Robert (Robbie) Lewis Magruder

Robert (Robbie) Lewis Magruder

July 2, 1945 – Oct. 11, 2019

Robbie was born in Washington, D.C. the son of Lewis Walter Magruder and Anna Dean Magruder, who nurtured a strong love of family and encouraged him to follow his passion for music. Graced with natural talent, he worked hard and studied with a number of legendary percussion and drum professionals to perfect his craft and his rock-steady ‘in the pocket’ style.

He was a family man, a lover of fly fishing, and an orchid aficionado who touched the world with his kindness, honesty, humor, wit and love for music. During his illustrious career, he toured and recorded with numerous artists including Roy Buchanan, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Lowen and Navarro and The Seldom Scene. His greatest joy was playing with both veteran and up-and-coming musicians in the D.C. area.

Robbie is survived by the love of his life Elicia, his children Robbie Jr., Chuck, Erin,  Austin, Jenna, Travis, sister Lynne, and seven grandchildren, nephews and nieces. The extended family of friends and colleagues he leaves behind will always remember and cherish his gentle kindness, his humor and his humility regarding his exceptional musical talent.

A memorial service will be held at the Advent Funeral Home in Falls Church on Friday, October 18 at 3:00 PM. A celebration of life is also planned for a later date and time to be determined.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made in Robbie’s name to MusiCares.

23 Responses to Robert (Robbie) Lewis Magruder

  1. Jean Zissett says:

    We are saddened by the loss of our dear brother-in-law and loving husband to my sweet sister Elicia, Robbie. Our hearts and love are with you all, Elicia, Erin, Austin, Jenna and Travis. Love, Jean & Bobby

  2. David E. Eisner says:

    As a sound engineer in the live sound world, you quickly learn that the mix of the band starts from the ground up. Meaning that the drummer sets the volume and defines the space for the other musicians to construct their sound. It was truly a joy ( and sometimes a relief ) when Robbie would load in his kit and ascend onto his throne. He would always find the sweet spot which made his fellow compadres relax and play superbly. And yes, this was the metaphor for the way you felt when Robbie was in your life. Passion ,humor, and a display of love and leadership by his actions not just words. “When the Saints go marching in” will never sound better. R.I.P. dear friend.

  3. Ed Murphy says:

    The music hasn’t died, it’s just moved on…….I will miss you Robbie…….

  4. Tracy Threlfall says:

    My deepest condolences to you and your family Elicia. Your love for your husband was and the joy you felt in your marriage was clearly evident to us all. My heart is broken for your loss, and I will hold your entire family in gentle prayer for peace through your grief process. With love,

  5. Frank Maddalon says:

    Elicia Our deepest sympathy from Iris and myself.

  6. Kristen (Magruder) Sykes says:

    My deepest condolences to the family. Robbie and my dad (Doug Magruder) were cousins and I remember him and Lynne as a little girl. My dad passed away in 2013 and I heard about Robbie’s passing from cousin Chris and Dan Magruder. Praying for you all. Feel free to contact me any time to reconnect, as I don’t have a way to contact you. God bless

  7. Joleen Lorg says:

    Elicia you and your family have my deepest sympathy. You will be in my thoughts and prayers

  8. Janine Wilson says:

    My most heartfelt sympathies, Elicia, to you and your family. Robbie was always a trouper, an amazing drummer that I was privileged to perform with, and an wonderful, supportive friend and sweetheart. He could always make me laugh and I will treasure the time that I was able to spend with him. Such a kind soul that I will dearly miss.

  9. Patrick Wallner says:

    Elicia, Please accept my condolences for your loss. I always like to say that God has added another bright star to the Heavens.

  10. Doug and Mary Santoro says:

    Elicia, Please accept our deepest sympathy to to you and your family. I remember how fondly you would speak of Robbie and his musical talents. Hold tightly to those memories that you have, for as long as you do, he will forever live in your heart.

  11. Doug and Mary Santoro says:

    Elicia, Please accept our deepest sympathy for you and your family. I remember how fondly you would speak of Robbie’s love and talent for music. Hold tightly to your memories and he will forever live in your heart.

  12. Denise Carter says:


    My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.
    When you live in your DESIGN
    It is from there that God SHINES
    Living your best life is your greatest tribute to your Dad.

  13. Wayne Thomas says:

    I want you to know that my thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  14. Ellen Whitaker says:

    Elicia we are thinking of you and your family during this terrible loss. Please know lots of love is being sent your way. Ellen Whitaker

  15. Mike McGraw says:


    So sorry for your loss. Thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

  16. Chris & Ray Bonetti says:

    So sorry Elicia for your loss, our prayers go out to you and your family.

  17. HENRY KUROSAKA says:

    I will miss this wonderful drummer and person. I was lucky to have played with him in a band.

  18. Robert Israel says:

    Dear Elicia and family.

    I am at a loss for words. Robbie was such a great person and friend and was always and inspiration to me during the years that we played together.

    I miss his and his tender kind heart and beautiful friendly smile.

    Prayers and love and kindness to you and your family.

    Best to all,

    Bob israel

  19. Barbara Fakoury says:

    I had the privilege of performing with Robbie at the Ft. Myer Officer’s Club a number of times. Nothing could be easier than to play with him, his music was perfection and nonverbal communication was exquisite. He will be missed.

  20. Mike Webber says:

    I was so saddened to hear of Robbie’s death. I had no idea that he was even ill. I used to work with him of many gigs and sessions in the D.C. area for a time in the mid 70’s til sometime in 1980 or so. He was a fabulous drummer to work with and a dear friend. Later on we didn’t see much of each other after i moved to Nashville but we did run into each other on the road when he was with Mary Chapin Carpenter. He will be missed by many I’m sure. I’ll never forget his wife’s recipe for those darn toasted candied pecans, which unfortunately I have lost the recipe. He was a good friend and we always enjoyed each others company and sense of humor…God bless all of his family and in particular Elicia.

  21. Joel Kastner says:

    Elicia: Robbie touched so many, and in so many ways. He was like a mentor to me when I was a young musician breaking in to the DC scene in the late 70’s and early 80’s. So kind and supportive, and so much fun to around. And of course, absolutely NO ONE could lay it down like Robbie! When he was on the gig, I knew the music would just flow, and everything would be just fine. My thoughts go out to you & your family, and all of Robbie’s many friends and fellow musicians.

  22. Eve Zibart says:

    I am so sorry! We were away in October and just home in time to miss the info on the concert, but I will raise a toast tonight. He was always so easy and accessible and I never stopped laughing around him except when he was playing (and I just smiled). My deepest condolences and good memories.

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