Ileene Rosenfield Robinson, age 74, passed away peacefully on May 21, 2019 following a long illness.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Ward Robinson, and her parents, Mary and George Rosenfield.
She is survived by her sister, Rita Sue Rosenfield of Richmond and many loving friends and cousins.
Ileene was born and raised in El Campo Texas. After attending The University of Texas at Austin, she lived briefly in Dallas before moving to Houston. Throughout her life, she was an active volunteer – devoting her drive and enthusiasm to a variety of causes, ranging from longhorn cattle to opera to breast cancer to politics to mental health.
Ileene served as vice president of the Houston Opera Guild and on the board of the Texas Opera Theater and the Opera Guild International and tried to instill her love of opera in those she encountered. She loved hosting and attending dinner parties and developed friendships that spanned a lifetime. She had a love for the arts, classical music, art history and antiques.
As a survivor of breast cancer, Ileene wanted to give back to the community. She was instrumental in founding the Morgan Welch Inflammatory Research Breast Cancer Center in 2008 at MD Anderson Cancer Center and was an avid ambassador for the clinic.
Ileene was also very active in politics, serving as vice president of the Wharton Republican Women and on the County Platform Committee covering the areas of disabilities, healthcare and pro-family issues. She was the top recruiter for the Magic Circle Republican Women’s Club and dedicated much of her time to helping Republican causes.
However, Ileene’s true passion was as an advocate for those with disabilities. She worked tirelessly to ensure that this fragile population was treated with dignity and respect. In 1999, she worked to create a Jewish Religious Program at the Richmond State School so that her sister would be able to participate in Jewish holidays and observances. The program has expanded to 13 other facilities across the state. She was honored as Volunteer of the Year in 2017 by the Friendship Circle. The program will provide Jewish services to adults with disabilities.
Throughout her illness, Ileene continued to volunteer and support her causes with a grace, style and class that was uniquely her own. She will be remembered for her sense of humor, her will to live, and her commitment to help make the world a better place.
Funeral services were held on Friday, May 24 at Shearith Israel Cemetery in Wharton, with Rabbi David Rosen officiating.
Donations may be made to Congregation Beth Yeshurun, 4525 Beechnut, Houston, Texas 77096, to Friendship Circle Adult Programs, 10101 Fondren, Suite 510, Houston, Texas 77096 or to the Morgan Welch Inflammatory Research Breast Cancer Center at MD Anderson Cancer Center.