Western Slope Obituaries 4-19-10
Homer E. Dobbins, 97, of Durango, Colo., passed away April 3, 2010.
He was born to Sylvia and Joe Dobbins on Oct. 10, 1912, in Santa Rosa, N.M.
When he was young, his family moved in a covered wagon to northern Missouri, where they lived until the early 1920s. They later moved to Farmington, N.M., where he graduated from high school in 1931.
From an early age, Homer liked to tinker. He helped around his father’s blacksmith shop, where he learned the skills of his future trade. After graduation, he worked odd jobs and later at Farmers Supply in Farmington, N.M.
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In 1939, he married Dorothy Lee Coker and moved to Durango, Colo., the same day. After a short time with Farmers Supply in Durango, Colo., he began working for Durango Welding.
Homer and Louis Wyman opened their own shop, L & H Welding, which was bought out by Telluride Iron Works. He worked at T.I.W. until retiring in 1980.
His work can be seen many places in the area. He worked on the head gates of the Vallecito dam, at the Durango power plant and built leaching baskets for uranium enrichment. He built and installed handrails for the first buildings at Fort Lewis College when it moved into town. He also built a custom wood stove and helped fabricate the towers for the first ski lift at Purgatory Ski Area. Many hours were spent helping keep the Denver and Rio Grande Narrow Gauge Railroad trains running. He often talked about the big Navy ships. A highlight after retiring was a daylong below-deck tour of the battleship USS Alabama at Battleship Park on Mobile Bay in Alabama.
They joined First Baptist Church of Durango shortly after they arrived in Durango, Colo. Homer was a church trustee for many years. He was among a small group of men who established the Whispering Pines Bible Camp in the woods above Trimble Hot Springs. He always loved the mountains and enjoyed jeeping and looking at the old mines and mills in the area. He found rocks for the many retaining walls built around his home on these excursions.
He is survived by his daughter, Elaine Bowden of Durango, Colo.; son, Marvin Dobbins of Durango, Colo.; four grandchildren; three great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Dorothy Dobbins.
Services were held April 15, 2010 at First Baptist Church of Durango, Colo.
Cremation was conducted.
Memorial contributions may be made to the First Baptist Church Building Fund, 322 E. 11th St., Durango, Colo., 81301.
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