Bill Dobra, 68, of Beeville, went to be with the Lord, Sunday, April 26, 2020, after a short battle with cancer.
Robert William Dobra was born November 21, 1951 in West Chester, Pennsylvania to Pearl Frank and Robert Dobra. He was a member of the North Penn High School class of 1969 in Landsdale, Pennsylvania. He enlisted in the United States Navy on November 28, 1969. He joined the Navy to see the world, and he was sent to Beeville, Texas. He proudly served the United States until 1973 as a jet mechanic. Upon leaving the Navy, Bill began working at Elling Welding which became his lifelong career and met the love of his life. Bill and Susan Elling were married on August 12, 1976 in Beeville, Texas where he gained a whole new family that meant the world to him.
Over the next several years, Bill used manufacturing lessons he learned through his dad along with fabrication skills he gained from Walter Elling to craft his own trade in welding and machine work. Bill eventually took over Elling Welding & Machine Shop, where he passed on his knowledge, skills, and passion for the trade to his two sons, Robby and Ryan, who will proudly continue the business in honor of their father and grandfather. Bill’s favorite part of improving his manufacturing skills was his ability and willingness to help others.
In his free time, Bill loved spending time in his man cave where he had an eclectic collection of music and movies. He was a fantastic bowler, joining several leagues over the years, even bowling a 300 once! He enjoyed watching NASCAR and faithfully followed Dale Earnhardt Sr. Bill also enjoyed sharing his love of cars, especially ’57 Chevy’s with both of his boys. One of his family’s fondest memories is saving Bill all the black licorice Jelly Beans. Anyone who knew Bill knew he always had a cup of coffee near him. Bill wasn’t originally a Texan, but always stated he got here as fast as he could, but his Pennsylvania roots showed through in his love for Cheesesteaks, Hoagies, Tasty Cakes, and Birch Beer (Root Beer).
Bill, after many years of Christian influence from family and friends and discussions with Susan, made the most important decision to put on Christ in baptism on April 25.
Bill was preceded in death by his dad, Robert Dobra.
He is survived by his wife of 43 years, Susan Dobra of Beeville; his mom, Pearl Beckner (Larry) of Colorado Springs, Co.; sons, Robby and Ryan Dobra of Beeville; sister Barbara Burgeson of Colorado Springs, Co.; and many other relatives including Jeff and Melinda Hammond and family of Beeville.
Due to COVID-19 concerns, a graveside service will be held at 10:00 a.m. Wednesday, April 29, at Beeville Memorial Park with Brother Daniel Garza officiating.
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