Jim and Bethel Robinette played key roles in the success and growth of what is now known as Robinette’s Apple Haus & Winery. This year, Jim and Bethel passed away into their heavenly life, a month apart. Robinette’s is dedicating the maze design this year to honor and recognize Jim and Bethel’s hard work and dedication to making Robinette’s what it is today – an agritainment destination for the community to enjoy.
Jim and Bethel turned the family’s wholesale fruit farm into a farm market open to the public in the early 1970’s and things just grew from there.
Jim served in the Merchant Marines at the end of WWII and served again in the army in the Korean War. He was named the “Apple Man of the Year” by the Michigan Pomesters in March of 2013. Jim and Bethel were married in 1962. Bethel’s degree in teaching helped her become a great person to lead school tours at the farm. She participated in the Farm Women’s Symposium and served as President of the Michigan State Horticultural Society Women’s Auxiliary.
Jim and Bethel’s hobbies and interests included faithful involvement in their church, gardening, baking, singing in the choir and family ties. They loved greeting all the wonderful visitors to the farm and were genuinely interested in them as individuals.
They were married 58 years and were the 3 rd generation to farm at Robinette’s. The 4th , 5th and now 6th generations are participating in the operation.
Barzilla and Minnie Robinette bought the farm in 1911 while Barzilla was in his mid-60s. He was followed by Edward, who was born in 1889. Jim came along in 1927 and has two siblings. Ed, Bill and John came along in the 1960’s. They are now the owners and operators of the farm with the help of all the family members, the newest member being a week old and the first in the 6th generation. Jim and Bethel will surely be missed by their family, friends, and customers.
This year’s maze design includes the 1929 Model A with the “big apple” in the truck bed. The Model A has been in many parades over the years. The maze officially opens September 1. Tickets may be purchased at the farm at 3142 4 Mile Rd, NE, Grand Rapids, Michigan. www.robinettes.com, www.facebook.com/robinettes, Instagram.com/robinettesapplehaus and twitter.com/robinettes.