The Western Pennsylvania Conservancy is deeply saddened by the passing of longtime Conservancy Board Member Jean Carlisle Ackerman Robinson, who passed away on January 19, 2021 after a short illness.

Jean served on the Conservancy board beginning in March 1983 and devoted many years to advancing the Conservancy’s work across the region. Long before then, starting in 1966, she became a Conservancy member.

She loved her adopted hometown of Pittsburgh and the outdoors, especially walking and hiking in nature, and was deeply committed to conservation. During her tenure on the Conservancy board, she served on many committees, including capital campaign, personnel and fundraising, with the executive committee being her most recent post.

As a woman of deep faith, Jean led by example by always giving her time, counsel and support to the Conservancy and several other nonprofits and causes in the Pittsburgh region, including Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, The Pittsburgh Promise and Buhl Foundation. She was also a hospice volunteer who provided words of comfort and support to people at their most vulnerable time and served in a leadership role at Calvary Church.

Humility made her discreet in her philanthropy, but her selflessness generated a special and rare kindness that put others first, said Tom Saunders, president and CEO of the Conservancy.

“Jean’s leadership at the Conservancy was extraordinary, and she was wonderful, generous and kind in everything she did,” says Tom. “We were extremely fortunate to have someone of her character and knowledge help lead our efforts for the past 37 years. She was a friend to us all and we will miss her greatly.”

Her family writes, Jean would “…do anything to brighten another’s day and the world around her.” And that she, “firmly believed her greatest gift to the world was that of her three children, Andrea, Shelley and Brooks, Jr. and through them thirteen grandchildren and two great grandchildren.”

She is survived by her beloved husband, Brooks Robinson, her brother, James Ackerman, her children and grandchildren, and extended family members — to whom the Conservancy staff and board members extend their sincere condolences. Read more about Jean’s commitment to her family, philanthropic impact and community work in a tribute to her on