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Obituary: Barbara Beckwith Dobo ’49

Barbara Beckwith Dobo passed peacefully to her eternal rest, November 17th, 2010, surrounded by her loving family. She is survived by her husband of 60 years, Gabriel William (Bill) Dobo; her son Robert William (Shelly) Dobo; daughters Barbara Claire Dobo of Wilmington, and Janet D. (Tim) Farmer of Clearwater, Florida; 3 grandchildren: Dennis Bradley (Kelly) Fincannon of Toronto, Canada; Alexander William Dobo, and Nicholas Gabriel Dobo of Wilmington N.C. In addition, she is survived by her sister-in-law Claire D. Ruch of Wilmington and Summerland Key, Florida; and a host of nieces and nephews.

Barbara was born August 30th, 1928 to James and Sabre' Nichols in Cleveland, Ohio. Shortly after, she was adopted and raised by her maternal grandparents, Mark and Rachel Beckwith, and grew up in Glyndon, Maryland. Barbara attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio; and the Peabody Institute at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, where she studied classical piano.

After moving to Wrightsville Sound in 1950, she raised three children and became very active in local activities. She served two terms as president of the Wrightsville Beach Elementary School PTA. In addition, she helped plan many of the school's carnivals and other events. She also served as both a Cub Scout Den Mother and Brownie Scout leader during that time.

Barbara and her husband Bill were very involved with the Azalea Festival in the early 1960's, designing and building several of the stage sets at Brogden Hall for the Queen's Coronation Show. Barbara's talent and love of the arts was very apparent in her involvement with the Thalian Association, where she acted and also starred in several Thalian Hall Stage productions, including ""The Little Foxes"" and ""The Seven Year Itch"". It was this love of the arts and classical piano that motivated her generous endowment for the recital hall at UNC-Wilmington that bears her family name, ""Beckwith Recital Hall"".

Barbara believed so strongly in the value of education she started and helped fund the UNC-Wilmington scholarship, ""The Barbara Beckwith Dobo Scholarship in Education"". In addition, it was the generosity of Barbara and her husband Bill which helped fund the science building at UNC-Wilmington, Dobo Hall.

Barbara and Bill's generous community spirit has helped many local organizations throughout the years with both time and financial assistance, including enabling the North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher to acquire a new shark tank named in their honor. ""Our family would like to express our sincere thanks to all the staff and nurses of Hospice for their excellent assistance and care; and a very special ""thank you"" to nephrologist Dr. James McCabe; a kind, caring, gentleman's gentleman who was there for us every step of the way to make this journey less painful.""

There will be a celebration of the life of Barbara Beckwith Dobo at a time to be announced at a later date. It was her wish any expression of sympathy be a contribution to: The Barbara Beckwith Dobo Scholarship in Education, c/o Advancement Services, 601 S. College Road, Wilmington, N.C. 28403-5905