A $1,000 gift has been made to the Washington Junior ROTC uniform campaign as a memorial by the children of Robert L. and Marion Dobsch, both deceased.
Staff Sgt. Robert L. Dobsch was a decorated soldier who served in World War II in the Pacific theater.
The gift was made by Robert D. Dobsch, Washington, Sharon Dobsch Fischer, Columbia, and Kristine Dobsch Piontek, Liberty, Mo.
The gift also is to honor their late uncle, James W. Hoelscher, who also served in the Army in World War II. He also was raised in Washington.
Staff Sgt. Dobsch was awarded a Bronze Star for combat action. He returned to Washington after the war and was active in helping to establish the Khoury League baseball program for youth here. He died in 1958.
Hoelscher was enrolled in the Army ROTC program while attending college at the School of Mines and Metallurgy at Rolla, when World War II began. He served as a lieutenant in the Engineer Corps, completed his degree work at Rolla, and later graduated from the Harvard Business School.
“The ROTC program is intended to promote patriotism and to develop informed and responsible citizens,” Robert D. Dobsch said.
“We grew up in a household of personal honor and self-reliance. I think our parents would be very proud to be a part of this program,” stated Sharon Dobsch Fischer.
Family members told The Missourian that they hope their gift encourages families of other veterans to also financially support the program. The family looks at this as a real opportunity to promote leadership skills, discipline, citizenship and to support students attending both Washington and St. Francis Borgia Reginal high schools.
“Although our parents died at a very young age, they instilled in us the obligation to give back. As children, we watched our parents volunteer and support the VFW, Khoury League, the St. Francis Hospital Auxiliary and our church. This is our way of honoring those values,” Kristine Dobsch Piontek said.
Sharon is married to James Fischer and Kristine’s husband is James Piontek. Robert D.’s wife is Mary Dobsch.