Joseph Franklin Dobberteen, 88, of Albuquerque, N.M., and a former longtime Sturgis resident, passed away Thursday, April 21, 2011, at his home.
He was born May 31, 1922, in Sturgis, a son of the late Henry and Ella Dobberteen,
Joe lived a good portion of his life at Klinger Lake, enjoying life as a caddy, avid golfer (five holes in one), fisherman, friend and loving family man. He was a life-time member of the Klinger Lake Country Club, where he won five club championships, and a 25-year member of the Lake Wales Country Club in Lake Wales, Fla. Dad made friends everywhere he went.
Mr. Dobberteen was proud to serve his country. He enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps and attended training in Illinois, California, Texas and South Carolina. He tested into the Air Force Air Cadet program and graduated as a 2nd Lieutenant in March 1943. He was assigned to a B-25 as a Bombardier/Navigator and was sent overseas in September 1943. Landing in North Africa, he flew 53 successful missions in nine months over Sicily and Italy. (Sixty-one years later when the family visited Italy, Dad/Uncle Joe often cried “I thought we bombed that bridge!”) He returned to the states and completed his service duty as a 1st Lieutenant with an overseas training group in Florida. He then attended and graduated from Michigan State University.
As a friendly outgoing gentleman, Mr. Dobberteen was a successful salesman. He retired from Tredit Tire Company in 1987, but continued to work part-time (Mondays and Tuesdays) for Tredit until 1997, when he fully retired. He had great patience on and off the golf course. We miss him, but know he is at peace, and “playing the great golf course in the sky,” which gives us all strength and comfort.
He is survived by his loving wife of 56 years Alice; two daughters, Leslie (Dave) Newcomb of Albuquerque, N.M., and Lauren Dobberteen of Reston, Va.; and several nieces, nephews and in-laws scattered around the globe.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, Herbert Dobberteen and Curtis Dobberteen.
In accordance with his wishes, cremation has taken place. The family will receive friends from 10-11 a.m. Tuesday at Trinity Lutheran Church, 406 S. Lakeview Ave., Sturgis. A memorial service celebrating the life of Joseph Dobberteen will begin at 11 a.m. Tuesday at the church. The Rev. Michael Klafehn and the Rev. Calvin Kolzow will officiate.
A graveside committal of the ashes will follow the service at Oak Lawn Cemetery in Sturgis. Full military honors will be conferred by Captain John J. Kelley Post #1355 VFW and the U.S. Army Honor Guard.
Arrangements are entrusted to Riverside Funeral Home in Albuquerque and Hackman Family Funeral Homes of Sturgis.
The family suggests those wishing to make a memorial donation in Mr. Dobberteen’s memory consider the Trinity Lutheran Church, 406 S. Lakeview Ave., Sturgis, MI 49091.