Dr. Donald Eugene Dossey
1934 - 2016
Morris Funeral Home
304 Merrimon Avenue
Asheville, NC
Dr. Donald Eugene Dossey

Asheville - Dr. Donald Eugene Dossey, 82, died peacefully at his home on July 31, 2016. Donald was born in Porterville, California in 1934, the eldest son of the late Elsie I. Manuel and Eugene V. Dossey.

Donald was an active member of Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. He was a veteran, having served in the United States Navy on a destroyer in the Pacific during the Korean War. Donald earned his Bachelor of Education from University of the Pacific, his Master of Arts in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University and his Doctorate of Behavioral Science from Heed University. He was a former professor of clinical psychology at Pepperdine University and a consultant in conceptual psychiatry for the National Institute of Mental Health. Donald founded and directed the Crisis Counseling Centers of Southern California, the Phobia Institute of West Los Angeles and the Stress Management Centers of Southern California. He was an acclaimed authority on the treatment of anxieties, phobias and stress.

Donald became well known as an entertaining folklore historian. He authored Keying: The Power of Positive Feelings and Holiday Folklore, Phobias and Fun. With John I. Hillyer, he co-authored Mountains-to-Sea Trail: Western North Carolina's Majestic Rival to the Appalachian Trail. As a phobia folklore expert, Donald's work was featured in magazines and newspapers including the Wall Street Journal, with Friday the 13th being an extremely popular topic. In the early 90s he coined the term parakevidekariatiaphobia (the fear of Friday the 13th) which continues to be used in dictionaries and medical journals. Donald appeared on numerous television and radio shows worldwide including CNN, ABC News, CBS News and the Oprah Winfrey Show.

Until recently, Donald was an active member of The North Carolina Folklore Society, Cradle of Forestry in America, the Audubon Society, the Folk Arts Society, the National Parks and Conservation Association, the North Carolina Wildlife Federation, the Men's Garden Club of Asheville and the American Hiking Society. Having a personality filled with zest, Donald enjoyed life and he enjoyed people. He was passionate about hiking and fishing. Donald was an Eagle Scout and recipient of The Order of Arrow. He was proud of his Scotch/Irish heritage and frequently wore his Leslie Clan kilt. Although accomplished in many fields, sitting properly in a chair in his kilt was one he never achieved.

While he had many professional achievements and associations in his early years, Donald was most proud of giving back to the community he loved over the past 22 years in Asheville, North Carolina. Donald's many philanthropic associations included the Carolina Mountain Club where he worked with trail building and maintenance for the Mountain-to-Sea Trail, facilitating local disaster relief and recovery, counseling homeless veterans, the Men's Garden Club of Asheville and the infamous weekly Brown Bag luncheons with his closest friends.

In addition to his parents, Donald was preceded in death by his late wife, Lois Dossey, who was his soul mate and fellow philanthropist for their retired years in Western North Carolina. He was also preceded in death by his daughter Cindra Shields.

He is survived by daughters Machele Kelchner (Greg), Colette Garrett (Steve), Cathlene Baugher (Bob), and Diana Bennett, and by two sons, Victor Dossey (Kelli) and Donald Manke (Ann). Donald has one brother, Victor Dossey (Kay) of Waynesville. He is survived by 15 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. Donald's family would like to express sincere appreciation to his church family at the Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church for their devoted outreach and caring love and to his many friends from various organizations who brightened his recent days with stories, laughter and memories. The family expresses gratitude to his team of medical professionals and especially to his home care providers Linda Branam and Tim Pegram, for their dedicated care.

Dr. Donald Dossey's memorial service will be held at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church on Saturday, August 20th at 2:30 PM. A reception will follow immediately after the service in the fellowship hall. Family and friends are encouraged to bring their stories and memories. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations to Asheville Buncombe Christian Ministry or Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church. Arrangements are being handled by Morris Funeral Home, 304 Merrimon Avenue. Condolences, photos and memories may be shared through their website at www.morrisfamilyfuneralhome.com.

Published by Asheville Citizen-Times from Aug. 7 to Aug. 19, 2016.
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Memorial service
Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church
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Morris Funeral Home
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This was indeed a fine Christian man. We sat next to Lois and Donald for years at the Flat Rock Playhouse and loved them as much if not more than the plays. They were just simply the finest people. He was a guest on my radio show too. He had a booming voice and larger than life personality. Lois was his rock. A lovely smart lady. We have been away living abroad in Scotland and so wanted to share that with him on return. Too late. Rest In Peace Donald and Lois. Your spirits live on. You have yourselves become the legends you wrote about. Well done. Well done.
Kathleen Jennings
December 27, 2017
Very sad to find out that Dr. Dossey has passed. He literally saved my life with his training years ago.
Mike Gardner
March 16, 2017
Donald and I were buddies for many years - since before he met and married Lois, who I became friends with. The three of us shared many laughs and giggles. He was bigger than life and his joy was a gift that kept on giving. Rest in peace, Good Brother Donald.
Pamela Kelly
January 3, 2017
Saddened to hear the news. Hes with Lois and his mom and dad now. I knew him for almost 30 years. I was his ghost partner. I have missed him since his leaving california as well as when this last illness came up. He was my best buddy and I will miss him forever until the day I get to see him again.
I am very sad my firend is not here .
Howard geer
October 25, 2016
My sincere condolences to the family. May your memories bring you comfort during these difficult days. Ps. 9:9,10
August 13, 2016
Uncle don you were one in a million!! I remember so many exciting and challenging conversations with you over the years with laughter and love!! Great times and memories for me growing up. You lived life to the fullest and now eternity is your reward. See you soon in the future. Much love to the family, my heart to you- Denise (Dossey) Marshall
Denise Marshall
August 9, 2016
The check-in and checkout staff at Asheville Eye Associates, are grieving as well. We will miss Doc Dossey brightening up our day just by coming in the door. Our hearts are with you all.
Beverley Mckone
August 9, 2016
Dr. Dossey was a very dear customer of mine. He always made me smile no matter what kind of day I was having. I loved his stories. He gave me an autographed copy of Holiday folklore phobias and fun. I enjoy looking up different facts and folklore for each holiday.
Colleen Hogan
August 7, 2016
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