OBITUARY

Jeanine Larson Dobbins

April 22, 1950July 14, 2018

Jeanine Larson Dobbins, 68, of Lake St. Louis, Missouri, passed away peacefully on Saturday, July 14, 2018, at Evelyn’s House hospice home in St. Louis, MO.

She was an Episcopalian and former Eucharistic lay minister with a devout faith in God. After several years of suffering from Lewy Body Dementia, her loving family is at peace knowing the Lord has taken away her pain and suffering, making her whole once again in heaven.

She was born April 22, 1950, in Akron, Ohio, to Ralph Harold and Regina Lee (Johnson) Larson. After meeting each other at the University of Akron, Jeanine and Ken Dobbins were married August 7, 1971, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Akron, Ohio. After college, she and Ken lived in North Carolina, the Philippines, and Virginia during Ken’s ten years in the Air Force before returning home to Northeast Ohio (Kent) for ten years. In 1991, she and her family moved to Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where they lived for 24 years.

Jeanine believed in the overall goodness of people and always saw the best each person had to offer. A caring and compassionate soul, she was always eager to lend a listening ear and helping hand, constantly paying close attention to every detail of every conversation with every single person she interacted with. With her attentiveness and kindness, she always made those she spoke with feel like the most important person in the world.

Her marriage and bond with her soulmate, Ken, was an inspiration for all who knew them. They complemented each other perfectly. Jeanine and Ken shared a deep love of God, family, friends, education, stimulating conversation, travel, and philanthropy. As a loving couple, they gave generously of their time, talent and treasure throughout their lives together. Being a mother to Paul and Nana to Lincoln and Brady, her grandsons, were two of her greatest joys. All her boys were blessed to have such a strong, loving, and nurturing mother and Nana.

Jeanine was a lifelong learner and teacher, dedicating her educational and professional life to children and literacy. After graduating from Revere High School in Akron, Ohio, she attended the University of Akron where she served as the first undergraduate student trustee and graduated magna cum laude with a degree in elementary education. She began her career as an elementary teacher in Fayetteville, North Carolina. While overseas, she was an instructor at the Department of Defense adult education center at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. Upon moving stateside, she continued her education at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia, working as a graduate assistant and earning her master’s degree in reading. She then became a reading consultant in Newport News, Virginia and Kent, Ohio. She served as an adjunct faculty member at The Ohio State University after learning to become a Reading Recovery® teacher leader.

Upon moving to Missouri, Jeanine supervised student teachers and became a teacher leader trainer for Reading Recovery® at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau. She also founded and served as director for the Missouri Statewide Early Literacy Intervention Program. In that role, Jeanine worked tirelessly to ensure that Missouri children received a firm foundation in reading. She conducted and presented research to the administration of four Missouri governors and the corresponding General Assemblies, resulting in state grants in excess of $5.7 million. Under her leadership, more than 700 teachers were educated, and more than 300,000 Missouri elementary students with reading difficulties were assisted.

Jeanine’s contributions to education were recognized with several awards and honors in her career. Among them, she was awarded the prestigious Teacher Leader Award from the Reading Recovery® Council of North America, Zonta’s Woman of Achievement Award, and was named Friend of the University by the Southeast Missouri University Foundation.

The oldest of two children, Jeanine is survived by her adoring and devoted husband of 46 years, Kenneth Wayne Dobbins; brother Mark Gordon Larson of Castle Rock, Colorado; son Paul Larson (Stacey) Dobbins of St. Augustine, Florida, and two grandchildren Lincoln Kenneth Dobbins and Brady Larson Dobbins.

Family will receive friends on Wednesday, August 1 from 10:00 - 11:00AM, in the Rose Hill Funeral Home 3653 W Market St Akron, OH 44333 with the Funeral Service immediately following at 11:00 AM. Interment at Rose Hill Burial Park. Rev. Mark Pruitt, officiating. Memories and condolences may be shared at www.rosehillbp.com

In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial contributions be made to the Jeanine & Ken Dobbins Family Fund to support Dr. Albert (Gus) Davis’ movement disorder research in the Department of Neurology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Dr. Davis is a leading researcher in Lewy Body Dementia and has been a blessing to the Dobbins family during this difficult time. Memorial gifts can be made online at gifts.wustl.edu (please indicate “In memory of Jeanine Dobbins”) or send to Washington University, Attn: Zach Silvers, CB 1247, 7425 Forsyth Boulevard, St. Louis, MO 63105 (checks payable to Washington University; memo line: “In memory of Jeanine Dobbins”).

Services

  • Visitation Wednesday, August 1, 2018
  • Funeral Service Wednesday, August 1, 2018
REMEMBERING

Jeanine Larson Dobbins

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Karen Brown Otanicar

July 25, 2018

I met Jeanine in 1968 as one of my pledge sister in Delta Gamma. When I think of Jeanine, her smile immediately comes to mind.

When I read her obituary, she certainly lived a wonderful life and had a wonderful family.

FROM THE FAMILY