Cover photo for Howard Dobbins's Obituary
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1929 Howard 2022

Howard Dobbins

December 6, 1929 — March 6, 2022

Howard Jack Dobbins was born December 6, 1929 to Deed and Cleo Dobbins. He passed from this life March 6, 2022.

"Jack" as he was known by all that knew him, graduated from Coweta High School in 1948. He continued his education at Northeastern State College in Tahlequah where he met the love of his life Zula Belle Linder who was a cheerleader and was well known for her beautiful singing voice. He played basketball in college and often commented of the many great mentors and friends he met while attending Northeastern. After graduating from Northeastern he obtained a Masters degree from Oklahoma State University and Doctorate Degree from the University of Tulsa. He and Zula Belle were blessed with three sons, Mike, Mark and Jack, Jr.

He began his career as an educator and coach at Haskell, Oklahoma and Shidler, Oklahoma before he and Zula Belle returned to teach and coach at Tahlequah High School. He loved teaching biology and talked fondly of his memories of students he taught and coached during that time. In 1959 he became a professor and coach at Northeastern State where he remained for the next 35 years. He took the utmost
pride in teaching and considered himself an educator first. During his tenure he served in the capacity of basketball coach, athletic director, and head of the Health and Physical Education Department. During his coaching career he amassed 311 victories, the most in Redmen history. Charles Paulk, a member of the 1968 team is the only player in Northeastern history to be drafted in the first round of the NBA when chosen by the Milwaukee Bucks. He cherished the relationships he developed with his students, players and co-workers throughout the years. Jack and Zula Belle hosted receptions in their home each Northeastern Homecoming for many years in which numerous friends, students and past players returned and celebrated. During his lifetime Jack was named Northeastern's Teacher of year, Alumnus of the Year, NAIA Basketball Coach of the
Year, and Tahlequah's Citizen of the year. He was named a Hall-Of-Fame member of six state and national bodies. In 1994 The H. Jack Dobbins Fieldhouse at NSU was named in his honor. He was a member of the First Christian Church where he served as a Deacon, Elder and Trustee. He was a loving husband, father and "Poppie" to his grandchildren and great grandchildren.

Jack was predeceased by Zula Belle Dobbins his beloved wife of 49 years, parents Deed and Cleo Dobbins and 7 brothers and 3 sisters.

He is survived by his sons Mike and wife Terrye, Mark and wife Val, and Jack and wife Julie. Grandchildren Luke and wife Kaycee, Brynlee Rolland and husband Chad, Stephanie Gray and husband Joe, Sydney Day and husband Sean, Britt Dobbins and fiance Kayla McElrath, Marlee Myracle and husband Andrew and Heather Knott. Great grandchildren Kael, Duke and Boston Dobbins, Cole, Case and Levi (deceased) Rolland, Joseph Gray, Jr. and Rylee Myracle.

A memorial service will be held Friday, March 11, 2022 at 10:00 a.m. in the Jack Dobbins Fieldhouse located on the Northeastern State University campus in Tahlequah. Visitation will be held on March 10, 2022 from 2:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. at Hart Funeral home in Tahlequah. Memorial donations may be made to the Northeastern State University Athletic Department or First Christian Church of Tahlequah.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Howard Dobbins, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Public Viewing

Thursday, March 10, 2022

2:00 - 7:00 pm

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Funeral Service

Friday, March 11, 2022

Starts at 10:00 am

Jack Dobbins Field House


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