FLORENCE, SC (WMBF) – Florence City Councilman Edward Robinson has passed away Wednesday, Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken confirmed.
Robinson passed away Wednesday at the VA Hospital in Charleston, Coroner von Lutcken said. An autopsy was conducted at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, which is standard practice after someone dies during or after specific medical procedures, von Lutcken said. The manner of death was determined to be natural causes.
Robinson was the city's longest member with 27 years of service. Those who worked alongside Robinson say the city of Florence will not be the same without him.
Drew Griffin, Florence City Manager says, "I have certainly learned to appreciate through him the struggles, the difficulties people have to move through the concept of institutionalized poverty, race, or culture and those are very difficult things to work through."
Pat Gibson-Hye Moore is a Florence community activist who ran for the District 2 seat Robinson held back in 2014. She said, "I actually felt myself shaking, I just couldn't believe it, its unbelievable and I'm still in shock and never expected this to happen. Not to Ed."
She says through it all they stayed friends and both worked with the East Florence community organization.
"Im proud of what he did, we both are in the same community, we live on the same street as a matter of fact. I'm hoping things will continue but they won't be the same without Ed Robinson of course, because you expect to see him," said Gibson-Hye Moore.
Griffin agrees and says just Robinson's presence alone will be missed. "To some degree we were unaware he was going to the hospital, but the first thing is compassion and disbelief wondering what happened, compassion for the family, and then change," said Griffin.
Change, because Robinson was more than a council member. Out of the seven serving members, Robinson always stood up for underdog. That was evident through the proposal to pass the 'ban the box' ordinance because he wanted to give those with a criminal record a chance at a job.
"As a matter of fact, he always said 'my people' but deep in his heart 'my people' included everyone," said Gibson- Hye Moore.
Griffin said, "His interest, his dedication to the east Florence community. I mean it was real and there is nothing anybody can take away from that."
The Robinson family is asking for privacy at this time. Ideal Funeral home in Florence is handling the funeral service.
On Thursday, the City of Florence released the following statement: