Megan E. Robb thumbnail

Megan E. Robb

August 12, 1971 - January 14, 2021

Margaret Eugenia “Megan” Robb, of Chicago, Illinois, died peacefully at home on January 14, 2021. For ten months, Megan lived with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) and did so with a blend of hope, guarded optimism, joy, good and sometimes dark humor, and sheer determination.


Megan was born on August 12, 1971…read more

Margaret Eugenia “Megan” Robb, of Chicago, Illinois, died peacefully at home on January 14, 2021. For ten months, Megan lived with metastatic breast cancer (MBC) and did so with a blend of hope, guarded optimism, joy, good and sometimes dark humor, and sheer determination.


Megan was born on August 12, 1971, in Summit, New Jersey, to John Ashmead Robb and Margaret Carpenter Robb. Megan spent her childhood in Summit and was proud to have attended Summit public schools all the way from kindergarten through graduation from Summit High School in 1989. During her childhood, Megan forged lifelong friendships through school, athletics, Girl Scouts, and in the pool and on the tennis courts at Clearwater Swim Club. Megan launched a lifelong dedication to volunteerism at a young age, teaching Sunday school to kindergartners at Calvary Episcopal Church. She would be pleased to report yet reluctant to admit that the students in her first class were turning 40 this year. After graduating from Summit High School, Megan attended Hamilton College where she majored in Government and graduated in 1993. Since setting foot on campus in the fall of 1989, Megan’s enthusiasm for Hamilton never waned. Megan went on to a professional career that spanned a broad range of assignments ranging from retail (J.Crew, Bass, and Talbots) to marketing and promotions in print and digital media (USA Today and Patch.com). In more recent years, Megan brought her skills to her consulting work focused on creative marketing, operations, and community engagement.


It was beyond the 9-5 where Megan found her true happiness, giving her time and energy as a volunteer to countless organizations, charities, and people, including the Junior League of Portland, ME and Washington, DC; University of Chicago Cancer Research Foundation Associates Board; Shedd Aquarium Auxiliary Board; and the Hamilton College Chicago Regional Alumni Association. After her mother was treated for breast cancer, Megan took up running and became a seven-time Boston Marathon finisher and fundraiser for the Dana-Farber Marathon Challenge. She was the last official finisher in the 2003 Boston Marathon and wore the title as a badge of honor, the same way she proudly wore the title of survivor from the minute of her first cancer diagnosis in 2016.

Some might say Megan did not let grass grow beneath her feet. During her adult life she lived in New Jersey; Portland, ME; Washington, DC; Chicago; and Southern California. A trip to France in sixth grade tapped into a love of adventure and turned Megan into an intrepid traveler. She traveled throughout the U.S. and also to Canada, Ireland, Scotland, Mexico, Italy, Hong Kong, and Trinidad and Tobago, among other locales. Wherever she went, Megan carried with her a deep appreciation for the world and environment around her, a love of adventure, and her tongue-in-cheek humor. While living in Chicago, Megan discovered a love of sailing and the camaraderie that went with it. Once sailing became part of Megan’s life, many of her most memorable adventures took place on Lake Michigan, and summer trips to her beloved Manomet, MA, had to be planned around her summer regatta schedule.


Megan loved to meet people, displayed a genuine interest in learning about their lives and families, and remained a steadfast, loyal friend. Some of her closest relationships spanned decades, and many of Megan’s friends often found themselves connected with each other. When the pandemic made everyone’s world a bit smaller in 2020, Megan expanded her reach, bringing friends and family together by sharing stories and supporting them through social media. She treasured her friendships both old and new. Inspirational writing, thoughtful commentary, and quick wit were her hallmarks. Often without knowing it, Megan encouraged others in offering them the opportunity to catch a glimpse of her and her spark.


Although Megan’s early years were spent refusing to be known by anything other than her nickname, she later took great pride in being the fifth generation in a line of women named Margaret. Megan found great meaning and honor in being a descendant of the Robb, Montgomery, Klotz, and Young families, and her greatest joy was her family. Blessed with an innate gift for storytelling and a great memory for the people and highlights in her family tree, Megan was an unofficial family historian of sorts. She was keenly aware of the small details in her family members’ lives and enjoyed keeping relatives connected across multiple generations. Megan knew the joy of being a big sister and took great pride in the accomplishments of her siblings almost as much as if they were her own. During the last decade of her life, she cherished being Aunt Meggie to her loving nieces and nephews, endearing herself to them with fun adventures and the certainty of a trip to the local ice cream joint.


Megan is survived by her brother William (Bill) Robb and his wife Amy of Summit, NJ; sister Susan Macdonald and her husband Frank of Braintree, MA; and five adoring nieces and nephews, Maddie, Alex, and Thomas Robb and Martha and Frannie Macdonald. Megan was predeceased by her parents and grandparents.


Due to the ongoing pandemic, Megan’s memorial service will be held at a later date. Until then, her family encourages others to celebrate Megan’s life and spirit with each new connection formed, vibrant accessory or piece of apparel donned, bargain scored, brilliant sunrise and sunset viewed, Springsteen song played, regatta sailed, and glass raised. Donations in Megan’s name can be made to METAvivor (www.metavivor.org or METAvivor Research and Support, Inc.; 1783 Forest Drive, #184; Annapolis, MD 21401) and to the Megan Robb Scholarship at Hamilton College (https://www.hamilton.edu/give/MeganRobb or Trustees of Hamilton College, check memo: Megan Robb Scholarship; Office of Advancement; 198 College Hill Road; Clinton, NY 13323).


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