Leslie Robinson Sharp, Descendant Of Press Founder, Dies July 3


Leslie Read Robinson Sharp of Cedar Mill, near Portland, Oregon, died at her home on July 3 after a battle with breast cancer. She was 61.

Born in Southampton Hospital, Ms. Sharp attended local schools and graduated from the Northfield School in Massachusetts. She attended Berklee College of Music in Boston, and was a well-known singer-songwriter on the East End in the 1970s, with regular gigs at Barristers in Southampton Village and at The New Moon Café in East Quogue, where she met her future husband, Bill.

Ms. Sharp was employed as a technical editor for various companies in Portland’s version of Silicon Valley, including IBM, Freightliner and Sequent Computer Systems.

Ms. Sharp’s musical career included appearances with Tony Zano, Hal McKusick, and Toots Thielemans, performing jazz standards. She also opened for John Hammond and Papa John Creach.

She was a member of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra Chorus, under the direction of Robert Shaw, and performed at The Other End in New York City, the Nameless Coffeehouse in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and other East Coast venues. More recently, she had performed in her hometown of Portland, at the East Avenue Tavern and Artichoke Community Music coffeehouse.

Ms. Sharp’s song “The River,” with a theme about life’s transitions, has become a standard for her breast cancer support group in Portland, and is copyrighted with SESAC, originally the Society of European Stage Authors and Composers, a performance rights organization in the United States.

Ms. Sharp is a descendant of Walter Rogers Burling, whose family founded numerous Long Island newspapers in the 1800s, including The East Hampton Star and The Southampton Press. Her great-grandfather, Frank Burling, was editor of The Press, and her parents, William Read Robinson and Shirley Brown Robinson, were former publishers of The Press.

She is survived by her husband, William Sharp of Portland, and their daughters, Emily Dawson Sharp of Seattle, Washington, and Clair Burling Sharp of San Antonio, Texas. She is also survived by a brother, Peter Burling Robinson of Sag Harbor.

She was predeceased by her parents.

Memorial donations may be made to Providence Hospice, 6410 NE Halsey Street, Portland, Oregon 97213, or to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Ms. Sharp was cremated. No services are planned at this time.

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