KENNEBUNK – Ronald Robinson, a retired owner of the popular Yankeeland Campground in Kennebunk who was known for his smile, humor and zest for life, died on Monday. He was 80.

Mr. Robinson gave up a high-level position at Key Bank in Portland in 1976 to fulfill his dream of owning his own business. He bought about 40 acres of land in Kennebunk and designed and developed Yankeeland Campground. The property, which covers roughly 60 acres today, has more than 300 camp sites.

His wife, Christine Robinson of Kennebunk, said on Wednesday that he decided to hang up his suit and tie to return to his roots in Kennebunk, where he grew up.

“He was always taking care of other people’s businesses and affairs,” his wife said. “He felt he was capable of achieving something on his own, and he did.”

Mr. Robinson was remembered by his family on Wednesday as a kind and genuine person who built a successful business by developing strong relationships with the families who stayed at the campground.

“People come year after year,” said his daughter-in-law, Deirdre Robinson of Kennebunk. “It’s quite a community here.”

When his health began to fail, Mr. Robinson retired, sort of. He stayed involved to prepare his sons, Ronald M. Robinson and Mark C. Robinson, to take over the family business.

Mark Robinson of Kennebunk, his youngest son, talked briefly about the years they worked together.

“It can be hard working for your family, but he made it easy,” his son said. “He was a good father. He was easy to talk to. I’ll miss him being around.”

Mr. Robinson graduated from Kennebunk High School in 1949. He attended Portland Junior College before joining the Air Force.

He met his wife at a dance in Rochester, N.H. She said they were hooked on each other by their second or third date.

“We knew we wanted to be together,” his wife said. “I felt very comfortable with him. He was such an honest guy. We had our ups and downs like everyone, but we had a great marriage. We were always together.”

For many years, the couple wintered in Melbourne, Fla. Mr. Robinson had a passion for collecting stamps and woodworking. He enjoyed making dollhouses, miniature furniture and other gifts for his grandchildren.

His family said he had a close relationship with his grandchildren. His wife said he was proud of them for doing well in school.

“Education was an important part of his life.”

For the past 10 years, he has struggled with a variety of illnesses. His wife was with him Monday when he died at St. Andre’s Health Care in Biddeford.

“I’ll miss him terribly,” she said. 

Staff Writer Melanie Creamer can be contacted at 791-6361 or at:

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