Jeffrey Rinehart Dobbs, 53, passed away on May 4 in Madison.
He was born on Oct. 17,1964, Bill and Anne Dobbs’ third of four children.
Jeff made an immediate impression on the world with his bright eyes and perfectly symmetrical chubby cheeks. Growing up in Darien, he was entrenched in a tight group of close friends that had a knack for mischief.
Jeff was an artist, an athlete (three-year starter and captain of the Darien High School ice hockey team) and an adventurer/scholar, venturing far from home to the “other” coast to matriculate at the University of Southern California (where he was a founding member of the USC Trojan hockey team).
Jeff’s wanderlust did not subside after his college graduation and he quickly established himself in international business. He founded his first company in El Salvador.
Jeff was a roll-up his sleeves hand-on leader and spent five years living in San Salvador, building and expanding the operation from the ground up. Jeff was also fearless, as the area around his San Salvador headquarters was often the target of FMLN attacks. On a number of phone calls, what sounded like firecracker “celebrations” in the background were small arms skirmishes.
— an obituary from Tributes.com. Swan Funeral Home in Madison is in charge of arrangements.
His next international venture was in Taiwan, where he spent eight years shuttling between the capital city of Taipei and the southernmost industrial city, Kaohsiung. As he would often joke on the phone and in emails, “It’s exciting living in the bullseye of China’s nuclear arsenal.”
After his time in Taiwan, Jeff moved to Japan for six years, living in Tokyo and Yokohama. During his time in Japan, Jeff experienced the confluence of his love for the ocean and his artistic talents. During his days by the Yokohama seaside, he embraced many aspects of traditional Japanese artistry, which became a strong theme and influence in his artwork forever going forward.
After Japan, Jeff spent a number of years in Beijing, Hong Kong, and finally Bangkok. His early Bangkok days came full circle to his time in San Salvador as he was a witness to the 2006 military coup d’etat of the civilian government and the two years of political turmoil and instability that followed. Mysteriously, if there was a political hot spot in the world, Jeff always seemed to be in the thick of it and always emerged unscathed.
Returning to the United States, Jeff dedicated his efforts to the focused care and support of our ailing father during Popop’s final years.
The most joyous result of Jeff’s return to North America was his re-connection with Sharon, his former sweetheart. For the second time in their lives they found each other in the right place and at the right time. What few of us even have one shot at, Jeff and Sharon were able to capture twice. The changes in Jeff over the past few and final years were all for the better as he found love and peace.
Jeff was an avid shoreline fisherman, often wading out into 5 feet of water to “be among the fish” he was trying to capture or in a small kayak setting up for a Nantucket Sleigh Ride behind a big, strong Striper.
Although he never had children of his own, he was a beloved uncle of eight nieces and nephews and could always be counted on to stir up group mischief or to entertain them with tales of his travels, adventures, or teenage antics.
Like with many siblings, all of us had a dynamic and complicated relationship, but we could always rely on Jeff.
A life celebration will be held from 2 to 6 p.m., June 9 at Bunce Cottage/Seaview Beach, 29 Seaview Ave., Madison. Please bring pictures, memories, stories and songs.