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Obituary of Donald Dobesh

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Don Dobesh- A life lived fully and enjoyed- no regrets! Looking forward to what is next!


Never shed a tear or regret. Instead, smiling and thinking of the good things that make life worth living was always his philosophy. Don hopes that he has crossed that bridge to the future and will see again those who have passed before him, including the many pets he loved so much.

Donald Leo Dobesh passed away Tuesday, May 13, 2024. He was born August 14, 1945, in Gregory SD. He spent his youth on a small family ranch near Herrick, SD. He attended rural elementary and Burke High School. Upon graduation he attended the University of South Dakota before transferring to Southern State College at Springfield, SD where he met his wife of more than 50 years, Doris Hoffman. They moved to Enning, SD to teach in rural schools, then to Black Hills State College to resume education, and later returned to Springfield, receiving their undergraduate degrees in 1968.

After graduation they moved to Vermillion, SD where Don taught Speech and English and coached forensics at Vermillion High School. Don proudly maintained close friendships with several of his former speech students. He especially valued Matt and Mark Michaels. In many ways he saw them as his sons, following their challenges and accomplishments.

In 1979, Don and Doris moved to Sioux Falls, SD. Don started a small business which was still operating until 2020. While at Sioux Falls, Don was also able to indulge in his guilty pleasure of playing table tennis at the Center for Active Generations. He enjoyed many long-lasting friendships among the TT players.

In 2011 they moved to Dryden, NY where they built their dream home on a small acreage with abundant wildlife and gardening opportunities (and challenges). Don worked with customers they had developed in the Midwest. He also found a great new adventure playing a sport called pickleball and valued the many friendships he gained there. In 2016, while playing table tennis he fell and broke his hip, leaving him unable to enjoy the yard and garden that he had worked so hard to create and maintain.

Preceding Don in death were his parents, the late Leo and Betty (Kosik) Dobesh, and his brother Warren. He is survived by his wife, Doris Hoffman; brother, Duane (Mandana); sister, Sandra Schott; and several nieces and nephews.

Per Don’s request, there will be no services. Those who want to share their thoughts about Don should think of a good time they spent with him. You can best honor Don’s life by contributing to a local animal shelter or better yet, adopting an older pet and encouraging others to do the same.

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