He was the fourth generation of his family to run Robie’s Country Store, which he did for 35 years. He retired and closed the store in 1997.
Presidential candidates were frequent visitors to Robie’s Country Store while campaigning in first-in-the-nation New Hampshire. One memorable visit was given quite a bit of national attention. When Jimmy Carter stopped in for coffee and a doughnut in November 1975, Robie was one of the first to hear the line, “Hi, I’m Jimmy Carter and I’m running for president.”
Robie responded, “Jimmy Who?” and both lines became fixtures of the 1976 presidential campaign.
A lifelong Hooksett resident, Robie was a graduate of Concord High School and a veteran of World War II, serving in the Army Railway Battalion. Before taking over the family business, he worked at Rumford Press in Concord, the Boston & Maine Railroad in Boston, and the Hooksett School District.
He was a member of the National Republican Committee and numerous community organizations.
Mr. Robie died January 1, 2006.
Mrs. Robie and her husband Lloyd Robie were co-owners of Robie’s Country Store in Hooksett for many years. Her soft-spoken manner and kind smile were just as much a draw to the store as her delicious baked goods; homemade baked beans and donuts were a staple from her kitchen.
Mrs. Robie was a longtime active member of Hooksett Congregational Church and very involved with many Hooksett civic organizations throughout the years. Family and friends were at the center of Mrs. Robie’s active life.
In 1997, both Mr. and Mrs. Robie retired from the store due to health issues.
“For over 30 years, my husband and I worked here for seven days a week until he got Alzheimer’s and we had to sell. On our last day, more than 400 people showed up to say goodbye. We are very happy that the legacy of this place is being kept alive,” Mrs. Robie said.
However, as changes at the store progressed, Mrs. Robie was ever-present with approving eyes as she frequented the store for breakfasts and attended ever event she could and remained a matriarch to the community until her passing.
Mrs. Robie died April 26, 2014.
Ernie Desrosiers served in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II in the Asiatic Pacific Theater. He is a retired major in the N.H. Army National Guard, 172nd Field Artillery II Corps, serving his country for 32 years, 10 months and 7 days.
Ernie was a retired sales agent and estimator for Miller Industries. He was a Mason and a member of the Lafayette Lodge 41, the Hiram Chapter 24 Royal Arch Mason, Horace Chase Council 4 Royal and Select Masters, and the Mt. Horeb Commandery Knights Templar. Ernie supported the Boy Scouts of America, serving as a Scoutmaster for six years with Troop 103, a life member of the National Guard Association of New Hampshire, a member of the National Association for Uniformed Services Chapter 31, a member of the Hooksett Lions Club, Hooksett Entertainers, a member of Robie’s Country Store Historic Preservation Committee, a member of the N.H. Aviation Historical Society, and a member of Hooksett Congregational Church, where he served as a trustee, treasurer, moderator, Diaconate member, building committee chairman, and sang in the senior choir.
Ernie enjoyed oil painting and had a passion for aviation.
Ernie died May 17, 2013.
John R. Turbyne
John served as director and vice president to Robie’s Country Store Historic Preservation Corp. from it’s beginning in 1997 until September 2011. His guidance was a vital part of the many successes in developing the Corp. and the business model for the preservation of this historic site.
His interest in the project never diminished, even after his retirement from the Board of Directors. His counsel was inspirational to all who worked with him.