Obituary  Saundra Jean House Robinson

April 26, 2017

 

 

Saundra Jean House Robinson was born in Louisville Kentucky January 28, 1940 to Joe and Jamesetta McCord House.  She attended Louisville Public Schools until the 8th grade when she moved with her family to Cleveland Ohio.  Saundra graduated second in her class from East Technical High School in 1957 where she also participated as a varsity cheerleader and majorette.  In the fall of 1957 she attended Central State College. Where she graduated in 1961 with a degree in Medical Technlogy.  While at Central State Saundra was involved in many activities including being voted Miss Pershing Riffles in 1959 and entering the Beta Xi Chapter of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc. that same year.

After graduation, she began her first of three careers as a hospital lab technician in Springfield and later Akron, Ohio including the former Akron General and St. Thomas Hospitals.  In 1971, she decided to change careers and earned a teaching certificate which led to her teaching in the Akron Public schools including Thornton Jr. High School and Buchtel High School until 1977.

In 1973 she set the stage for her third career change when she enrolled in The University of Akron’s Law school.  Attending classes at night while teaching and raising two boys by day Saundra became the first African American female graduate in 1977 and began her legal career as an attorney for the U.S. Department of Labor in Cleveland, Ohio.  In 1978 she became an assistant prosecutor for the City of Akron which led to her being appointed as the first African American female Chief City Prosecutor by Mayor Roy Ray in 1980.

After a stint in private practice during the mid to late 80’s Saundra again made history in 1990 as the first African American female common pleas judge in Summit County.  While presiding as Juvenile Court Judge, she oversaw many controversial cases.  She quickly became known as an advocate from the bench for Akron’s disenfranchised youth.  Many of her decisions both on the bench and in her administration ran counter to the desires of the Summit County Republican party but she would not compromise her core values.  By 1995, juvenile offenses in Summit County had declined by 14%, the first time on record.  She also went on to hire more African American staff and Magistrates than any county judge before.

In 1996 Saundra returned to private practice which she maintained until recently despite several major health setbacks.

Saundra leaves in loving memory her husband Raymond Jackson of Akron, brother Michael House (Doris) (Chicago, IL.) children Stephen Washington (Akron, OH.) Gregory Washington (Charlotte, NC.) Lamont Yarbrough (Clevland, OH.) Darnetta Osborn (Canton, OH. Anita Montero (Belize, Central America) Kim Gill (Houston, TX.) Maurice Jackson (Canton, OH.) Anthony Jackson (Maine) Raymond L Jackson (Atlanta, Ga). Grandchildren DiCarlo Washington, Stephenie Washington, Morgan Starr Washington.  14 Grandchildren by marriage and 11 Great grand children.  She also leaves a host of cousins, nieces, nephews, sorority sisters colleagues and friends.

 

 

 

 

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