Kenneth D. “Dobby” Lee Apr 19, 2009 Kenneth D. “Dobby” Lee, 87, passed away Wednesday April 15, 2009 at the V.A. Medical Center in Hot Springs, South Dakota. He had battled an extended illness with cancer.
He was born in Loup City, Nebraska on July 14, 1921 to Marvin George and Mae Pearl (McIlrovay) Lee, fifth of six children. The family moved to Alliance in 1923, where his father operated a grocery store for many years, he managed the meat department and was the delivery boy. Dobby graduated from Alliance High School in 1941 earning “all state” honors in football. He joined the Army and served in World War II stationed in England as an airplane mechanic.
On August 18, 1946 he was united in marriage with Betty Jean Armstrong at the First Presbyterian Church in Alliance. In August 1987 she passed away due to the long-term effects of diabetes.
In 1955 he was elected to serve on the Alliance City Council and in 1957 he was selected to serve as Vice Mayor. In 1957 he was elected by the City Council to serve as Mayor and served on the City Council for eight years and as Mayor for six years, being the youngest person elected as Mayor at that time. While Mayor he was elected as state president of the Nebraska League of Municipalities. Through his service to the State of Nebraska he was recognized as an “Admiral in the Great Navy of Nebraska”. Dobby was also very active in the Nebraska Junior Chamber of Commerce rising to the rank of National Director. He was recognized with the first “Outstanding Young Man” award in Alliance. He was recognized as a 60 year Master Mason in 2006, and was a member of the Alliance Scottish Rite for over 60 years, Hastings Tehama Shrine Temple and served as President of the Alliance Shrine Club, and is a member of Aloyah Chapter of Eastern Star. He also served as DeMolay Dad for the Alliance Chapter.
Dobby loved the time that he spent working with youth as he served as Cub Scout Master for Pack 207 for 12 years and Assistant Boy Scout Master for Troop 216. He was an avid fan and supporter of all Alliance High events driving the activities bus for over 25 years. Just about every Alliance School student in those years has their own “Dobby” story. Because of his enthusiasm and support for school activities he was made an honorary member of the “A” Club and awarded Honorary Chapter Degree by the Alliance FFA Chapter.
The Knight Museum has been the benefactor of his efforts as he served two and half terms on their board of directors. He was a charter member of the Carhenge Board of Directors.
In his later years his passion and focus of his efforts became Dobby’s Frontier Town which is a 19-building village located on the northeast edge of Alliance. His antique village has earned him awards including Chamber of Commerce – “Friend of Tourism”; honors from the United Nations Carpenters for Building Bailed Hay Houses and was recognized for the restoration of Robert Anderson’s log cabin. “Dobby’s Frontier Town” was featured on the “Home and Garden” TV show. He was a charter member of the Straw Bale Association of Nebraska.
He was united in marriage with Coralee Lombardi, in October 1987, who preceded him in death in 2002.
His survivors include a daughter – Debra (Mark) Schroeder of West Point, NE and son – Dennis (Liz) Lee of Alliance and four grandsons – David Schroeder a PHD candidate at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana and fiancé’ Jessica Oesterling, Jeffrey Schroeder, a student at the University of Nebraska, Brian Lee and Phillip (Mandy) Lee of Fort Worth, Texas and great granddaughters Morgan and Evelyn Lee of Fort Worth, Texas. He is also survived by special friend Dorothy Waldron of Chadron, sister, Marvia Callahan of Oxnard, California and brother, Donald of Grand Junction, Colorado.
Memorial services will be held Saturday, April 25, 2009 at the First Presbyterian Church, 515 Emerson, in Alliance at 10:30 a.m. with Father Bryan Ernest officiating. Burial will be in the Alliance Cemetery. Memorials may be given to the American Diabetes Association, First Presbyterian Church of Alliance, Cuming County 4-H Foundation, or a charity of the donor’s choice. Online condolences may be left at www.batesgould.com. Bates-Gould Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.