Born in Chicago on February 26, 1929, Bertha C. Robinson was the only child of Corinne and Orestes Scott. In 1936, when Bertha was only seven, her parents moved to NYC, which became her forever hometown. Bertha, known to her close friends and family as Bert, was raised in the bustling Village of Harlem, where she attended Harriet Beecher Stowe JHS and studied voice at Music and Art HS. Bertha then pursued a BA in Education at City College of New York. While
attending CCNY, Bertha married her first husband, Robert W. Cater. In 1949, the couple became the proud parents of Robert W. Cater, Jr.
She began an illustrious teaching career at PS 10, Manhattan and was, ultimately, chosen as one of the original faculty at PS 180, Manhattan. In 1955, she married her second husband, Harold J. Wallace and they welcomed a little girl, Tracey
Allyson Wallace, the younger sister of Robert Cater, Jr and Bruce (Wallace) Henry. She and her best friend, Matilda “Miki” Gutman, met at 180 where they wrote and produced musicals (to fundraise) which tapped into the artistic talents of inner city kids while simultaneously, providing them with a strong academic foundation. In addition to their elementary school teaching assignments, both women consulted at Bank Street Teacher’s College. Bert’s illustrious teaching
career spanned 33 years before she retired. She, delightedly, reconnected with former students on social media and, actively maintained friendships with her fellow educators throughout her life.
In the mid-1970s, Bertha began dating her life partner, James Lee Robinson, known affectionately as Jim. Bertha and Jim married in 1989. Jay Robinson, Jim’s son, joined the family. Throughout their relationship, Bert and Jim shared their love of music and fellowship with their many friends. An excellent cook and consummate host, Bertha’s door was always open. The couple often hosted their rather spontaneous group of friends, filling their home with fun and laughter. Bert and Jim remained devoted to each other until his death in 1996.
As a retiree, she also enjoyed spending time with family and friends, traveling and playing bridge. She was a fierce competitor at the bridge table for many years and only discontinued her membership in Triangle Bridge Club when she could no longer get there independently. Bertha was an active member at Convent Avenue Baptist Church and later joined the choir at Church of the Mediator. She also served on the board of The Boys and Girls Club of Harlem.
Hers was a life well spent as evidenced by the many people who loved, called, cared for, visited, invited and now miss her dearly. Bertha is remembered as warm, caring, insightful, candid, quick witted, fair, generous, engaging and so much more. She was well versed in politics and an avid sports fan. She was truly one in a
Bertha was preceded in death by her parents, Orestes and Corinne Scott; brother, David M. Wells, Jr.; stepson, Jay Robinson, godson, Jeffrey Gutman; trusty pooch, Cas Wellington, known to all as CW; and loving husband, James Robinson.
Bertha is survived by her son, Robert W. Cater Jr. (Kathleen) of Los Angeles, CA; daughter, Tracey A. Wallace of Ashburn, VA; stepson, Bruce Henry (Jacqueline) of Chantilly, VA; granddaughter, Corinne E. Cater of New York, NY;
goddaughter, Eve Gonzales (Douglas) of Goshen, NY; and beloved extended family and friends, including, Larry Gutman, Mayme Frazier and Joyce Adams. Her family is grateful to those who gave unselfishly during her latter years,
especially, Basilia “Matilda” Gutierrez and Deborah Johnson.
With family present, Bertha Corinne Robinson (née Scott) passed peacefully with the sunrise on Tuesday, April 19, 2022.
In the end, Bertha wanted most for her family and friends to know how much she loved them and prayed for them. While there is a hole left in the universe, it has been filled by a bright new star in the heavens. Let her light shine and sparkle