Robyn Nelson, age 56, passed away early on the morning of March 1, 2013, surrounded by family who dearly loved her. She was a native of Salt Lake City, the daughter of Deanne and Grant F. Nelson. Robyn grew up on Yale Avenue and went to East High, Westminster College, and completed her education at the University of Utah with a BA and MFA. While at the University she was affiliated with Delta Delta Delta sorority. Her first "real Job" was as a long distance operator for Mt. Bell (she did a great impersonation of Lily Tomlin's character Ernestine when off duty). Most knew Robyn as the Executive Director of the Utah Arts Festival from 1989-2006. She was also the Executive Director of the Dogwood Arts Festival in Knoxville, Tennessee. She was herself an artist of constructed tableaux, and had a wicked sense of humor and a love of all people and things odd. Robyn was a past board member of the International Festival and Events Association Foundation; Rocky Mt. Festival and Events Association; First Night International; KRCL Community Radio; and the Utah Film Center. She was also a national and international lecturer and instructor on all things festival.
Robyn was preceded in death by her parents. She is survived by her brother Grant (Sandra), nephew Ben (Ruth), niece Sara (Mike and son Elliot), uncle Reed (Diane) Merrill, and her partner of 24 years, Sharon Strickler.
A memorial celebration will be held at Pierpont Place (163 W. Pierpont Avenue, SLC) on Sunday March 10 at 4 PM. In lieu of flowers please donate to a non-profit arts organization of your choice. Online condolences may be shared at www.evans-earlymortuary.com.