Ralph R. Dobelbower, Jr., MD, PhD. F.A.C.R., D.A.B.R., F.A.C.R.O.

March 23, 1940November 23, 2018
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DOBELBOWER - Ralph R., Jr. MD, Ph.D, F.A.C.R., D.A.B.R., F.A.C.R.O. November 23, 2018, of East Aurora, NY, beloved husband of Carol Pack Dobelbower and the late Mary Louise Glaser Dobelbower and the late Mary Dolores Sell Dobelbower; father of Ralph R., III (Christine) Dobelbower, Michael Christian Dobelbower, MD, Ph.D. (Kristie) and Barbara Duffy Dobelbower; stepfather of Deborah Baldwin Flynn (Michael), Bridget Baldwin Mann (Phil), John Baldwin (Amy), Mollie Baldwin Ciocca (Stephen) and Benjamin E. Pack; also survived by 12 grandchildren; son of the late Ralph R. Dobelbower & Deborah Downing Lyon Dobelbower; brother of the late John Lyon Dobelbower & Eleanor Dobelbower Miller. Friends may call Friday, November 30th, 4-8 PM at the WOOD FUNERAL HOME, 784 Main St., East Aurora, where funeral services will be held Saturday, December 1st, at 10:30 AM. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Ralph R. Dobelbower, Jr. MD, Ph.D. Memorial Fund, c/o Simon Kramer Cancer Institute, 15 Alliance St., New Philadelphia, PA 17959. Share condolences at


  • Visitation Friday, November 30, 2018
  • Funeral Service Saturday, December 1, 2018

Ralph R. Dobelbower, Jr., MD, PhD. F.A.C.R., D.A.B.R., F.A.C.R.O.

have a memory or condolence to add?

Andrew Heyes

February 6, 2019

Only just heard of the passing of an extraordinary man and a family friend.

John and cherie Geisler

December 1, 2018

We are so sorry for your loss. We are so thankful for all the wonderful care that our son, Tom, received under Dr. Dobelbowers care. You are in our thoughts and prayers.

Mark Hupp

November 30, 2018

We became friends at MRYC with his wit and common sense way of doing things he was Truly a Joy to be around. When my father had cancer he had a way of explaining what was happening so it was understandable. We will Miss you Dobe I'm proud that we were friends till we meet agin RIP

Chet & daughter Deb Bush

November 30, 2018

to Dobe's family,

Please know that dad and I share some of your feelings in the loss of your father.

We each have different smaller pieces of any one person's personality puzzle dont we?

Dad sure has told me some Dobe stories! I have a couple of my own too.

Dad says he had known Dr. Dobe since 1960/1962, a long time! What a cool friendship! Of course, he has a 'whole box' of their shared experiences!

Today, he told me about a time they stayed at the cabin, near West Chester, PA, when it was quite cold. They managed using that ol bunkbed-Dobe had offered to take the top bunk and they each had blankets - in the morning they made a full breakfast of coffee, scrambled eggs, toast, meat, and potatoes on the wood stove!

Sounds great! ☕️The breakfast part anyway! 😁

They sure had a great comaraderie! Not many people can make dad laugh, but Dr Dobe definitely always brought out the lighter side of him!

(They kept in contact through email, the phone and an occasional visit.)

HE HAD A GREAT CALM, CHEERFUL, KIND OF 'SOUTHERN MANNER' to his personality, in my thoughts anyway.

I remember talking with him on the phone one time about 10 yrs ago. I was changing jobs I think and must have really enjoyed the new venture. He told me that he had not planned on going into radiology; that life can take surprising and pleasant turns sometimes.

- LIFE LESSON RELATED BY DR. DOBE: our unused/hidden strengths can unexpectedly meet up with a good rostrum, really changing our lives! -

We will be thinking and talking about, Dobe stories.

May your Dobe thoughts be soothing and healing to you all.


Deb 🌱 (Psalm 23)

Frank Scalato

November 30, 2018

Dobe and Mary Lou were a big part of my life in Toledo, Ohio where we we members of MRYC
Dobie and I traveled to the Miami boat show close to 10 years in a row. This was something we looked forward to yr after yr. we would spend 4-5 days at the show because Dobie had to stop and talk to EVERY vendor LOL, He was one of my closest and dearest friends for many years.
There are so many stories we had together, it was a wonderful part of my life.
I will never forget you my friend RIP ! one of our favorite stories we shared was my nick name for him , Senior Frog.

Sue Ann Ladd

November 29, 2018

Dear Family Members of Dobe,
Paul and I send to you all our heartfelt sympathy.
Dobe adored his family deeply as he spoke very highly of all of you!
We also admired your husband, Dad, Grandpa, and Friend to all.
He has left us with wonderful memories of his life well lived.
With Love,
Paul and Sue Ann Ladd

Radiation Oncology UTMC

November 28, 2018

I would just like to share a memory of an article written in The University of Toledo Medical Center Newspaper about....

Dr. Dobelbower is the founding chairman of MUO's Department of Radiation Therapy and the Clement O. Miniger Radiation Oncology Center, as well as founding chairman of both the Northwest Ohio Radiation Oncology Society and the International Symposia on Intraoperative Radiation Therapy, now the International Society for Intraoperative Radiation Therapy. Dr. Dobelbower is internationally recognized as a pioneer in the field of gastrointestinal cancer, especially for his work in the development of innovative treatment techniques for pancreatic cancer.

