is still,
A place is vacant in our hearts
That only Joe Robinson could fill.
Tears are in our eyes
That will not go away,
Each tear is filled with wishes
That he is here with us today,
But we know he fought the good fight to the very end,
And we will always think about and remember him…again and again!

Barbara, Katherine, Doris Ann & Family

Serenity Funeral Home, Tel. (901)379-0861.
Read More

Previous Events





10:00 AM 5/12/2021 10:00:00 AM - 11:00 AM 5/12/2021 11:00:00 AM
Serenity Funeral Home

1638 Sycamore View Road
Memphis, TN 38134

Serenity Funeral Home
1638 Sycamore View Road Memphis 38134 TN
United States





11:00 AM 5/12/2021 11:00:00 AM
Serenity Funeral Home

1638 Sycamore View Road
Memphis, TN 38134

Serenity Funeral Home
1638 Sycamore View Road Memphis 38134 TN
United States

Cemetery Details


Memorial Park Southwoods Final Resting Place

5484 Hacks Cross Road
Memphis, TN 38125

5484 Hacks Cross Road Memphis 38125 TN
United States

Create new album
1 File
Webcast Video
Subscribe To Obituaries


We appreciate your support
In accordance with the wishes of the family, this
message has been declined.