Essie Mae Garrett Robertson, 79, who was a leader in several organizations assisting blacks. Born in Cherry Valley, Ark., Robertson studied at DeLasalle Academy in Chicago and Drake University in Des Moines. She later worked with the Woodlawn Branch of the YWCA in Los Angeles, started her own business, called Specialized Office Service, and retired as executive director of Rakestraw Memorial Community Center, which is sponsored by the Wesley United Methodist Church. Known for her unflagging service to others, Robertson was choir president and church secretary of the Neighborhood Community Church, a board member of the Los Angeles Urban League, and was active in the Black Women’s Forum and the National Assn. for the Advancement of Colored People. She became the first woman to serve as chair of the Los Angeles Brotherhood Crusade board of directors. On Feb. 10 in Los Angeles.