November 14, 1883 - September 5, 1951
|Mrs. Hoyt M. Dobbs, wife of Bishop Hoyt M. Dobbs, and daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Hardy Jackson, was born on November 14, 1883, in Arcadia, Louisiana, and died in Shreveport, Louisiana, on September 5, 1951. Funeral services were conducted in the home of Mr. and Mrs. Randle T. Moore at 4 o’clock Sunday afternoon, September 16, 1951, by Dr. Guy M. Hicks and Dr. F. M. Freeman. Interment was made in Forest Park Cemetery in Shreveport.
Mrs. Dobbs was reared in a Christian home; became a member of the Church at an early age; attended the public schools of Louisiana; was graduated from Belmont College in Nashville, Tennessee. She pursued post-graduate work in music in Europe; returned to her home in Arcadia and taught there for two years; then became the wife of a Methodist minister and walked and worked with him in the ministry for forty-five years. Her husband, Bishop Hoyt M. Dobbs of Shreveport; Hoyt M. Dobbs, Jr., of Springfield, Illinois; her daughter, Mrs. Jeon L. Bain of Shreveport; two grandsons and two granddaughters, survive her.
The sacred privilege of writing this tribute to the memory of our beloved Mrs. Dobbs calls for words beyond our power. We think of her as a glorious embodiment of life here and life immortal. To express this we turn to the beautiful tribute spoken by Bishop Paul E. Martin at the General Conference of The Methodist Church in San Francisco in April, 1952 It is fitting that Mrs. Dobbs in her own right and as the wife of our own Bishop Dobbs, be immortalized in these pages of the Louisiana Conference Minutes through the personal tribute of the Bishop of our area.
May we say that this memoir expresses the deep and abiding convictions of her pastors, the First Methodist Church of Shreveport, of her many friends of Shreveport and elsewhere.
Memorial Service for Mrs. Hoyt. M. Dobbs by Bishop Paul E. Martin, Council of Bishops, General Conference of The Methodist Church San Francisco, California, April 17, 1952.
A husband who had walked many years, with his devoted companion, down the roadway of life, after she had gone placed under her picture these words: “Not so much the sorrow of having lost her as the joy of having had her.” These words could be appropriately said of Mrs. Dobbs. Because of the long illness of her distinguished husband and their consequent inability to attend the meetings of the Council of Bishops, many of you in this group, this morning, have not had the privilege of knowing Mrs. Dobbs. I cannot think of a lovelier, more gracious woman than the wife of Bishop Dobbs. She was born in Arcadia, Louisiana, where the people were refined and cultured and gracious. She went to Nashville, Tennessee, to a college for young women, and there it was that she met her husband. To this union were born a son and daughter who, with Bishop Dobbs and the four grandchildren survive.
Mrs. Dobbs was a most accomplished musician. She received her musical training in Europe and was a pianist of skill and feeling. Doubtless many of you have heard her play and know with what expression she so willingly and so beautifully performed.
Mrs. Dobbs was my Sunday School teacher in my first year in College. I owe much to her and to the help she gave me during those days. I learned from her about her gracious husband, but at the same time I learned about the graciousness, which characterized the lovely woman, herself. On one occasion I remember she was telling me about the custom which she and Bishop Dobbs had, when they were to entertain guests, of preparing themselves for their coming by studying their work and interests. Whatever profession the guest might represent—such as business, engineering, law, the ministry—they posted themselves on it in order that they might intelligently converse with him about his vocation, avocation, and interests. Another time, when I was visiting her in her hospital room, where she was recovering from a broken arm, she immediately rang for a nurse to bring in a chair for me, so anxious was she that I be comfortable.
Mrs. Dobbs had a marvelous sense of humor. One summer Mrs. Martin and I were having a meal,with them at Lake Junaluska. She and Bishop Dobbs were planning on returning to Shreveport, which had been their home during the bishop’s active ministry in that high office. Mrs. Dobbs laughingly remarked that the only disadvantage in going back to Shreveport was that, though they might be privileged again to be in the home of their very dear friends, Mr. and Mrs. Moore, each evening as they would go into the dining room for dinner she knew there would be an argument between the men as to which one would go into the room first, a discussion which would delay their entrance for at least thirty minutes!
Mrs. Dobbs went into the pastorate with her husband in the early days of their marriage, and later on to Dallas where he became dean of what is now Perkins’ School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. Then they went back into the pastorate for a brief time, and from there into the Episcopacy. Wherever she was, she brought grace to each occasion and an air of friendliness that was refreshing and, above everything else, she demonstrated the power of the spiritual glow in her own personal life.
Bishop Dobbs has spent many, many months in a sanatorium in Shreveport, but fortunately he was able to be out of the hospital and back in the apartment with Mrs. Dobbs several weeks before her passing. Neither one of them had any idea that she was going away so soon. Their last morning together was a beautiful morning and a precious occasion. They had breakfast together, which she had prepared. They read from the Bible, had their devotional period, and talked about many things that had happened throughout the blessed years they had spent together. Then rather unexpectedly she said that she was not feeling well; Bishop Dobbs called their daughter, Margaret, over the telephone, and she was there in a few minutes. Apparently without pain, Mrs. Dobbs slipped away to take her place in the great family of God in the Church Triumphant. In Maurice Maeterlinck’s lovely fantasy, “The Bluebird,” he tells of a little girl and a little boy who, late one afternoon, made a visit to a cemetery. As they were looking down at the rows of white tombstones, the frightened little girl looked up into the face of her older brother, whose face was also fear-filled. He raised his hand to his head and touched his cap, in which was set a magic stone, and instead of long rows of tombstones they soon saw rows of lovely, blooming tulips. The small girl looked up to her brother and said to him, “Where are the dead?” and his immediate and convincing reply was, “There are no dead.”
Praise God in Christ, there are no dead: “I am the resurrection and the life.” Today the beautiful spirit of ‘Miss Lessie,” as Bishop Dobbs affectionately and tenderly called her, belongs among the living, in the eternal family of God.
|Source: Journal of the Louisiana Conference of the Methodist Church, Pages 171-173, 1952.|