Carolyn Ott Robertson passed away June 5, 2018 at her home in Houston.
Carolyn had an exceptional career in computer programming beginning in 1964 after graduating with highest honors from Lamar Tech with a major in mathematics and a minor in engineering, the only woman in her class to do so. Much like the women in the book and movie “Hidden Figures,” she learned Fortran by reading a manual and began writing computer programs for Shell Development in Houston. Her career included working for the University of Texas Astronomy Department writing programs to compute the speed of bright star galaxies; M. D. Anderson; Denny Loren & Associates and finally for her husband’s law firm, Robertson Anschutz Vetters, where she wrote pioneering software merging data generated on clients’ software with RAV’s document preparation software and then delivering loan document packages to title companies electronically.
Carolyn interrupted her computing career with the birth of she and her husband’s first child and remained out of the workforce for the ensuing 20 years. Carolyn was involved in each of her children’s activities and in building friendships which last today. She was president of the Briargrove Elementary School PTO.
Carolyn was a voracious reader and a founding member of The Contemporaries Book Club which is nearing its 50th year of reading challenging fiction. She also served on the Board of Directors of Brazos Book Store.
In retirement, Carolyn focused on her grandchildren’s early years with the same zeal she had her children’s. She organized many family trips including four epic trips to Europe with all children and their spouses and grandchildren. In addition, she hosted galas in her home for virtually all of Houston’s major art companies, including the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, Jung Center, TIRR (where she served on the Board of Directors) and the Menil Collections’ 20th Anniversary of the completion of the Renzo Piano gallery.
Carolyn is survived by her husband, James L. Robertson; son, Christopher Neal Robertson and wife Vivi Nguyen Robertson and their son Christopher Nguyen “Toper” Robertson and Elias Neal Robertson and Rebecca Mae Robertson, children of a previous marriage; son James Michael Robertson and wife Vivia VanDyne Robertson and children Lauren Isabel Robertson and Caris VanDyne Robertson; and daughter Carrie Robertson Stanton and husband William Austin Stanton and children James Austin Stanton and Andrew Michael Stanton and nephews Stephen Oliver, Donnie Oliver, Craig Bigler and Richard Bigler and nieces Priscilla Kearns and Holly Odam.
Carolyn is predeceased in death by her parents Willie Mae Hughes and Earl Layfayette Ott, her twin sisters Jeanette Bigler and Jeanine Oliver, her grandson William Christopher Stanton and nephews Stanley Bigler, Keith Bigler and Marion Oliver.
The family personally acknowledges the loving care of Alicia “Conchita” Jarillo and the outstanding care Carolyn received at Baylor and M.D. Anderson.
A Celebration of Carolyn’s Life is planned for Saturday, June 9th at 7:00 p.m. in the Cheri Flores Garden and Pavilion in Hermann Park. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Hermann Park Conservancy or a charity of your choice.