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Former MSU faculty member, department chair Dr. Ron Dobler dies at 88

Ron Dobler HeadshotThe Morehead State University family mourns the passing of former MSU faculty member and department chair Dr. Ron Dobler, who died Thursday, March 24, 2022.   

Born in Poughkeepsie, New York, Dobler earned a bachelor's degree in English in 1957 and a master's degree in English in 1959 from Western Reserve University (later renamed Case Western Reserve University) in Cleveland, Ohio. He later earned a Doctorate in English from the University of Iowa in 1973.   

Dobler began an extensive career in education after earning his master's degree. He started teaching English at Mentor High School in Mentor, Ohio, and accepted his first position working in higher education at Parsons College in Fairfield, Iowa.   

Dobler and his family relocated to Morehead in 1972 after he accepted a position at MSU with the Department of English. He was a professor of English throughout his career at MSU, starting in 1977. He was chair of the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Philosophy from 1985 to 1989, assistant to the chair from 1989 to 1992, and interim chair from 1992 to 1993. Dobler retired from MSU two years later in 1995.  

Dobler was an avid lover of folklore and folk music. He played banjo, dulcimer and jaw harp and frequently appeared as a singer and folktale teller at regional festivals and workshops. He even came back to work part-time for MSU from October 2012 to February 2013 as an outreach storyteller.   

"Ron Dobler was a wonderful friend and colleague in the Department of English, Foreign Languages, and Philosophy. In addition, he was a helpful and supportive mentor for many of us in the department in his role as department chair," said Dr. Ron Morrison, professor of English at MSU. "Ron kept in touch with his old friends by telephone in his later years, and he never failed to ask about MSU. He will be greatly missed."  

Dobler was preceded in death by his late wife, Jeanne Dobler, in 2021. He is survived by two daughters: Susan Pierce (Class of 1981) of Louisville; Stacey Dobler (Class of 1984) of Cincinnati, Ohio; two sons, Scott Dobler of Bowling Green and Steve Dobler of Louisville; and six grandchildren.   

A memorial service will be held at Northcutt & Son Home for Funerals in Morehead. A joint visitation for Ron and Jeanne is at 10 a.m. Saturday, April 16, with a prayer service and eulogy at 11 a.m. Burial is at St. Edward Cemetery in Louisville.  

Memorial contributions may be made to Wesley Manor Nursing Facility (5012 E. Manslick Road) in Louisville or St. Claire HealthCare (222 Medical Circle) in Morehead. View the obituary at