Bobby L Dodd, Oak Ridge

Bobby L Dodd, age 88, passed away on Friday morning February 23rd, at his home in Oak Ridge. He was born in Rockwood Tennessee on January 20th, 1936, to Elizabeth and Lawrence (Chumy) Dodd.

Bobby graduated from Rockwood High School in 1954. He loved Rockwood and the Eureka Community and never forgot the many friends he had there. He attended Tennessee Tech University and played football there until he was injured. Bobby joined the Army National Guard, and retired as a First Sargent after 20 years of service, 

Bobby was extremely athletic and enjoyed playing many sports. He played football, basketball, softball, golf, swimming, and diving. He also enjoyed hunting ducks (his favorite), deer, doves, quail, and fishing, all over the United States. He was very active in Ducks Unlimited and encouraged many of his hunting partners to join alongside him.

Bobby had several different jobs before he became a Registered Land Surveyor, where he surveyed across various locations, until his stroke in late 1999. He was also a lifeguard at Rockwood Beach and drove a Coke truck. He drove on many different routes which he really enjoyed and talked about throughout his entire life. Bobby also had a 2nd degree Black Belt in Isshinryu Karate which he used while instructing classes for men and women. The Karate school he started has been passed on to several people and is still in operation today. 

Bobby had a stroke in late 1999, that left him with physical impairments that impacted his mobility. He worked diligently to build back his physical mobility and was able to gain back many skills. As he worked through physical and occupational therapy, he was able to redevelop skills that helped him remain active, throughout the remaining 24 years of life. He continued with Physical Therapy throughout life and his last session was only a few days before he passed.

Bobby is survived by Judy, his wife for 60 years; his two daughters Shannon Dodd of Oak Ridge and Whitney Dodd Chambers (husband Scott Chambers) of Karns; and his two granddaughters Courtney Chambers and Kayla Chambers. He is also survived by his sister Diana Ratcliffe of Rockwood, nieces Rhonda Potter of Crossville, Robin Logan of Nashville, and Rocky Ratcliffe of Oliver Springs. He was preceded in death by his grandmother Mama Willie Monger, his stepfather G.P. (Jeep) Wright (whom he loved like a father), and his mother Elizabeth (Bug) Wright. 

Bobby was a long-time member of First United Methodist Church Oak Ridge (47 years) and spent his early years in Asbury Chapel United Methodist in Rockwood (Eureka Community) where he led the worship songs from the age of 20 to when he moved his family to Oak Ridge in 1977. Some of his happiest memories were singing old hymns in church and he always said that is when he felt closest to God. Music was a large part of his entire life. In his teenage years, Bobby and his friends joined to form the “Uke Kings” group where they played the ukulele and sang, anywhere they could find someone to listen. They played in the back of pick-up trucks riding around Rockwood and at Rockwood Beach. After moving to Oak Ridge, he and several neighbors liked to join together to pick and sing on the deck during many evenings. 

The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the Oak Ridge Fire Department. The Oak Ridge Firefighters were always open to help Bobby and came to assist in relocating him on many occasions. They are caring, compassionate, and always willing to lend a helping hand. The family also sends thanks to the caregivers (Kirk and Deron), NHC home health nurses, and Vaughn his Physical Therapist, who all assisted Bobby in his final 7 months at home. 

The family will receive friends Monday, March 4th, 2024, from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm at First United Methodist Church, 1350 Oak Ridge Turnpike, Oak Ridge TN 37830. The Celebration of Life will follow, beginning at 7:00 pm with Reverend Jenny Caughman officiating. Private interment will be held at a later date, in the Memorial Garden at the Church. 

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