The recipient of honorary medals from the Faculte de Medicine de Montpellier (France) and the Facolta di Medicina e Chirurgia di Universitas Cattolica Sacri Cordis Jesu (Rome) as well as the prestigious Gold Medal of The American College of Radiation Oncology (ACRO), Dr. Dobelbower was named one of the best cancer doctors in America by Good Housekeeping magazine. A fellow of both the American College of Radiology (ACR) and the ACRO, Dr. Dobelbower was elected to the post of Chancellor of ACRO in 1999.

Author/editor of two seminal books on cancer treatment, Dr. Dobelbower has authored more than 50 chapters for other scholarly works and has published more than 60 articles in the scientific literature.

Janet Rogolsky

November 27, 2018

Dear Carol,
I am so sorry to read of your loss in The Blade. Please accept my sincere condolences.

Penny Reed - Moran

November 27, 2018

I worked with Dobbie for many years and always enjoyed his kindness and fun loving way. Remembering the times spent on his boat, he sure enjoyed life. He shall be missed.

Missy Johnson

November 27, 2018



Dr. Ralph R. Dobelbower Jr., 78, cancer radiation scientist

March 23, 1940 – Nov. 23, 2018

Dr. Ralph Riddle Dobelbower Jr., of East Aurora, a renowned cancer radiation scientist, died Nov. 23 in Buffalo General Medical Center after an extended illness. He was 78.

Recognized as a pioneer in the field of gastrointestinal cancer, he was noted for his work in developing innovative treatment for pancreatic cancer.

“For radiation medicine and the pancreas, he was one of the world’s foremost experts,” said his son, Dr. Michael C. “Chris,” also a radiation oncologist.

Founding chairman of the Department of Radiation Oncology at the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo, he authored or co-authored more than 70 books and 80 scientific abstracts, many of them used in teaching.

Born in Bellefonte, Pa., he was an Eagle Scout and valedictorian of his high school class. He earned a bachelor’s degree in physics from Pennsylvania State University in 1962 and a bachelor’s degree in liberal arts the following year.

He enlisted in the Navy in 1965 while studying at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. After he received his medical degree in 1967, he became a Navy medical officer, serving an internship at Balboa Naval Hospital in San Diego, Calif.

Deployed to Subic Bay in the Philippines, he served in the Vietnam War as a trauma surgeon treating wounded soldiers aboard the USS Sanctuary and received citations in two letters of appreciation from his commanding officers. He completed his tour of duty at Portsmouth, N.H., Naval Hospital.

Dr. Dobelbower then returned to Philadelphia to study radiation biology at Thomas Jefferson University under a legend in the field, Dr. Simon Kramer. He served a residency in radiation therapy and nuclear medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and was awarded a doctorate in 1975.

He continued treating patients and doing research there until the late 1970s, when he was recruited to establish the new Department of Radiation Oncology at the Medical College of Ohio at Toledo.

“He was one of the guys using high-dose radiation to treat pancreatic cancer,” his son said. “He did cure some folks.”

During this period, he was a three-time recipient of the American Medical Association’s Physician Achievement Award – in 1975, 1978 and 1981. He was named among the best cancer doctors in America by Good Housekeeping magazine.

Along with his duties in Toledo as a professor of radiation oncology and professor of neurosurgery, he treated patients and did laboratory and clinical research.

He installed a special suite for giving radiation treatment to patients while they were undergoing surgery and refined techniques for radiation treatment of breast cancer.

He was founding chairman of the Northwest Ohio Radiation Oncology Society and what now is the International Society for Intraoperative Radiation Therapy.

He was a fellow and gold medal recipient from the American College of Radiation Oncology, served as ACRO chancellor and was founder and director of the ACRO Practice Accreditation Committee. He was a founding vice president of ACRO’s Simon Kramer Society.

He was a diplomat and fellow of the American Board of Radiology and was regarded as one of its toughest board examiners.

He received honorary medals from medical schools at universities in Montpelier, France, and Rome, Italy.

In Ohio, he was a member of the board of directors in the Lucas County Chapter of the American Cancer Society.

A memorial fund is being established in his name at the Simon Kramer Cancer Institute in New Philadelphia, Pa.

Known familiarly as “Dobie,” he "was a small town guy,” his son said. “He wanted to go sailing. He wanted to go fishing. He wanted to sit down and chat and find out who you are.”

He held several leadership posts in the Maumee River Yacht Club in Toledo. Aboard his boat – which he named Grand Rounds – he sailed Lake Erie and Lake Huron.

He traveled throughout Europe, Asia and North and South America.

A resident of East Aurora since he retired in 2008, he was a member of East Aurora Post 362, American Legion.

His first marriage, to his childhood sweetheart Mary Dolores Sell, a music teacher, ended in divorce. He was remarried in 1983 to Mary Louise Glaser, who had been a research oncology nurse in Buffalo. She died in 2013. He and the former Carol Pack, former vice president of Lutheran Social Services of Northwest Ohio, were married in 2015.

Survivors also include another son, Ralph R. III; a daughter, Barbara D.; two step-sons, John J. Baldwin IV and Benjamin E. Pack; three step-daughters, Deborah A. Flynn, Bridget A. Mann and Molly B. Ciocca; and 12 grandchildren.

A memorial service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 1, in Wood Funeral Home, 784 Main St., East Aurora.