Gardening 06

Robin (Roberta Ann) McKinney Weiss

March 9, 1938 ~ January 20, 2022 (age 83)

Obituary

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Robin (Roberta Ann) McKinney Weiss, age 83. She died peacefully on Thursday, January 20, 2022, at Longwood at Oakmont Retirement Community in Plum Borough, PA.

Robin was born March 9, 1938, in Pittsburgh, PA, to Samuel Norwell and Roberta (Patterson) McKinney. Sam and his brothers, Bill and Jim, built houses after WWII in the eastern suburbs of Pittsburgh (Penn Hills, Wilkinsburg, Forest Hills, Munhall). Sam eventually started his own company, Samuel Land Company. Robin was so dearly loved by Sam that he named a street after her in Forest Hills (Roberta Drive), and a house that he built in Chautauqua, NY, (“Robinaire”) where they spent many summers.

After graduating from Winchester-Thurston in 1956, she attended Ohio Wesleyan for two years. During college, she was married to Wylie T. Scott Jr., after which she returned to Pittsburgh, graduating class of 1961 from Margaret Morrison, part of Carnegie Tech (now Carnegie Mellon University) with a degree in Home Economics.

As Wylie pursued a medical degree, Robin worked as a teacher at Penn Hills Jr. High. After the birth of their first son Craig, Wylie’s medical internship took the family to Miami (during the Cuban missile crisis), and then to the U.S. Air Force Base in Chamblay, France, where their daughter Heather was born. Returning to the United States, they settled in Rochester, Minnesota, where their third child Douglas was born.

After Robin and Wylie divorced, she moved back to Pittsburgh with their three kids. During this time she worked for the John Heinz electoral campaign, tutored children with dyslexia, and was a runway model.

Several years later, she met attorney Charles (Charlie) Weiss, a widower, and they married in March 1973. Charlie was a father of four - Jim, Chris, Chuck, and Mary. The blended family soon became “his, hers, and theirs” (or the Brady Bunch + 2, she liked to say), with the birth of two more sons, Robert and Jeffrey.

Raising a family of nine kids was no small task, but Robin and Charlie pulled it off as a devoted and loving couple; a “united front”. Many happy years followed, with Christmases at Garrick Drive, Thanksgivings at “The Barn” in Moraine State Park, and epic summer trips to New Hampshire, each place overflowing with people and laughter. Throughout the 70s and 80s, their house was always open to kids' parties, church youth group meetings, and the occasional teenaged friend or cousin who needed time away from their own family. She made sure there was always room for one more.

From Impressionist painting to ballet and classical music, Robin had a lifelong love for design and the arts. From cooking to knitting to sewing kids’ clothes and Halloween costumes, she was always making something special for someone. In the 1980s, she started working with the family business, Samuel Land Company. Here she applied these same design skills by starting a division of the company dedicated to buying and renovating Victorian homes.

For many years Robin served and volunteered at her church, St. James Episcopal in Penn Hills. She was an active member of the Vestry and served as senior warden for several years. From running spaghetti dinner fundraisers to corralling kids at Christmas pageants, she was always active in the church. 

In the late ‘80s, she was a part of St. James mission trips to Mixco, Guatemala, where the group donated time, money, and physical labor at the Agua Viva orphanage. For 32 years she helped fund the community ministry of police chaplain Rev. Rob Dewey. The Lowcountry Community Chaplaincy is a non-profit ministry based in Charleston, SC, which provides on-scene support for victims of crime and their families.

Robin valued education - she encouraged all her kids to pursue higher educations. Robin was a member of the American Association of University Women, a non-profit organization that advances equity for women and girls through advocacy and education.

Over the last ten years, she made a big difference in the lives of 20 of the poorest girls in an area of Northern Nigeria racked by kidnapping and violence. She annually paid for their tuition, food and board. Many of these girls affectionally known in Nigeria as “Robin’s girls” will be graduating from High School this year.  In addition to the support for the girls, she also helped complete a new dormitory, bought computers for the new computer science class, and lab equipment for the school’s first laboratory science course.

Robin and Charlie loved traveling together, often with friends from St. James. Among their favorite places to visit were Rome, Ireland, and Israel. After Charlie passed away in 2013, Robin spent time reading books, studying family genealogy, visiting with various family members, and enjoying the companionship of her dog ‘Murphy' at Longwood. 

She was preceded in death by her husband Charles Weiss, and stepson Christopher Ingham Weiss. She is survived by her children and stepchildren James Langdon Weiss, Rev. Charles Sumner Weiss, Craig Curtis Scott, Mary Weiss Aiken, Heather Sharon Scott, Douglas McKinney Scott, Robert Wallace Weiss, and Jeffrey Michael Weiss. She was 'Nana' to 21 grandchildren and four great grandchildren.

In honor of her lifelong love of gardening, a celebration of her life will be held on Sunday, March 6th, 2022, at Phipps Conservatory at 10:30 AM. 

In lieu of flowers, please feel free to donate to: Lowcountry Community Chaplaincy, P.O. Box 20743, Charleston SC 29413, www.lowcountrychaplains.org

 

 

 

 

 

 

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Robin (Roberta Ann) McKinney Weiss, please visit our floral store.


Services

Celebration of Life
Sunday
March 6, 2022

10:30 AM
Phipps Conservatory
1 Schenley Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Donations

Lowcountry Community Chaplaincy
P.O. Box 20743, Charleston SC 29413
Web: http://www.lowcountrychaplains.org

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