Remembering Ralph Dobson

Published 4:42 pm Wednesday, September 28, 2022

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In the newspaper business, we have a term for long-time Marketing Representatives, “Legacy Reps.” Ralph Dobson began his career at The Post-Searchlight in late April of 2002, which certainly qualifies him as a Legacy Rep.

The word legacy takes on an entirely new meaning when attached to a person like Ralph. Those who knew him loved him and will never forget his special way of bringing laughter and good times just when it was needed. His legacy is not only in the love he had for his wife, children, grandchildren, and family but also in the many lives he touched through his work. Coworkers who relied on him for a good laugh (there were so many good laughs) and the support he showed us through the years, celebrating our accomplishments and helping us learn from his experience. His legacy will continue through the business owners he worked closely with, most becoming like family to him.

Matt Palmer of Palmer Insurance Agency fondly remembered, “We worked together a long time, and he was crucial in helping me rebrand the agency as Palmer Insurance Agency in my early years. We would always brainstorm ideas and how to separate myself from the competition. I remember one session where we came up with the idea of a full-page ad with a donkey’s butt and a blanket draped over it. The caption was going to be. Make sure your “ass” is covered with Palmer Insurance. After some thinking, we decided it probably wasn’t appropriate, but I’m going to run that ad one day just for Ralph!! We always talked sports, and I loved beating up on his love for the Gators!”

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Another long working relationship was the one Ralph had with Gloria and Tom Reeves, former owners of Reeves Linens and Gifts. Gloria shared one of the many humorous stories from working with Ralph, “Ralph was a kind, hard-working fella. He did his best for us; even when I knew, I tested his patience. I never wanted just a picture in the store. I wanted pictures outside, down the sidewalk, or in the trees. He’d go along with me, and he always got that Ad just right.
He always came to Bainbridge on Saturday mornings to take our picture for our Christmas Ad. Well, there we all were, grinning from ear to ear, and he was standing there looking through the camera and laughing. None of us understood what was going on. Finally, he was laughing so hard that he stopped looking through the camera and was looking at all of us.
He laughed and said, “Tom, I do believe you have on the shirt you wore last year in this same picture. We all looked at Tom……. Ralph checked, and sure enough, he was correct. Tom was wearing the same darn shirt. This may not be funny to you, but it was one of those ‘you had to be there moments.” She said, “I will never forget his laugh and that smile. He always made working with him such a joy!”

Jean Pyle, Business Manager of the Post-Searchlight, worked closely with Ralph for many years and was able, to sum up, what most of us who worked with him are all feeling. “Ernest Hemingway said, “Every man’s life ends the same way. It is only the details of how he lived and how he died that distinguish one man from another.” I was blessed to work with Ralph for over 20 years. I got to hear stories of his grandchildren and his two beloved dogs. When Ralph found a recipe he liked, he shared it with me, and I did the same. We were fortunate at The Post-Searchlight, over all the years, to have cakes made by his wife, Ann. They could win a Blue Ribbon. A Truly Great Coworker is hard to find, difficult to part with, and impossible to forget—-that was Ralph.”