Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Established 1885

The Washburn Review

Robin Shrimplin leaves a lasting impression on the hearts of many at Washburn

Robin Shrimplin: A co-worker, friend and mother

Robin Shrimplin, administrative assistant for the history department, passed away Friday, Sept. 8, 2023.

Shrimplin worked at Washburn for many years, helping students and faculty.

Working in the history department, Shrimplin wore a smile on her face and dedicated much of her time to assisting students and history faculty.

Outside of work at Washburn, Shrimplin had been recognized for her work in the community. She created and volunteered for an after-school program called History Through Biography, which was dedicated to teaching young students about history.

She was described as a caring person who impacted the lives of many people.

Tony Silvestri, history lecturer, described how Shrimplin provided an invaluable service to him and the history department at Washburn.

“She was more than just a department secretary and I always relied on Robin,” Silvestri said. “When I needed something, she knew everybody on campus and what extension everybody was, […]. I mean, I really relied on Robin, in fact, a couple of times since her passing, I’ve had an issue and I thought oh, I’ll just ask Robin, but I can’t. I don’t know who to ask anymore.”

Silvestri discussed what he loved most about Shrimplin.

“The thing I loved about Robin was how generous she was with her time and her attention,” Silvestri said.

Shrimplin would often spend time listening to people looking to express their thoughts and feelings.

“There are folks that come in to talk to Robin. She listened to people that just needed to talk. I was always moved by her capacity for that kind of compassion, to listen, to be an ear and for somebody that just needs to talk. So she was very sweet about that,” Silvestri said.

Theresa Young, administrative specialist for the psychology department, was friends with Shrimplin. The two often spent their breaks together at work or outside of work discussing gardening, an activity they both enjoyed. Young described Shrimplin’s personality and passions.

“I would describe her as very devoted to the field of history and to the saving of things that are about to be lost, so keeping historical information alive. I would say that was one of her passions, and also helping people. She did so many service roles over her career but I would say helping people was her favorite thing to do,” Young said.

Many also described Shrimplin as kind, generous and compassionate. Tracy Horecek, office coordinator of the College of Arts and Sciences, went into detail about the type of person Shrimplin was.

“She was a very, very lovely person. Always had something nice to say to people. When she knew there was something going on in your life she’d tell you, she’d pray for you,” Horecek said.

Yet, Shrimplin was more than a co-worker and friend. She was also the mother of three daughters and had four grandchildren.

Crystal Guerrero, Shrimplin’s oldest daughter, described who she was as a mother.

“Even in my darkest hour, she was there. She was always there. She is the true definition of unconditional love and grace,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero explained how Shrimplin adopted and took care of her two sons amidst Guerrero’s struggles with addiction. She also recalled a few of her favorite memories with her mom and family.

“She loved Christmas time. She enjoyed doing Christmas candy and getting all of us together. We would get together for the holidays and do Christmas candy, which we’re still going to do, but it’s going be hard without her,” Guerrero said.

Guerrero often visited parks with her mother and fed the ducks at the lake. They would also go on rides through the countryside listening to all kinds of music.

Horecek mentioned the impact of such a loss on campus and how it puts things into perspective for her.

“Some of the other coworkers, we tried to make a point to meet up and go to lunch or something but I hadn’t done that with her,” Horecek said. “Now the opportunity’s gone, which is really sad. It just really makes you think about investing more in your relationships while you have the opportunity.”

Guerrero shared a message from her sister, Rhianna Khramez, including a statement she wanted to make towards their mother’s passing.

“There’s a saying [that] used to go around: ‘To the world, you’re just one person. But to me, you’re the world’ Mom was clearly the exception to that saying. As hard as it’s been for us all, now and the last few years, I never realized how many lives she impacted and that has been so beautiful to see.”

Edited by Sydney Peterson and Jayme Thompson

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Aja Carter
Aja Carter, Editor-in-Chief Washburn Review
Hello, my name is Aja! I am a senior mass media major with a concentration in journalism and the Editor-in-Chief of the Washburn Review. I'm originally from Virginia, but I've lived in a couple of other states. I really enjoy writing, music, and spending time with my family. Outside of school and reporting for Student Media, I volunteer at my church, Light of the World Christian Center.
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    Jim MartinOct 26, 2023 at 1:17 pm

    Robin is truly missed. A caring soul who would help anyone. Every once in a while, when I walk down the History hallway, out of habit I turn at her desk but she is gone. Truly missed.