Hollis E. Robertson

Captain Hollis E.“Robbie” Robertson, USN (Ret.), died on 26 June 2009 of cancer at the age of 76. He was born in Peoria, IL, on 4 March 1933 and grew up in Hoopeston, IL. In 1951, he graduated from high school and enlisted in the Navy.


Five years later, upon graduation from the Naval Academy, he wed the love of his life, Mary Catherine “Kay” Debelius on 6 June 1956 in Baltimore, MD. During his 34-year naval career, Robbie served in eight different ships, commanding three of them including, BIDDLE(CG-34). He served as senior member of the CinCLantFlt Propulsion Examining Board, taught engineering at the Naval Academy and co-authored the Naval Engineer’s Guide published by the Naval Institute Press in 1972. He also spent time managing his nine rental cottages in what is now called the East Beach section of Norfolk, VA. He was a strong advocate of individual property rights and worked diligently through the years to constrain the government’s power of eminent domain in the state of Virginia.


Robbie is survived by his beloved wife of 53 years, Kay; their six children, Cathy Malley, Helen Labus, Barbara Duke, Harry Robertson, Susan Eastman, Beth Tibbetts and their spouses; plus eleven grandchildren, Michelle, Andrew, Thomas, Heather, Marcus, Mary, Harrison, Holly, Caitlynn, Walter and Sarah; and a brother, Clarence Buzbee of Canyon Lake, CA. He was very proud of his family and doted on his grandchildren. A memorial service/reception was held at Courthouse Community Methodist Church in Virginia Beach, VA. He was inurned in the U.S. Naval Academy Columbarium on 20 July 2009. The Robertson Family