Bill Robinson has been a thread in the fabric of the Dunwoody community since he bought his home in 1973, he said, when he was about halfway through his 30-year Army career. For the past 41 years, and he’s worked on various boards and committees with the Dunwoody Homeowners Association because he wanted to serve his community as he served his country, he said.
“I’m guessing that even Bill can’t tell you all the things he’s done for Dunwoody,” Mayor Mike Davis said. “He’s forgotten more of what he’s done than most people have even thought of doing.”
The DHA gave back to Robinson for his decades of dedication, naming him Citizen of the Year at its annual meeting on Jan. 11. The organization started giving out the Citizen of the Year award three years ago to honor those who selflessly give to the community, said Stacey Harris, the DHA immediate past president.
“Through their own actions, they make Dunwoody a better place to live,” Harris said of the recipients, including Pam Tallmadge, Billy Grogan and Jay Kapp.
More than four decades after the DHA started, Robinson says he still believes the most important goal of the DHA is its “going to bat” for homeowners. He described how a developer in the late 1960s wanted to build condos in the Dunwoody Village Park area, and homeowners felt that such construction would push out family style homes, so the DHA formed and subsequently became “very powerful,” Robinson said.
DHA President Robert Wittenstein said Robinson’s commitment to Dunwoody is inspiring to the rest of the people who live there.
“Bill Robinson is one of those people who has been involved in Dunwoody year, after year, after year,” Wittenstein said. “He is an inspiration to the rest of us.”
Organizing the Fourth of July Parade in 1991 is something both Harris and Wittenstein cited as a huge accomplishment for Robinson, who says the parade is now the biggest in the state of Georgia. More than 2,000 people participate, Robinson said, and more than 25,000 people come to watch every year.
“When I came back from Korea, they didn’t recognize veterans,” Robinson said. He said Vietnam veterans were treated poorly in the past and he wanted Dunwoody to be a place that honored its soldiers’ service. He laughs thinking back at how “pitifully small” the parade was in its inaugural year.
Harris calls his founding of the Dunwoody Fourth of July Parade one of Robinson’s most meaningful contributions to the City of Dunwoody, but she said his ability to bring others together is his biggest accomplishment.
“He has an uncanny ability to compel people to raise their hands and say, ‘I’ll do that. I’ll help.’ He is a patriot, civic leader and trusted adviser of many in our community,” Harris said.
In addition to recognizing veterans in the parade, Robinson has worked to recognize soldiers on Memorial Day in Brook Run Park, Harris said.
Robins said he feels humbled by his recognition because so many residents are deserving of accolades for their work in the community.
“It’s an honor to be recognized by an organization I’ve been involved with for many years,” he said. “I tell people when they gather, don’t forget we live in a little piece of heaven here in Dunwoody.”