May 5, 1937 - January 6, 2021
Janesville, WI - JANESVILLE−Florence M. Dobson, age 83, passed away peacefully in her home in Janesville, on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. She was born on May 5, 1937, in Barnum, WI, the daughter of Sidney and Pearl (Kihne) Drake. She grew up with her family living on "The Company Farm" where they worked in the tobacco industry. When she was 14 years old, her family moved to Bell Center, WI. On January 15, 1954, she married the love of her life, Carol "Tobe" Dobson. Through their first 17 years together, Tobe's military career moved them and their son, Dennis, to Iowa, Smyrna, TN and Kansas City, MO and ended with them at McDill Air Force Base, FL when he retired. She had many close family-oriented memories with her military friends and had remained in contact with a few of them until her passing. In 1970 they moved to Afton, WI near family and in 1971 moved to their final home in Janesville. They were loving parents to their own 3 children and opened up their home to over 400 foster children during a span of 45 years. They worked as foster parents for Rock County Social Services, Catholic Social Services and the Lutheran Social Services. Florence loved those babies and children and caring for them. She assured they had the best in every way and treated them as her own taking them on many family vacations and camping trips. At times they accepted as many as five foster children to assure siblings would not be separated. She was a mother for 12 years to one special foster-child, Dana. She cared long-term for many children and also did respite care (short-term) in the last few years of foster parenting. Florence stayed in touch with a few of her foster children and some even returned to visit years later. Florence and Tobe received the State of Wisconsin Children's Choice Award in 2001, in recognition of the positive touch they applied to children's lives and the lives of people who work with children. Florence also was employed as a CNA for Visiting Nurses and Cedar Crest Nursing Home. Florence enjoyed vacations with friends to New York, Las Vegas, the Caribbean, Mexico and Punta Cana. Three days before their 54th wedding anniversary in 2008, Tobe passed away. Florence loved her home of 50 years and took pride in having it always look it's best. She enjoyed spending time with her family and friends, reading, working outside in her yard and feeding her birds and rabbits. Everyone knew of her frugal ways and her always being on the go.
Florence is survived by her sons, Dennis (Judy) and Jonathan; daughter, Lisa (Stephen) Sexton; grandchildren: Dennis (Deni) Dobson, Jr., Nakita Villar, Latasia (Jimmy) Dhami, and Skyla Lowery; great grandchildren: Cody Dobson, Griffin Dobson, Blake Cliver, Alayna Cook, and Alivia Lowery; siblings: Floyd (Marcy) Drake, Frances Drake, and Starr (Doug) Myers; many nieces and nephews; and other family and friends. She was preceded in death by her husband, parents, and siblings: Arthur Drake, Dorothy Schwehr, Grace Hermanson, and Wayne Drake.
Private family services are being planned. Interment will be in Gays Mills, WI Cemetery. SCHNEIDER FUNERAL HOME & CREMATORY is assisting the family. For online condolences and guestbook, please visit: www.schneiderfuneraldirectors.com
The family would like to send a special thank you to Tina Hennig, her private CNA, for her wonderful in-home care. Thank you to those friends and neighbors who helped Florence over the years. Also, thank you to Agrace Hospice for their support during this past week.