COLUMBIA — Ralph C. Dobbs, 91, of Columbia, Missouri passed away peacefully on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, surrounded by his loving family.
Visitation is at 6:00 pm to 8:00 pm, Thursday, July 24, 2014, at Memorial Funeral Home in Columbia (1217 Business Loop 70 West). Funeral services are at 10:00 am Friday, July 25, 2014, at First Christian Church (Tenth and Walnut, Columbia), with interment to follow at 2:00 pm at the Missouri State Veterans Cemetery, Jacksonville, Missouri, with full military honors.
Ralph was born September 29, 1922, in Bertha, Douglas County, Missouri, to Ed and Myrtle (Tetrick) Dobbs. He graduated from Ava High School and joined the Civilian Conservation Corps. He enrolled at Southwest Missouri State College in Springfield, Missouri and completed his B.S. degree in Agriculture at the University of Missouri- Columbia. In 1942, he joined the U. S. Marine Corps and served bravely in the South Pacific during World War II, surviving both Iwo Jima and Nagasaki. He received an honorable discharge with the rank of Captain.
Ralph wasted no time returning to his sweetheart, Edna "Sherry" Sherwood, and they married in Cresson, Pennsylvania on July 14, 1946. He taught vocational agriculture in Bakersfield, Missouri, and later earned a Masters degree at UMC. As a County Extension Agent with the University Extension Division, Ralph enjoyed great popularity with farmers and ranchers all over central and southern Missouri.
In 1961, he became a Community Development Agent in Farmington, Missouri and the Lead Belt area. His efforts were instrumental in mobilizing local leaders to acquire funding, making Mineral Area College a reality.
In 1963, Ralph, Sherry and their five daughters moved to Bloomington, Indiana, where Ralph completed a doctorate in Adult Education from Indiana University. In 1965, Dr. Dobbs joined the graduate faculty in the College of Education at UMC. Besides teaching numerous graduate level courses, Professor Dobbs served on many Masters and Doctoral committees and facilitated a wide variety of conferences and short courses throughout Missouri. Ralph was extremely successful both personally and professionally throughout his life, and he made friends wherever he went.
Dr. Dobbs became Professor Emeritus in 1985. For many decades, Ralph bred top quality Registered Polled Hereford cattle and enjoyed raising and sharing beautiful produce from his farm near Ashland. Over the years, he and his Ashland neighbors enjoyed memorable "Tea Time" celebrations at his rustic cabin. He was active in the First Christian Church for 50 years as an elder, deacon, and Sunday School teacher. Captain Dobbs took great pride in his association with the Central Missouri Honor Flight program. He made countless friends each time he donned his original Marine Corps uniform and saluted each veteran returning home from Washington, D. C.
Ralph’s beloved wife, Sherry, died in 2009. His parents, two brothers, Harold and Raymond, and sister, Ireta Tate also preceded him in death.
Survivors include five daughters: Marilyn Schappert of Columbia; Jeanie Dobbs of San Francisco; Sherry Kaye Dobbs of Columbia; Sue Dobbs, DDS, of Kansas City; and Carol Kvanvig (Jonathan) of Waco, TX; four grandchildren: Captain David Schappert (Meghan), USN, of Fairfax, VA; Philip Schappert (Kathy), of Atlanta, GA; Jared Kvanvig (Savannah) of Columbia; and Brittany Kvanvig of Austin, TX; six great grandchildren: Jack and Laine Schappert of Fairfax, VA; Cole, Blake and Landon Schappert of Atlanta, GA; and Weston Kvanvig of Columbia. He is also survived by one sister, Juanita Dougherty, of Ava, MO and many other nieces, nephews and extended family.
The family would like to thank Dr. David James, III, Dr. Jerry Cupp, Dr. Myo Lwin and Dr. Hunter Hofmann for their compassionate medical care, as well as his long-term caregivers for their kindness and devotion.
Memorial donations may be made in Ralph’s honor to the First Christian Church (101 N. 10th St, Columbia, MO 65201) or to the Central Missouri Honor Flight (625 Cherry St, Columbia, MO 65201).