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In Memoriam: David Robbins

Longtime+girlfriend+Alicia+O%E2%80%99Neil+%28%E2%80%9817%29+poses+with+David+Robbins+%28%E2%80%9817%29+before+prom+last+year%2C+May+19%2C+2017%2C+where+they+won+prom+king+and+queen.+Robbins+passed+away+Nov.+30%2C+2017.
Longtime girlfriend Alicia O’Neil (‘17) poses with David Robbins (‘17) before prom last year, May 19, 2017, where they won prom king and queen. Robbins passed away Nov. 30, 2017.

Longtime girlfriend Alicia O’Neil (‘17) poses with David Robbins (‘17) before prom last year, May 19, 2017, where they won prom king and queen. Robbins passed away Nov. 30, 2017.

Photo by Esther Francis

Photo by Esther Francis

Longtime girlfriend Alicia O’Neil (‘17) poses with David Robbins (‘17) before prom last year, May 19, 2017, where they won prom king and queen. Robbins passed away Nov. 30, 2017.

Matthew Difonzo, Staff Writer

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Rockville High School lost one of its most beloved alumni Nov. 30, 2017 when David Robbins (“17) passed away peacefully at his home in Rockville from complications due to cancer.

Robbins was first diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, during his sophomore year at RHS. It was initially isolated in his leg, but in his last eight months, the cancer spread to his lungs and spine.

Robbins earned an International Baccalaureate Diploma through his hard work and determination which landed him at St. Mary’s College of Maryland for his freshman year.

With his perseverance, he never let his diagnosis affect his focus in the classroom.

English teacher Catherine Byrne felt a strong connection to Robbins as both a family friend and one of his teachers.

“For me, David changed forever the way in which I teach. I had never Skyped with a student in class before, but David asked, and Ms. Lomax and Mr. Mirman installed a camera on my computer, and David Skyped into my sophomore English class–sometimes from his hospital bed, sometimes from bed at home,” Byrne said. “I thought this method of staying engaged with school was a genius stroke on his part, because when one is ill for a long time, it’s not just the illness that wears on us, but the isolation from others that can get us down. I admired David’s resolve to stay connected to RHS even when he was feeling his worst.”

Loved by the Rockville community, his supporters organized events such as the powderpuff football game and a basketball game where all proceeds were donated to the Robbins family to support David during his battle with cancer.

For those who knew Robbins, he was described as determined, intelligent, loving, kind-hearted, athletic and hardworking. Loved by the Rockville community, his supporters organized events such as the powderpuff football game and a basketball game where all proceeds were donated to the Robbins family to support David during his battle with cancer.

Outside of the classroom, Robbins played travel Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) basketball with “The Classics” and varsity basketball for RHS. He was named captain of the team his senior year under coach Todd Dembroski.

“David was the toughest kid that I’ve ever coached. His perseverance was on display every day in practice. He rejoined the team just weeks after undergoing chemo,” he said. “He was a captain and a leader of our team and made sure that all our players played very hard every day.”
In addition to Robbins’ hard work in the classroom, he was involved in many activities that impacted others in many ways.

As a member of the Boy Scouts of America, Robbins attained the rank of Eagle Scout–the highest rank in scouting, achieved by fewer than four percent of all scouts. In middle school, Robbins also received one of Boy Scout’s highest honors: induction into the scouting honor society known as the Order of the Arrow.

Robbins leaves a legacy at RHS about how to persevere in the wake of adversity.

“David was a friend, a role model, and a leader. He will not be forgotten,” friend Nate Marshall (“17) said.

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1 Comment

One Response to “In Memoriam: David Robbins”

  1. JoAnn Barney on February 9th, 2018 10:42 am

    This is a wonderful tribute that hopefully will bring some peace and comfort to the family of this young man.

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In Memoriam: David Robbins