Memorial service to honor late Chamber director Robertson

Published 10:02 am Friday, March 7, 2014

Remembering a friend: Robertson is shown with (left photo) wife Patsy and Gay West.

Remembering a friend: Robertson is shown with (left photo) wife Patsy and Gay West.

Mike Robertson had a way with people.

As the former director of the Chilton County Chamber of Commerce, Robertson could give you an assignment, and you’d almost feel the need to thank him for it.

But he was no taskmaster. Robertson’s focus was always the good of the Chamber, and by extension, the community in general.

His focus was certainly never himself. After another successful Peach Jam, or whatever other effort he helped organize, Robertson made sure you knew how good of a job you did, and how important your job was to the success of the event.

Even when Robertson didn’t need something from you, he was always willing to give of himself, whether it be advice or help with a problem. And he had a sense of humor that made everyone around him at ease.

Those qualities and many more allowed Robertson to have two successful stints as Chamber director—and contribute to Chilton County in ways beyond his work.

Robertson passed away on Feb. 28, after a battle with cancer, and will be remembered at a memorial service at 1 p.m. Saturday at Clanton First Baptist Church.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made to the Michael Robertson Scholarship Fund at LeCroy Career Tech Center. Checks should be made to the Chamber with a note for designation to the scholarship fund.

The fund will benefit students who wish to attend the school but can’t afford tuition.

Robertson leaves a void at the Chamber and in the community. Many miss him, but they can be assured that they are better equipped to handle the community’s challenges, and the challenges in their personal lives, because they knew Robertson, a man who was a mentor to many.

Clanton accountant and businesswoman Janice Hull is one of those. She was a member of the Chamber’s Board of Directors when Mike was hired in 1999.

Robertson, a Montgomery native, had previously worked in sales and human resources, traveling around the country.

Hull remembers Robertson saying, “We just came through here and loved it and wanted to stay.”

He and his wife Patsy did, at least for five years. From 2004 until 2009, Robertson helped with his son’s construction business in Millbrook. He returned to Chilton County and the Chamber in 2009.

“He was so organized, it seemed like everything got better,” Hull said about Robertson’s involvement with Chamber efforts, such as the Peach Jam Jubilee, the annual banquet and monthly luncheons.

The Chilton County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors is hiring a temporary coordinator to run the organization for six months, during which time the board would analyze the Chamber’s future and needs.

While certainly a critical time for the chamber, Hull said Robertson would want the board and community, as he so often did, to take a positive approach.

“Mike would want us to think about this as an opportunity,” Hull said.