Richard Norbert Dodson, 87, a resident of Amherst, passed away Friday, July 6, 2012, at Elmcroft Senior Living and Memory Care in Lorain, following a lengthy illness. Richard Norbert Dodson was born in Lorain, Ohio, on October 7, 1924.
He graduated from Lorain High School in the class of 1942B, joined the Merchant Marines, attended Kings Point Merchant Marine Academy and served during WWII in the European Theater. As a merchant seaman during WWII he traveled to Iceland, Panama, the Philippines, England, and North Russia. Richard served on the convoy on the Murmansk Run which transported desperately needed war materials through Artic seas to Murmansk, North Russia.
As a Merchant Marine he was an engine cadet and deck engineer on board the ships Edmund Fanning and the Charles N. McGroarty. These transport ships traveled through raging storms, dark and freezing weather, and merciless enemy attack to bring vital supplies critical to the war. Since Russia could no longer manufacture necessary supplies, the weapons, equipment, and vehicles brought there allowed Russia superiority at important focal points of battle.
Years later, it was acknowledged the Merchant Marines and the supplies brought through the Murmansk Run represented one of the most important actions contributing to victory during WWII.
Richard and his wife, Virginia, lived in Lorain for a short while before moving to Amherst in 1954. He retired from Lake Terminal Railroad as the Director of Safety in 1982 and then moved to Tucson, Arizona.
He had a variety of interests including automobiles, traveling, and home remodeling. He was involved in several clubs and organizations including the Amherst Historical Society, CACTUS Mariners, and the Railroad Associations.
He was a small business entrepreneur and was a painting contractor, home renovator, gas station owner/operator, laundromat owner/operator and mail carrier. Richard was part owner/operator of Dodson’s Hastee Treat in Amherst.
Retiring in 1982, he and Virginia moved to Tucson, Arizona, where he enjoyed spending time with family and friends, golfing, and traveling with his wife in their motor home.
Survivors include their three children, Cheryl Stilgenbauer (Richard) of Mesa, Arizona, Gary (Sandy) of Amherst, and Sue (Rob Plescow) of Fontana, California. They had five grandchildren, Rick (Danielle), Scott (Tiffany), and Daniel (Brittany) Stilgenbauer of Arizona, and Niki (Darin Kingry) of Nevada and Gary, Jr. (Charity) of Amherst; and three great granddaughters, Kate and Heidi Stilgenbauer and Elle Sienna Kingry.
Richard was preceded by his wife of 63 years, Virginia Betty Dodson (nee Koleno) who died on April 19, 2008; his brother, Leroy “Lee” Dodson; sister, Lois Ryan; and his parents, Grover and Orpha Dodson (nee Wyckoff).
Memorial service will be held Monday, August 6, 2012, at 10 A.M. at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 200 St. Joseph Dr., Amherst. The Rev. Fr. Lawrence Martello, Pastor, will officiate. Burial will be held at Ridge Hill Memorial Park, Amherst Township.
Additional information and online register book are available at www.hempelfuneralhome.com.