Memorial service for Californian wine-maker and Seaham expat

David Robinson  (right) and wife Karen (left) with his parents Jim and Maragret.
David Robinson (right) and wife Karen (left) with his parents Jim and Maragret.
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A MEMORIAL service is to be held for a 54-year-old who died of a heart attack.

Dr David Robinson, who was born in Sunderland Royal Hospital, will be remembered at St Michael’s Church, Houghton, tomorrow – the same church where he was christened and was an altar boy.

A party has already been held in his honour in California, where he had become an American citizen, with hundreds of people turning out to pay their respects.

His education began at Dawdon Infants School, then Dawdon Junior School, where his father Jim, now 84, was headteacher. He also spent time being taught by his mother, Margaret.

David went on to Seaham Grammar School, then Bristol University where he studied maths, chemistry and physics, followed by a doctorate in science at Southampton University and additional courses at Bonn University in German and Cambridge University.

After voluntary work in Kenya, he was headhunted by technology firm Epsom and worked in Japan for three years.

He then moved with the firm to California, where he met wife Karen, who also worked for the company. Their wedding was held in the grounds of a winery in 1998.

They turned their love of wine- making into a business, launching their own firm Vintegrated Solutions and running their own vineyard.

Away from his work, he enjoyed travelling with Karen, cooking and rock music, and made regular trips to visit his parents at their New Herrington home.

Jim, also father to Anne, 52, said: “We have two wonderful kids who have achieved lots in their lives.

“David will be missed terribly.”

The service at St Michael’s will be held tomorrow at 2.30pm, followed by refreshments at Shincliffe Garden Centre in Durham.