Dr. William L. Dobbs, a lifelong resident of Covington, passed away May 4, at the age of 88. Dr. Dobbs was born in Blount County, Alabama, August 20, 1925, and moved to Covington in 1932.
After graduating from Covington High School in 1942, he attended Emory at Oxford before continuing his education at Auburn University. Dr. Dobbs was a Special Weapons Instructor in the United States Army and proudly served his country during World War II. Following his service in the Army, he continued his education at Southern College of Optometry, in Memphis. He graduated in 1951, with honors, as a Doctor of Optometry. The following year, he began his optometric practice in Covington and continued seeing his patients until April 2014. In 1964, Dr. Dobbs was appointed to fill an unfinished term on the Covington City Council and was then elected and served on the council another term.
He ran successfully for Mayor of Covington and served 26 consecutive years, from 1970-1996, the longest tenure of any mayor in Covington’s history. Under his leadership, the city expanded the Electric, Gas and Sanitary Departments, as well as the Water & Sewer Authority. During his tenure as mayor, Covington’s budget increased from $1 million to $30 million. Mayor Dobbs saw the Fire Department increase from three paid firemen to 28 full-time firemen. Likewise, the Police Department went from 12 officers to over 50 officers, becoming the first police department in the State of Georgia to become internationally accredited. He was instrumental in expanding the Recreation Authority facilities and was proud to have the ball fields at Turner Lake named in his honor.
He was also a proud, enthusiastic supporter of the Community Band, which was created at his suggestion. Dr. Dobbs served on the Board of Directors for the Bank of Covington from 1981-1995, as well as the Georgia Board of Examiners in Optometry in 1984. He was a founding member of The Church of the Good Shepherd, an active member of the Georgia Optometric Association, Sons of the American Revolution (SAR), the American Legion, the Covington Elks Lodge, and was named a lifetime member of the Lions Club. Furthermore, he was a member of Knights Templar; and filled several positions at the Golden Fleece Masonic Lodge, including Master Mason, Worshipful Master, and lastly became a member of the Yaarab Shrine Temple.
Most recently, Dr. Dobbs served as commissioner for the City of Covington Housing Authority. Among his lifelong achievements, was being named a recipient of the Robert Arnold Award. When he was not caring for patients, or serving his community directly, Dr. Dobbs enjoyed reading “The Funnies” (comics) in the newspaper. He enjoyed traveling and had been all over the world including: Mexico, China, Japan, India, Ireland, England, France, Germany, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Likewise, he traveled extensively through the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii. His travels took him to almost all of the presidential libraries, and he visited all 159 Georgia county seats, with his son, to assemble a massive scrapbook for eighth grade Georgia History.
He was an avid tie collector, having hundreds of ties for all occasions, and he especially loved to wear and give away Christmas ties. Dr. Dobbs had a great sense of humor, an extremely optimistic outlook on life and the most positive attitude. One will never meet a more hardworking, honest, loyal, generous or caring individual. He would do anything to help his fellow man. Dr. Dobbs will be missed by his family, friends, patients and an entire community which he loved dearly.
Survivors include his wife of 65 years, Virginia C. (Jenny) Dobbs; son, William B. (Bill) Dobbs, II, his wife, Deborah, and his granddaughter, Elizabeth C. (Bess) Dobbs, all of Covington; sister, Elizabeth (Peggy) Long of Orlando, Florida; two nephews and one niece.
Funeral Services for Dr. Dobbs will be held Thursday, May 8, at 2 p.m., at the Turner Lake Complex, 6185 Turner Lake Road, in Covington, with the Rev. M. Edwin Beckham and Mr. Rob Fowler officiating, and interment following in Covington City Cemetery. The family will receive friends at Caldwell & Cowan Funeral Home, 3134 Floyd Street, Covington, Wednesday, May 7, from 5-8 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in memory of Dr. Dobbs to the Newton County Senior Services, P.O. Box 466, Covington, Georgia 30015; or the Alzheimer’s Association – Georgia Chapter, 41 Perimeter Center East, Suite 550, Atlanta, Georgia, 30346.
Visit www.caldwellandcowan.com to place online condolences 770-786-7062,