Funeral services are planned for Saturday, June 22, for Leon G. Robinson Jr., a business leader and leader in Evanston’s African American community, who died last week at the age of 90.

Mayor Steve Hagerty, at Monday’s City Council meeting, said Robinson was “a remarkable person who led a remarkable life.”

Robinson grew up in Evanston where his father, who’d been born in Arkansas and was working as a chauffeur in Evanston by the time of the 1940 Census, went on to start a number of auto-related businesses, including a gas station at a site on Emerson Street that now houses Evanston Fire Station #1.

Leon Jr., known as “Sonny,” joined his father along with his mother, Josephine, and brother, Roy, in the family business, which expanded to include the Robinson Bus Company that for decades provided school transportation for Evanston children and substantial real estate holdings, including the landmark Hahn Building at 1609 Sherman Ave. downtown.

Robinson received a community leadership award from the Chamber of Commerce in 1995 and a Living Legend — Trailblazer Award at the African American Achievent Award ceremony at Evanston Township High School in 2014.

Alderman Peter Braithwaite, 2nd Ward, said Robinson “was a business giant in this town who helped many, many families.”

Funeral services will be held at Ebenezer AME Church, 1109 Emerson St., with a wake from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday, June 21. On Saturday, June 22, visitation will be at 11:30 a.m. followed by funeral services at noon.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

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