Well-known aviator dies
Longtime aviator Stamford "Stan" Robertson, 99, of Plainville, the man who Robertson Airport was named, died Jan. 2 at The Hospital of Central Connecticut at New Britain General. He was the widower of Elizabeth Robertson.
Robertson owned and operated Robertson Airport locally from the 1940s until the 1970s, when the Tomasso family purchased the property. He was a decorated World War II-era veteran, flying light aircraft missions in the 1930s, and was credited with bringing more than 200 British soldiers to safety.
In 2007, the town and the Plainville Historical Society honored Robertson on Feb. 24 with an early birthday party attended by family, friends, associates, officials and well-wishers. Igor Sikorsky Jr. of Sikorsky Aircraft Co. in Stratford and Angelo Tomasso Sr. were just two of the business and state notables who spoke to honor Robertson.
His granddaughter, Kim Dinielli, a Plainville resident, said a memorial service is being planned for the spring, to be held at Robertson Airport. "It's what he wanted," she said, adding her grandfather will be remembered for his sense of humor and for his place in Plainville aviation history. No date has been determined for the service. Dinielli said Robertson has donated his body to the John Dempsey Hospital at the University of Connecticut Medical Center.
In addition to Dinielli, Robertson is survived by a daughter, Roberta Lake; a grandson, Ted Theriault, of East Hampton; and two great-grandchildren. Dinielli said her grandfather wants the memorial service to be a celebration of his life.
Dinielli said Robertson was grateful and humbled by the 2007 honors given to him. The Memorial Day Association also named him grand marshal of the Memorial Day Parade.
Town Historian Ruth S. Hummel said the honors were well-deserved. Although Robertson owned the airport for many years, the airfield itself is noted as the state's oldest, having its roots back to 1911 when pioneer aviator Nels Nelson flew his early plane from a nearby barley field.