Roland “Dobie” Chester Dobratz | TCHDailyNews


Roland “Dobie” Chester Dobratz, 92, of Shawano peacefully left this earth for his heavenly home on August 2, 2022. Born in Shawano on November 28, 1929 to Walter and Mabel (Brusewitz) Dobratz, Dobie graduated from Shawano High School in 1947 and went on to play football at the University of Wisconsin – Whitewater. However, he had to leave college early to help work in the family farm and livestock trucking business when his father was injured in an accident. In 1951 Dobie was drafted and served as a gunnery sergeant in the Korean War with the Kentucky National Guard. He served until 1953 and remained close friends with the men he served with, traveling to Kentucky each year for meetings. Later in life he had a wonderful
experience of participating in the honor flight. After returning from Korea, he married his longtime love, JoAnn (Miller), on December 12, 1953, in Suring. They were blessed to spend 60 years together as best friends and soul mates before her death in 2014. Prior to her passing, JoAnn left a note saying, “Those who knew Dobie best will miss her compassion, ethical of work, his humor and his enthusiasm for life. .

Together JoAnn and Dobie operated the Dobratz Meat Market and Grocery in Shawano until 1977 when the store was purchased by a grocery chain. Dobie then worked in the meat departments of Junction Super Value and Jenkins Meat until his retirement. Dobie was a sports enthusiast from Wisconsin and passed that love on to his children and grandchildren. Whether he was attending a Packers game (he’d held tickets since 1949!) or cheering on the Badgers, he was an avid fan! He enjoyed reading and the Shawano County Library, meeting friends for a coffee or a burger, traveling around Wisconsin, the Peace United Church of Christ, playing cards, and was always up for an ice cream cone. He also loved the outdoors and being active – whether it was cross-country skiing, riding the pontoon boat around his beloved Kelly Lake, biking, or driving his granddaughters around Shawano in a toboggan. Dobie loved his family and cared deeply about the people around him, whether they were neighbors, family members or friends. As a husband, Dobie was completely devoted. As a father, Dobie was understanding, patient and gentle. As a grandfather, well, Dobie was meant to be one. He was in the stands for every sporting event, on the bus for every excursion, and always there to give a hug or a comforting word. We never doubted his love for us. Dobie was also unfailingly kind and always gave thanks to those around him. He treated everyone he met with respect, regardless of their fate in life. He was not only tolerant but accepting and open. He was selfless, even when he didn’t have much to give. He was brave and always stood up for those who needed a friend. He forgave and understood, even when it must have been hard to forgive and understand. He was incredibly funny and never missed an opportunity to laugh. Above all, he was a true friend. He will be missed beyond words but will live on through his children and grandchildren, who will try to live up to his example and who have many stories and memories of “dad” and “grandfather Dobie” to share. We love it more than language can tell.

Dobie is survived by his children: Kris (Dave) Kunkel and Dan (Sheri) Dobratz, all of Stevens Point, Heidi (Scott) Russell of Navarino; his granddaughters, the “M&M Girls”: Morgan Dobratz of Minnesota and Molly Russell of Vermont; and his step-grandson: Jacob (Nickki) Russell and their son William of North Carolina. Dobie is survived by her sister, Nancy Cummings of
Cloverleaf Lakes and his sister-in-law Angie Dobratz of Green Bay, as well as many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. Dobie was predeceased by his love, JoAnn, his parents, his brothers (Gordon, Eugene and Douglas) and many others.

Funeral services will be held at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, September 3, 2022, at the Peace United Church of Christ in Shawano, with Pastor Uriah Williams officiating. Visitation will take place at the church on Saturdays from 9:30 am. Military honors will be awarded after service. In lieu of flowers, we ask that donations be made to the Peace United Church of Christ Scholarship Fund and the Navarino Nature Center.

The Swedberg Funeral Home in Shawano is helping the family make the necessary arrangements.

The family would like to give special thanks to: the staff of The Pines, ThedaCare Hospice and Oakhaven; their home caregivers; Gwen, Karen, Shirley, Diane, Denise, Brenda and Pepper; his meal delivery man, Lou Anne; and all of her wonderful neighbors, especially Beverly, Richard, Gale, Kathy, Dennis, Kerrie, Brayden, Adalyn and Chelsea. Also, Rita for following him around for haircuts and keeping an eye on him at Charlie’s. It took a village to help keep dad home as long as we did and provide enough care to meet his needs. We thank you all.


Comments are closed.