Cover photo for Marinda French Robertson's Obituary
Marinda French Robertson Profile Photo
1934 Marinda 2022

Marinda French Robertson

1934 — October 30, 2022

Marinda French Robertson, 87, of Abilene, passed away on Sunday, Oct. 30, 2022, in Abilene. She was a dedicated mother, ran a successful independent oil business and served her community through several volunteer organizations. She was born in Knox City, Texas, on Nov. 26, 1934, to French Robertson and Mary Louise Robertson (Lowe). She grew up in Haskell, then moved with her family to Abilene after World War II, graduating from Abilene High School. She attended Finch College in New York and the University of Texas at Austin before completing a degree at the University of California at Los Angeles. She married Gus Vletas while in college, and they had three children, Stephen, David and Courtney.

Marinda tried her hand at acting when she and Gus moved to California in the 1960s. She enjoyed some success, appearing in television shows and at least one feature film. After the marriage ended in the 1970s, she and Courtney moved back to Abilene where Marinda entered the oil business, eventually taking over the French M. Robertson Oil Company in 1981. She was one of the few women in the industry at the time and was featured in a 1985 Abilene Reporter News article headlined “This Big Country oilman’s a woman.”

She gave back to her community faithfully, serving on the board of InterFirst Bank Abilene, various industry associations, the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, Pastoral Care and Counseling, Hendrick Home for Children and The Grace Museum, among others. She was also a proud supporter of Dyess Air Force Base and served on the Chamber’s Military Affairs Committee, as well as the Defense Orientation Conference Association, a non-profit organization dedicated to continuing education in defense and national security affairs. Her heart for community service was no doubt inherited from her parents. Her father was active in industry associations and state government, serving on the Texas Prison Board, including time as Chairman. As a young woman, Marinda rubbed shoulders with Texas political luminaries such as Lyndon Johnson and Allan Shivers.

Marinda enjoyed painting, gardening and baking. The latter skill was thoroughly enjoyed by her family and friends, and she faithfully baked batches of cookies delivered by the Soup Sisters of The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, where she was a lifelong member.

Marinda is survived by her children, Stephen Vletas and wife Kim of Victor, Idaho; David Vletas of Costa Rica; and Courtney and husband Will Hampton of Round Rock, Texas; grandson Alex Vletas of Austin; and sister Mary Lou Conley and husband Ed of Abilene.

A memorial service will be held at 1 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3, at The Episcopal Church of the Heavenly Rest, 602 Meander Street, Abilene, Texas, 79602.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorials be made to Rescue the Animals SPCA, or Church of the Heavenly Rest.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Marinda French Robertson, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Memorial Service

Thursday, November 3, 2022

1:00 - 2:00 pm (Central time)

Church Of The Heavenly Rest

602 Meander St, Abilene, TX 79602

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