Robin Lawrence, a Newburgh, Indiana, resident, died peacefully in her home on Thursday, May 19, after battling anal and rectal cancer for almost four years.
Lawrence, 61, was featured in several issues of Evansville Living magazine for her efforts in cancer detection education (“Fighting Back," July/August 2016) as well as her own bout with cancer (“Overcoming the Odds,” November/December 2021).
Robin was a dedicated artist, gardener, and nature lover. As her cancer developed, she devoted much of her time to raising and releasing monarch butterflies from “The Robin’s Nest,” an affectionate name given to her home by friends.
Through it all, Robin maintained her positivity, drew strength and courage from her beloved daughter and caretaker Kori June, and inspired others with updates from “The Robin’s Nest.”
Born in Evansville and raised in nearby Richland, Indiana, Robin used Monarch butterflies as a therapeutic tool for herself and others to focus on something other than cancer. She also spent her time in the winter on her newfound artistic talents, painting and drawing scenes from her garden that she photographed in spring and summer.
“I’ve always loved butterflies, especially Monarchs, and the reason I take them inside is because outside, they have less than a 10 percent chance of survival,” Robin said in a 2021 interview with Evansville Living. “They get eaten by birds, praying mantises, spiders. I was so sad that something so beautiful would be close to extinction. I stand back here for hours, and I just watch them flutter from flower to flower.”
The former marketing director at the Evansville Cancer Center was committed to educating others about early cancer detection. She also helped others through their own cancer battles by offering support for them and their families and inspiring them to continue fighting. Her community service She was awarded the Gold Triangle Award by the American Academy of Dermatology for three consecutive years and this year, she was recognized by the Daughters of the American Revolution for “Excellence in Community Service.”
Robin’s family asks those who wish to remember her to plant milkweed as part of the effort save, protect, and preserve the Monarch population she cared so deeply about.