James Robert “Bob” Dobyns was a man of few words, but filled with integrity, abilities, generosity, friendliness and a staunch supporter of Pulaski County, the New River Valley and education.
The former member of the Virginia General Assembly was a Pulaski County native known far and wide for his gentlemanly ways. A building contractor for 25 years, many buildings around the Valley have his imprint on them.
He was a county farmer, a WW II veteran, politician and missionary.
He served the county as a member of the board of supervisors, on the Pulaski County Livestock Market Inc., Pulaski County Farm Bureau, and in other ways.
He was interested in education, serving on the New River Community College Education Foundation and having provided 100 scholarships at NRCC.
Not only was he interested in Pulaski County, but he and his wife, Cornelia, spent time in Africa where he was involved in construction of a hospital in Zaire.
This was a visible sign of his religious faith of living and giving and sowing so others can be helped. He was active in New Dublin Presbyterian Church.
He was also involved in banking with Sovran Bank, on the town of Pulaski Housing Board of Adjustments and Appeals, and the Pulaski County Board of Building Appeals.
Dobyns was involved in Habitat for Humanity, the Virginia War Memorial Commission and a state transportation commission.
He was honored by the Pulaski Jaycees as Boss of the Year in 1971-72 and by the Pulaski County Chamber of Commerce as Business Executive in 1984.
“Bob” Dobyns left us Sunday, Jan. 1, at age 85. His legacy and life’s actions as a gentleman will live on those who came in contact with him, worked for and with him and those who have benefited from his giving.