Jim’s life began in Allentown, Pennsylvania on Feb. 16, 1958 on a very snowy day. On that day his mother was transported to the hospital by sled, as the roads were impassable. Being 6’6” tall, Jim excelled in high school basketball, winning many championships. His athletic ability also extended to football and discus. Jim graduated from Benet Academy in Lisle, IL, received his undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University, and an MBA from Indiana University. Go Hoosiers!
Jim was employed at Herman Miller, Holland MI, as a New Product Fulfillment Manager. His impressive career spanned 35 years with positions at X-Rite, Johnson Controls Automotive, and Zenith Data Systems. Jim held several U.S. Patents associated with automotive electronic technologies, including HomeLink garage door opening system and tire pressure monitoring.
Jim’s happiest days were spent with the love of his life Michelle, during their 16 year marriage. He loved spending time with Michelle, family, and friends at Bass Lake in Knox, Indiana. Jim took great pride in teaching his daughter Jackie, and her friends, to water ski. He enjoyed jet skiing with his brother-in-law Daniel, and barefoot water skiing / knee boarding with his Master Craft. Recently, he and his wife Michelle purchased a pontoon boat and paddleboards to enjoy the lake at a slower pace and to savor every moment of lake life. He loved the Minnesota Vikings, the Chicago Cubs, and tinkering with his collection of boats, motorcycles, and his ’65 Cadillac. Jim held special memories of family vacations on Shay’s Paradise Island in Duluth, Minnesota with his Grandmother Shay, parents, aunts, uncles, brothers, and cousins - Susan, Annie, Gregg, Pat and David. For the Robillard boys, summers were spent catching frogs and fish, teasing the girls, acting macho, and just generally growing up.
Jim passed away Feb. 5, 2021, in South Haven, on a very snowy day. He is survived by his loving wife Michelle (VanDrasek) Robillard; his daughter Jacqueline Robillard; brothers Stephen (Laura) Robillard and Michael L. Robillard; sister-in-law Patricia Robillard; parents-in-law Gordon and Sandra VanDrasek; sister-in-law Deborah (James) VanDrasek Visin; brother-in-law Daniel VanDrasek; nieces Katherine and Christine Robillard; nephew Lukas Visin; extended family members in Minnesota; special lifelong friends from Bass Lake; and his beloved dog Ozark.
Jim’s parents, Thomas and Joyce K. (nee Shay) Robillard, brother Thomas Robillard, aunt and uncle Gertrude and Frank Tarnowski preceded him in death.
Hutchins Funeral Home is assisting Jim’s family with cremation arrangements. Jim received a special blessing, with Fr. German Perez presiding. A Catholic Mass and celebration of Jim’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be made to the Jim Robillard Bass Lake Memorial Fund. Mail and make checks payable to NICF, PO Box 807, Rochester, IN 46975. Indicate the Jim Robillard Memorial Fund in the memo. Gifts can be made online at nicf.org by clicking “Donate” and selecting the Jim Robillard Bass Lake Memorial Fund under “Designate Your Gift.”
You are invited to leave a message of comfort for Jim’s family at hutchinsfuneral.com.