Thomas Dobson (1929 - 2015)

  • "Very fond memories of Tommy. We could always get a good..."
    - Jim and Joanne Jenckes
  • "Prayers and kind thoughts to Kevin and Shannon. Your dad..."
    - Teresa Wilson
  • "So sorry for the lost of your dear love one. May the "God..."
  • "Condolences to the Dobson family. Was able to see Tommy in..."
    - Edna Larsen/ Huwe
  • "My Uncle Tom was a beautiful person that I admired my whole..."
    - Leajean Goodson

Lifelong Alaskan, Thomas "Tom" Dobson Jr., 85, passed away on Saturday, July 4, 2015, at the Alaska Native Medical Center in Anchorage, Alaska. Born in King Cove, Alaska, on Nov. 11, 1929, Tom was the son of Tomas Dobson of Australia and Mary Smith of Thin Point, Alaska. A veteran, Tom was a member of the Alaska Territorial Guard and as one of the youngest recruits in modern U.S. military history, served on a U.S. Army Transport during World War II, after which he was honorably discharged. He married his wife, Mary Dee Ray of Bonham, Texas, on Dec. 22, 1956, and had two children, Kevin and Shannon. Tom was an outdoorsman and lived a subsistence lifestyle; he spent most of his early life hiking and trapping throughout the Aleutian Islands as well as months on end camping at his favorite spot, his wood cabin located near Pavloff Bay. He followed his father's footsteps and took over the King Cove Trading Post and operated the store for many years. He also had Tom's Record Shop, where he distributed records by mail throughout the Alaska Peninsula. He was the first person to introduce fresh produce, eggs and breads to his community in the 1960s. His primary occupation was working for the City of King Cove for the public works and electric department, where he helped develop the town's early infrastructure. Tom also held various positions throughout his life: mayor, council member, police officer and a commercial fisherman on his boat, the Erna, were among them. He also worked on the mail boat, The Moby Dick, in his younger years and was responsible for firing the boilers at Pacific American Fisheries. He learned to fly planes and taught school in Dutch Harbor, Alaska, in the 1950s, alongside his wife, Mary Dee. Tom and his wife were actively involved in the King Cove Bible Chapel for many years. After his retirement, he became the owner and operator of Dobson's Boardwalk Pizza. Tom was an avid stamp and coin collector. He enjoyed reading, cooking and spending time with his children and grandchildren. He enjoyed listening to old Scandinavian music and classical opera. He loved to keep up with current events. Tom enjoyed meeting new people wherever he went; he cherished visiting and making newcomers feel welcome. His favorite season, summertime in King Cove, allowed him to spend all day outdoors hiking mountains and trekking through the tundra, prospecting for gold in creeks, picking berries and making homemade jam. He was a skilled carpenter and enjoyed building things, including his own home. Tom, a passionate storyteller, was adventurous, hardworking, proud of his heritage and loved his family. His warm smile, quick wit, cleverness and detailed stories about the good old days will be missed most by his family and friends. He inspired and cared for many people who loved him. He is survived by his brother, Jerry Dobson of King Cove; sisters, Ethel "Honey Girl" Snider of Bellingham, Wash., and Clara Newman of Anchorage, Alaska; his children, Kevin and Shannon Dobson; granddaughters, Jessica, Savannah, Brittney, Chelsea and Devyn; and great-grandchildren, Bailee, Tinlee and Tanner. He was preceded in death by his wife, Mary Dee; and his parents, Tomas and Mary. A Celebration of Tom's life will be held at King Cove, Alaska, the first week in August 2015.
Published in Anchorage Daily News on July 18, 2015
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