William E. Dobbins, Senior Chief Petty Officer, U.S. Navy Retired, beloved father.
William was the only child of William E. Dobbins, Commander, U.S. Navy Retired, of Massachusetts and Lyda Blanche Smith, U.S. Army Nurse Corps, of Pennsylvania.
He was born in Washington, D.C., and grew up in Massachusetts, Pennsylvania and Florida.
William, affectionately known as “Wild Bill” to friends, was a veteran of World War II and the Korean War. He served aboard four aircraft carriers and five other ships deploying with units to the Atlantic, Pacific, Mediterranean and Caribbean in defense of his country.
He was stationed in Norfolk, Va., San Diego, California, Barbers Point, Hawaii, and China Lake, California. He retired in 1964 after 24 years of unblemished active service.
He had a successful career as a life insurance agent for MONY from 1963-1990. He also worked for H & R Block for seven years. He volunteered for the Navy Relief Society, was a volunteer campground host and worked in security and as a park ranger.
Bill’s passion was airplanes and their engines.
He attended Frostproof Schools and graduated from Frostproof High School in 1941. He married Lillian Yvonne Brown, daughter of Bill and Sadie, of Wauchula, Fla., in 1942.
Lillian, known as “Billie,” and Bill had two children, Mary Lyda and Daniel Newton, both raised in Florida.
In 1947, Bill married Vada Lee Harrah of West Virginia. They lived in Virginia, Hawaii and California. Bill and Vada had one daughter, Kathy Lea. Vada preceded Bill in death in 1975.
In 1975, Bill married Suzanne Lee Parker, aka Cleabelle, (Cleo) Rae Pearce (Wilson, McGrosso) of Oregon. They lived in California until 1990 when they moved to Port Angeles, Washington.
Bill was a generous soul with a philosophical and artistic spirit, a wordsmith and a mathematical intellect. He loved his country and the out of doors. He enjoyed camping and exploring. He adventured to beaches, mountains and deserts across the U.S. and abroad, always collecting a rock or a stick along the way.
He was a gifted orator, a past president of Club 2516 Toastmasters International, a square dancer, a pretty entertaining storyteller, worthy Scrabble opponent and an aficionado of country- Western music. Bill was a gifted driftwood artist and avid member of the Olympic Driftwood Sculptors. One of his most cherished memories was receiving a big hug from Mary Lyda’s employer, Dolly Parton.
To the end he was quick to laugh and quick to defend.
In February of this year, Bill moved to Sequim Health and Rehabilitation Center in Sequim, Wash. Bill relished his time at SHARC making many new friends, spending his last months in the care of kind and compassionate caregivers and surrounded by those who loved and respected him.
Bill is survived by his three children, Mary Lyda Wellons of Sevierville, Tenn., Daniel Newton of Tampa, Fla., and Kathy Lea of Chula Vista, Calif.; grandchildren, Robin Macias, Terry May, Timothy Moody and Britt Wellons; three great-grandchildren; two great-great-garandsons; and his beloved canine companion, Wiley.
A celebration of Bill’s life was held at the First United Methodist Church, Port Angeles Wash., on Aug. 11, 2012.
A funeral service will be held at The Little Chapel of the Roses, Glen Abbey Memorial Park, Bonita, Calif., on Saturday, Aug. 25, 2012, at 10 a.m.