Columbus, NC--Robert Cummins Dockendorf, 94, of Columbus, NC passed away on November 2 from kidney failure. A kind and gentle man, with a sparkle in his eye, he was a role model for many. Bob was the first baby registered in Chicago, IL on January 1, 1926, the son of the late William Peter Dockendorf and Clara Derby. He grew up in Riverdale, MD and graduated from Maryville College in Tennessee in 1943. He successfully lived as a type 1 diabetic for 77 years.
Bob taught English and Drama at Washington College Academy in TN for three years before beginning a 30+ year career working with and advocating for people with disabilities. He was originally affiliated with Easter Seals in Harrisburg, PA and moved to Baltimore, MD, where he served as executive director of the Maryland League for the Handicapped. He also served as treasurer and vice president of the National Council for the Handicapped and consultant to the National Association of Sheltered Workshops. Bob was honored by both the Governor of Maryland and the Mayor of Baltimore for his many services to the disabled. He was especially devoted to Camp Greentop in Thurmont, MD, a camp for children with disabilities where he also met and married his wife of sixty-seven years, Patricia.
Upon retirement in 1981, Bob and Pat moved to Warren, Vermont for fifteen years where they operated a deli and restaurant at Sugarbush Ski Area, sold real estate, chopped a lot of firewood, and operated a bed and breakfast. Bob’s absolutely favorite job was as a tour guide for Ben and Jerrys ice cream,
Upon moving to Tryon Estates, a life care community in Columbus, NC, Bob was a volunteer in the community and was inducted into the Second Wind Hall of Fame. He gave presentations on “Who’s Handicapped?” to service clubs and churches, worked with Meals on Wheels, House of Flags, and sang in the Tryon Estates chorus. Bob loved to hike in the mountains, he wrote poetry, plays and a novel. He enjoyed watching his grandchildren’s soccer and lacrosse games. Bob was very proud of the accomplishments of his children and grandchildren.
Survivors include his wife, Patricia, son John Dockendorf, (Jane) daughter Margaret Koenig, (Nathan) foster son Rev. Louis Alvin Rene, (Beverly) brother Charles, and sister Vera Kribbs. His beloved grandchildren include Peter Koenig, Katie Koenig, Audrey Dockendorf, Ella Dockendorf, Ava Dockendorf, and Charlie Dockendorf. He is also survived by eleven nieces and nephews. He was predeceased by a sister, Mae Hall.
Anyone wishing to make a donation in his honor may contribute to Camp Greentop, c/o The League for People with Disabilities, 1111 E Cold Spring Lane, Baltimore, MD 21239.
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