Ben F. Robinson, Jr., CAFM, retired manager of support services for Royal Cup Coffee & Tea Company and past chair of the NAFA Alabama Chapter, passed away on June 24, 2022, after a short illness. He was 77.
Robinson retired from Royal Cup Coffee in January 2003 following a 20-year career with the company. He joined the company in 1983 as manager of Royal Cup’s convenience store group. In 1985, Robinson was promoted to manager of support services, which included management of the company’s more than 300-vehicle fleet. The mixed fleet was comprised of approximately 150 medium-duty trucks and 150 service vans.
Assuming Robinson’s job responsibilities at Royal Cup following his retirement was Jim Collins, who trained under Robinson. “Ben was a great friend and mentor to me as I was getting started in fleet management back in the summer of 1999,” said Collins.
Robinson was born in Birmingham, Ala., and graduated from The Georgia Institute of Technology in 1967. He later earned a master’s degree in Business Administration from Samford University in 1972.
After graduating from Georgia Tech, Robinson was commissioned an officer in the United States Marine Corps and was introduced to the F4 Phantom aircraft and a lifetime love of flying. While serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Robinson was part of a two-man crew in an F4 Phantom jet, where he served as a radar intercept officer during the Vietnam War. After completing his enlistment in the U.S. Marine Corps, Robinson joined the Alabama Air National Guard, where he continued to serve while also working for Royal Cup.
During Operation Desert Shield crisis, Robinson’s unit was activated for military service. In August 1990, Robinson served as the commander of the 117th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing during Operation Desert Shield and was based in the United Arab Emirates.
During retirement, Robinson spent 13 years living at the beach in Gulf Shores, Ala., and Orange Beach, Ala., until moving to Foley, Ala., in 2016.
Robinson was a lifetime member of Phi Gamma Delta Fraternity, the Red River Valley Association of Vietnam-era pilots, and the Phantom Society.
He is survived by his wife Cheryl Preskitt Robinson and two sons, Tres and Daniel.