Sunday, December 23, 2012
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Lawrence R. Robertson Jr. died in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 22, 2012, at age 84.

He was born in Hartford, Conn., in 1928 to Lawrence R. and Isobel G. Robertson.After graduating from Manchester, Conn., High School in 1945, he attended the University of Connecticut in Storrs, receiving a bachelor's degree in 1949. He served in the Army in Korea during the Korean War. A skilled pianist, he then attended Yale University, earning a bachelor's degree in music in 1955, followed by a master's in music from Northwestern University in Evanston, Ill., in 1956. He did not continue with the piano professionally, but played regularly for himself and friends.

Mr. Robertson entered the business field with a sales position at the Pennsylvania Railroad, and then as a merchandise manager with Montgomery Ward. He moved into computers very early, in 1959, working with CEIR in the Washington, D.C., area and then RCA, also in Washington. He joined IBM in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in 1962, moving back to Washington in the same year. In 1964, he began a long career working as a civilian in the Pentagon for the Air Force as a computer specialist dealing with budgetary matters.

He loved the city of Washington, living on the top floor of a high-rise apartment building close to the Potomac. He continued playing the piano at home and informally in hotels and restaurants, favoring classical pieces and Broadway standards.

He retired from government service in 1993 and began spending the winters in Key West, Fla. He brought with him a small electronic piano and made many friends there.

Mr. Robertson leaves his sister Nancy Wiitannen of Vernon, Conn., his sister Barbara Laux (James) of Mount Dora, Fla., his brother Robert (Anne) of Ashfield, Mass., his brother Donald (Claudette) of Arlington, Wash., his sister Janet Kilgour (Jack) of Castro Valley, Calif., and many nieces and nephews.