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Richard "Rich" Robinson, Jr.

February 4, 1953 ~ March 11, 2023 (age 70) 70 Years Old
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Richard "Rich" Robinson, Jr. Obituary

Richard Robinson, Jr., “Rich”, age 70, of Cass Lake, MN passed away on March 11, 2023, in Fargo, ND, after fighting a courageous battle with a rare type of cancer. Rich was born on February 4, 1953, to Richard, Sr. and Gladys (Bobolink) Robinson, the oldest of seven children.

Rich graduated from Cass Lake High School in 1971, and attended Bemidji State University, graduating with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in 1976. Rich and his mom actually were in college at the same time, which was something that he was very proud of. He spent his early adult years working various jobs with Bemidji State UNiversity, Pamida, and the Minnesota Chippewa Tribe before starting his long-time career with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe. Rich was especially proud of his years working with the Reservation. In August of 1988, he became the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Executive Director and two years later accepted the position that he was most known for and the most proud of; the Director of Resource Management. He remained in this position until he was elected as the District III Representative for the Leech Lake Band, a position that he held for one term. In 2010, Rich accepted the Executive Director position once again and remained in that position until 2012. He then returned to the DRM as the Director and had remained in this position until the time of his death. Rich was so proud of the work at the DRM, but was especially proud of the DRM’s efforts in reclaiming 12,000 acres of land that was wrongfully sold in the 1940’s and 1950’s. This represented a chain of collective efforts in which Leech Lake Band members continue to dedicate their careers in furthering our self-governance and fight for our treaty rights, lands, and people of the great Leech Lake Nation! Rich was a walking encyclopedia when it came to treaties; he knew them well, which was extremely instrumental in all his work with both state and federal governments. He had a crazy sense of humor with a big heart. He loved to spend time with friends and family, visiting and Rich, his dad, and uncles enjoyed spending time at the Leech Lake Powwows, always sitting in their own special place on the east side of the powwow arena. He enjoyed golfing with his boys and friends, fishing, hunting, playing pool, and ricing. He loved the woods and lakes and spent many hours just riding around with his family and friends and sharing hunting stories about when the old timers were alive. But at the end of the day, it was his wife and family that mattered the most to him. Rich had a special relationship with his grandson, Jarrick, who he loved to spoil. Rich married his wife, Valerie (Pacheco) on February 25, 2012. They shared a loving life together. Rich will be remembered for the love he had for his family and friends, his crazy sense of humor, his love and respect for the woods and lakes, and his commitment to the people of the Leech Lake Reservation.

Rich is survived by his wife, Val; sons, Jason (Crystal), Jay (Jessica), and Jordan (Jamie); daughters, Jennifer (Seth), Kelli, Miranda, and Marena; sisters, Sue and Kelly; brother, Larry “Weiner”; grandchildren, Sam, Ella, Lucia, Benjamin, Alexander, Parker, Mallori, Bonnie, Amaya, Julian, Phillip, Zane, Ayden, Jarrick, Harvey, Cassidy, Alysanna, Christian, Dulce, and Estrella; great-grandchildren, Shane and Luraeya; special uncles, Bobby (Linda), and Dennis Robinson; many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends.

Rich is preceded in death by his parents, Richard, Sr. and Gladys; brothers, Martin “Mutt”, Terry “TR”; sister, Bonnie (Morgan), twin sons, Tristan and Dominic; and special uncle, Al Robinson.

An overnight wake for Rich will begin on Thursday, March 16th, 2023, at 5:00 p.m. and continue until his service on Saturday, March 18, 2023, at 1:00 pm, all to be held at The Veteran’s Memorial Building in Cass Lake, MN. Father George Ross will officiate. Pallbearers are Jay Fisherman, Jordan Robinson, Jarrick Robinson, Kelli Fisherman, Val Pacheco, Wayne Bohn, Glenn Ostlund. Alternates are Matthew LaDuke and William Ethier. Honorary pallbearers are Casey Parmenter, Alfred “Tig” Pemberton, John Ringle, Margaret “Muggs” Jordan, Sherman “Chick” Brown, Jr., Mike Kornezos, Mary Lou Reich, Ben Cameron, and Luann Frazer. Interment will be at a later date in the Farris Cemetery in Cass Lake, MN.

Rich’s care has been entrusted to Northern Peace Funeral Home of Walker, MN. Online condolences for the family may be left at

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March 16, 2023

5:00 PM
Veterans Memorial Building, Chippewa

Funeral Service
March 18, 2023

1:00 PM
Veterans Memorial Building, Chippewa


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