Jan Edward “Pogo” Robison, 67, passed away on Saturday, May 30, 2020, from lung complications at Oregon Health Sciences University. The lifelong Depoe Bay resident, and fourth-generation Oregon Coast resident was born in Toledo on Nov. 24, 1952, to parents Frederick Charles Robison II and Beverly Jean (Margeson, Robison) Poling. He is preceded in death by his parents.
Pogo will be remembered as a skilled sailor, a community-oriented conservationist, and an independent-thinking inspiration to many.
Pogo attended the Depoe Bay Grade School from the first through sixth grades, and later Taft High School. He began developing his sailing, fishing, and crabbing skills from his rowboat around the age of five. He learned to navigate the harbor’s channel aboard his father’s wooden charter fishing boats, the Jimco and Jimco II, around the age of eight. He worked as a deckhand for his family’s charter boat business until his graduation from Taft High School in 1970. He is believed to be the last draft number selected from Lincoln County and served in the U.S. Army until 1974 when he joined his older brother in the developing Alaskan king and tanner crab fisheries. He worked in various other fisheries aboard the Buccaneer, the Argosy, and the Progress, and as captain of the historic 110’ wooden schooner the King and Winge. Pogo’s longest fishing trip was 135 days without stepping foot on land.
After working in Alaska, Pogo moved back home to reinvest in his community and “give the land a try for a while.” He still fished commercially aboard the Captor and Trial out of Depoe Bay and assisted with the reconstruction of the historic Depoe Bay, Rocky Creek, and Cook’s Chasm bridges. Pogo served his community on the Depoe Bay City Council and Salmon Enhancement and Harbor commissions. He was employed by the city until his retirement earlier this year. Pogo worked punctually and tirelessly to bring out the best in his hometown and demanded that everyone treat it with respect.
Pogo was committed to historic preservation and natural conservation. He proudly showcased his collection of antique skiffs at the town’s annual wooden boat show and was dedicated to the Depoe Bay Salmon Enhancement Commission’s community-based salmon hatchery. Pogo was an avid recreational fisherman and practiced many additional, self-imposed regulations for conservation measures.
Throughout his life, Pogo was a figure of inspiration and guidance for many of the community’s younger generations. He never had his own children but set positive examples to many others through mentorship. He extended his support to many people struggling with alcoholism and addiction by sharing his experience of practicing sobriety for more than 25 years. He maintained close relationships with many Depoe Bay residents who moved away through cross-country motorcycle trips. Pogo was often joined on these trips by his childhood friend Richard Jackson.
Pogo is survived by his girlfriend of 17 years, Carol Morgan and his siblings; Suzi Snyder, Frederick Charles “Beanie” Robison III, Krista Robison, Lars Robison, and Liz Martin, all of Depoe Bay.
Pogo’s legacy will live through his nieces and nephews Grant Snyder, Lauren Hinton, Kasey Watson, Autumn Watson, Rosalyn Robison, Frederick “Vaughn” Robison, Mackenzie Martin, and Ross Martin. His great-nieces and great-nephews Lane and Teal Hinton and Mathias Fyrleiv-Martin will be told many stories to keep his memory and knowledge alive.
A private memorial service will be held by his family. Due to COVID 19 restrictions, a community gathering to remember his life will follow at a later date. Donations in Pogo’s memory can be made to local hospice chapters or the Depoe Bay Salmon Enhancement Commission by way of the city hall.