Rev. Robin Ann Lafon entered into peaceful, eternal rest on April 5, 2023.
Robin’s beauty, laughter, strength and effervescence could light up an entire zip code. She was an unapologetic extrovert - a shining star- a soulful “empath” who loved her family and friends, embraced strangers, and treasured all animals.
Robin Lafon was born on March 13, 1961, and was raised in Goodview, Virginia, near Roanoke. At the tender age of three, Robin wandered to the parsonage beside the country church where her father served as Preacher. There, she taught herself to play the upright piano for the local dogs and cats who followed her around. So was the stage set for Robin’s future.
Robin’s first musical repertoire was the Baptist hymnal; she would begin with The Doxology hymn, and play through as many songs as she could. Robin went on to play piano for her elementary, high school and college choirs –and of course, her father’s church.
Professionally, Robin began her career in the nonprofit sector as an Executive in local, state and nationwide organizations. Later, she worked as an executive Recruiter with Circuit City Stores, Inc. and CarMax. These professional experiences equipped Robin with a pragmatic approach she would carry to many communities of faith.
Robin earned her undergraduate degree at Radford University and later, her Master of Divinity through Baptist Theological Seminary. She worked as an Ordained Minister in both Churches and nonprofits. With tender sensitivity, Robin walked alongside countless people and couples through their life journeys. Later she became a Certified Professional Coach, developing a private practice to help others reflect on life and relationships.
Robin understood that her passions and professions were God’s way of using her creativity and compassion to help others. She brought humor, patience, grace and inclusion to comfort people during difficult trials. To hear Robin’s testimonial on her own journey of recovery was to understand her profound spirituality and humanity.
Most recently, Robin worked as a professional pet-sitter in the West End of Richmond, caring for clients’ most precious family members. She was an animal whisperer who actively coached families and organizations to resolve pet challenges.
Robin served as pianist for Bon Air Baptist Church, Mount Vernon Baptist Church, Shady Grove United Methodist Church and for numerous other churches and events across Richmond, including Carols and Keyboards at River Road Presbyterian Church.
Robin was mom to a Labrador, Sadie, and two beloved cats: Bella (who showed up at her front door) and Hamilton (a failed foster). She loved Gospel, the Beach, being a Pisces, and bottomless unsweet tea (with 3 Splendas).
Robin is preceded in death by her parents Eula Geraldine Meadows Lafon and Rev. Robert Hill Lafon. She leaves behind husband Richard “Rick” Ocheltree; his children Amy Schaaf (Chris), Emily Gottwald (Sam) and Evan Ocheltree (Alexis); grandchildren Landon, Brody, Vivienne, Elisabeth, Kate, Blake, and Charlotte; siblings Barry Lafon(Paige); Rita Jennings (Jim); Monica Dellis (Donald); Steve Lafon (Bonnie); nieces and nephews Shellie Edge (Jason), Dana Joyner (Matt), David Jennings, Michele Johnson (Jacob), Deanna Dellis, Brad Lafon, Brenna Smith, Taylor Kozell(Daniel), Sam Lafon and her beloved aunt Sherry Meadows Hearn.
Robin is now enjoying a loving reunion with her parents and countless pets.
A service and celebration of Robin’s life will be held on April 14 at Mount Vernon Baptist Church at 11AM, EST. Memorial contributions may be made in Robin’s memory to pet rescues and homeless shelters.
Yes, we are fully confident, and we would rather be away from these earthly bodies, for then we will be at home with the Lord.
2 Corinthians 5:8