Dabney Brown Doty

Passed away on March 22, 2020

Dabney Brown Doty Sr.,101, of Columbia MO, passed away Sunday, March 22, 2020 at his home. A celebration of his life will take place at a later date.

Dabney was born November 5, 1918 in Marion, Alabama the son of John Doty Sr. and Ruth Elmo (Dozier) Doty. On July 24, 1943 he was married in Nashville, TN to Mary Elizabeth Gillem. Dabney served in WWII as a gunnery officer on a destroyer escort in the South Pacific. After his discharge from the US Navy, he completed his education at Eastern Kentucky University with a Master’s degree in Industrial Education. He moved his family to Columbia in 1949 where he was a professor at the University of MO for 39 years.

Dabney designed, handmade, and sold a fishing lure called the Doty Raider, which at one time was featured on the cover of Field and Stream magazine. The Doty family spent many summers fishing and camping throughout Northwest US. Dabney was a long-time member of the First Christian Church where he regularly volunteered on workdays around the church well into his nineties. He was also a member of a local rock club where he enjoyed helping with their annual show. On his 100th birthday, Central Bank of Boone County hosted a reception in honor of their customer with the longest tenure. For many years he enjoyed attending the gathering of survivors and rescuers of the attack on the U.S.S. Indianapolis. He enjoyed speaking to others about his naval service.

Dabney is survived by his children, Dabney Brown Doty Jr. (Linda) of Portland OR, Alan Edward Doty (Suzanne) of Corpus Christi TX, Carol Elizabeth Thomas (Millard) of Columbia MO, and Mary Ann Leonard (Rob) of Fulton MO; eight grandchildren, and thirteen great grandchildren. He was preceded in death by his parents, his wife, brother, Duane Doty, and sister, Gladys Doty.

Memorials may be made to First Christian Church on 10th Street in Columbia in care of the funeral home or the church.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Dabney Brown Doty

have a memory or condolence to add?

Sue Dobbs

April 5, 2020

I knew Dabney from First Christian Church. He once told me about how he survived the sinking of the USS Indianapolis in WW II. He was a fine southern gentleman and an American hero. Salute to a member of the Greatest Generation.

This is a picture of Dabney meeting my nephew, Captain David Schappert, US Navy at my dad's 90th birthday party along with Ken Watson.

don shettlesworth

April 4, 2020

Many years ago Ann Leonard gave me two doty raider fishing lures which quickly became one of my favorite lures. Many years later I placed these two lures in a tackle box of my favorite irreplaceable lures where they will remain as fond memories. May the sadness of irreplaceable loss to the family eventually turn to warm smiles from memories of their departed love one who is looking down and probably saying "catch a big one for me."

Mark Boehms

April 2, 2020

Mr Doty taught me woodworking, drafting, life skills, problem solving methods, love of knowledge, perfection, when I was a student at Mizzou. There has not been a day in my adult life that I didn’t think what would Doty do? I studied Industrail Arts 1976-1980.

jeanie dobbs

April 2, 2020

Such an honorable man, one of the very last of the Greatest Generation. He will be missed.

Jim Smothers

April 2, 2020

It was a great honor to know Mr. Doty. He would come into my office every so often and I will cherish all of his stories. I would even go home and tell my wife and children some of the ones he would tell me. He always wanted to show off his firm hand shake still at age 101. The last time I saw Dabney, not too long before his passing he was smiling ear to ear, he told me he had a lunch date with a lady friend, he started laughing a bit and said Jim she's 20 years younger! I said Dabney you still got it! RIP my friend I will miss your stories. And my thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Stephen Savage

April 2, 2020

God bless to Dabney and all the crew of the USS Ringness. He was one of the smartest guys I ever had the honor of getting to know.
Thank you for your service, my friend.

Maria Eck Bullard

April 2, 2020

My father was a survivor of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and I met Mr Doty at the reunions. Such a lovely, kind gentle man. It gave me peace knowing that a man as sweet as Dabney was one of the ones that was there at one of the darkest hours of my fathers life, and was instrumental in saving his life (and therefore mine!) He was so proud, yet humble of the part he played in the ordeal. I'll never forget his sweet nature and smile. I know he went on to accomplish great things in his life, but for those hours he was there for my father, I will forever be grateful.
Maria Eck Bullard
Daughter of USS Indianapolis Survivor Harold Eck

Michael Dyrenfurth

March 31, 2020

Despite twenty two years passing since I left UMC, there is rarely a technology class that I teach during which I don’t bring up Dabney Doty. He was a truly rare poly-tech with exceptional skill in a wide range of technologies, cabinet making, machine shop, leather work, tailoring, and more. A thinking person’s technologist to be sure, but even more. He genuinely merited the categorization of being his own man.

To me he served as a consummate role model exemplifying thoughtfully exercised skill true to his frequently used mantra that there was more headwork than handwork in shopwork. I came to not only respect him for his skill but his keen insight and perceptive assessments of people. He encouraged me and supported me throughout my twenty years as colleague and hopefully he felt that I did the same for him. To this day I use him as THE exemplar of a craftsman. Despite his frugal nature he would always share his abilities and generously help others with their challenges – both technical and professional.

He will be missed but not forgotten – at UMC and in the minds of the many students and faculty he touched. What more could a real professor want?

Donna Perry

March 29, 2020

I worked with Mr. Doty at MU during the early 80's when I worked in Industrial Education. My brother was his student in the 70's. He was the most dedicated teacher I met during my 35 years at MU. After a chance meeting my brother had with him a year or two ago, we decided to invite him to lunch sometime so he could see my brother's woodworking projects and home. That took place in October 2019 and it was a great day! By the time we made it to my brother's workshop, Mr Doty was in his element. He even gave us a teaching demo on how to sharpen a wood scraper without the proper tools! He was 100 at the time and STILL teaching! It is a day we will never forget.

Melissa Nichols

March 24, 2020

I didn't know Mr. Doty well but he still made an impact on my life. I actually met him at Aldi on Business Loop and had greeted him each time I saw him. He always wore his WW2 Veteran hat and I make a point to thank our Veterans when I see them in public. We had stopped by after church one Sunday evening for a few things. Mr. Doty was in the store and I wanted my husband to meet him. We stopped and thanked him for his service and ended up chatting with him for over an hour!

Mr. Doty was a very sweet and intelligent man. At the age of 101 he was still independent (I hope I can grocery shop and drive by myself at 101) and so smart (He knew every detail of Columbia's history). He told us about his contributions to WW2 and his life as a professor at the University.

My heart breaks for his family who cannot gather and have a proper funeral for him right now. I am sad that his legacy may be lost among the chaos of our current times. I will choose to remember him and the difference he made.

I want to send my sincerest condolences to his family. We pray for peace and comfort for those who are grieving his loss.