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Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Happy Birthday, Van Dobbins, Jr.: "I had to tell him about the party, to make sure he'd be there."

When it comes to Van Dobbins, Jr., nobody knows him better than wife Dorothy.

His 70th birthday party was no exception. It was originally planned as a surprise party.

"I knew that wasn't going to happen," Dorothy laughs, "because I know my husband. He can go to the store to get something like a loaf of bread, and three hours later, come back. He will have stopped to see about somebody, or run off to do an errand for somebody he bumped into. He'll even stop just to talk to someone that he sees. My nerves couldn't stand that."

"If I wanted to make sure he'd be at his own birthday party, I had to tell him about it first."

On Saturday, March 31, 2012, family and friends packed into the Douglass Community Room in the school building Van graduated from, and is renamed for his late father, to celebrate Van, Jr.'s 70th birthday.

Party-goers took part in a roast to the guest of honor, including an amusing story about football participation from Dobyns-Bennett football coach Graham Clark, musical duets, and a wonderful slide show heralding Van's past 70 years.

Click here to see pictures from Van's 70th birthday party.

Dorothy had a lot of community support planning the event.

"I had a lot of help from family and friends," Dorothy says. "We are blessed in this community with people we've known all our lives, who just said, "what do you need, what do you want me to do?" That always makes a difference."

"This party was a way to tell Van that we all love him and appreciate him," she says.

"And to make sure he can be in one place for more than an hour," she laughs.