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Home » Campus News Latest » Obituaries » Robin M. Holske ’65

Robin Holske, father, pianist and jazz musician passed from this world to the next April 11, 2019 after a long period of declining health.

Born on July 24, 1941, Robin grew up in Glenhead, Long Island. He loved sailing with his parents up and down Long Island Sound. As a boy, his mother delighted him with the gift of an accordion which led to lessons in The City where they explored Carnegie Hall among many other cultural attractions. Thus began his lifetime love affair with music.

His grandparents were Sr. Editors at Random House and he had a long familial history of editors and authors including Harry E Maule who edited for Sinclair Lewis.

After graduating from Antioch College he took a job in a music store where he met his wife, Maria Kennedy. Robin became an accomplished Jazz pianist.

One night while listening to long time jazz disk jockey Symphony Sid, he heard Latin music (“Yes! SALSA”), and decided then and there that he would play with a salsa band. He got his chance with Johnny Colon and afterwards joined The Rey Davila Orchestra where he later became their Music Director. With Rey he recorded “Ya Era Tiempo,” now a collector’s album that includes “Robin’s Montuno,” one of Robin’s many compositions.

Essie Hull ’64 and Pete Hull, dear friends from the Antioch days, enticed Robin and Maria to New Hampshire. As much as he loved to wryly poke fun at Cow Hampshire, he loved the outdoors and his adopted home state.

Knowing city pollution well, he reveled in New Hampshire’s fresh air, clean water, and freedom of choice within his home.

Robin was the rare single dad who filled his life with his daughter’s lives and interests. There were birthday parties, playing the recorder, paddling on Lake Umbagog, learning to ski together, and countless activities with Horizon’s Edge School.

During these years Robin made his living offering piano lessons and playing in restaurants. The Artie Shaw Jazz big band once needed a pianist and asked him to join their tour of the country. His daughter Rebecca heard the phone call. He paused a long while and replied that he would have to decline.

Though it was the dream offer of his professional life, his daughters were teens now and required a LOT OF SUPERVISION. He had both a classical and jazz radio show at WEVO in the eighties.

Robin was very outspoken against any type of racism or injustice. He was an active environmentalist, and he always offered rides to the polls during elections. Robin was a proud union member and Secretary Treasurer as well. In his younger years he was very involved with the Unitarian Universalist church and cooked every week for the congregation. While he was known to “have words” and disagreements with people, Robin never disliked anyone.

Among Robin’s accomplishments were a musical, an autobiographical novel about his travels with his two dogs across, and a book of Broadway shows from his New York City years. But his proudest achievement was being father to Rebecca and Cynthia.

Robin leaves behind his two daughters Rebecca Holske and Cynthia Holske-Sapier; two grandchildren, Alexandra Sapier and George Sapier; and Lilianna and Christopher his great, great grandchildren. They would like to thank Dr. Julia Burdick for the wonderful care provided over many years and the VNA Hospice teamCalling hours will be this Thursday from 4 to 6 PM at the Wendell Butt Funeral Home in Penacook, followed by a gathering of friends and family at the Concord Quaker Meeting at 11 Oxbow Pond Rd., Canterbury. Robin never said goodbye. He always left you with a joke.