Loved ones help local icon Homer Dobson celebrate his birthday with a drive-by parade
Judy Glass read cards given to her friend, Homer Dobson, for his 94th birthday last Wednesday.
Few people have touched as many lives of Tracy residents over the decades as Homer Dobson. And last Wednesday, a few of those people were on hand to help celebrate his 94th birthday.
And what a celebration it was.
Like so many children before him this spring, Dobson was honored with a drive-by birthday party, led by the Tracy Police and Tracy Fire departments. As the caravan approached, Dobson, sitting in his driveway with good friend Eleanor Hewitt, watched curiously before eventually realizing that he was the man of the hour. Many loved ones gave Dobson cards, some gave balloons, and he even received his favorite dessert — a lemon bismark with a single candle in it.
“I was sitting outside and pretty soon the police chief came to talk, and he was in no hurry to leave,” Dobson said about the time leading up to the parade, noting a slight sense of suspicion. “This is quite a nice surprise.”
Dobson is most well-known around these parts for his time as a reverend. He started at the Church of Christ in Tracy in 1948 — the impetus of a ministerial career that lasted until 2001; four years after arriving in Tracy, he began to serve at the Lamberton Church of Christ. But Dobson, always active in the community, was also integral in city government, serving two terms as mayor of Tracy and was long an influential voice about anything concerning Tracy’s airport. But when asked what his most satisfying work was, he always goes back to the church.
“The people of Tracy have made an impact on my life,” he said. “I tried to be available to anyone, anytime, anywhere, and hopefully I fulfilled that mission. I tried to help people who were in need. I’m not bragging, but sometimes there was no one else to help them. That should be the ministry of all of us.”
Despite being drawn to politics enough to become a city leader, Dobson once turned down an invitation to run for state senate.
“That’s not what I was here for,” he said humbly. “I was here to help people spiritually. A lot of time (politics) took me away from my family, but I was always glad to be able to help the town.”
See this week’s Headlight Herald for more on this article.