What's in a name? For Vida (Dobrish) Dobrow, pretty much everything. Literally, "Life of the Good," Vida – or Vicki as she was known to most – lived up to that billing for all of her days, 85 years and change, before her sudden death on June 28.
"Of the good" married "of the good" in a partnership for the ages when Vicki said "I do" to Alan Dobrow, her surviving husband of just shy of 65 years. Every year, Alan saluted their love with romantic cards to celebrate the anniversaries of their first date (June 20), their engagement (December 12), and their wedding (August 26). Their union produced three children, Julie, Marty, and Joe.
Vicki spent her younger days in The Bronx and Mount Vernon and her last 21 years in Lincoln, Massachusetts. In between pulsed the heart of her life, the nearly four decades spent nurturing young people in Great Neck, New York. She was a renowned teacher in the Great Neck Public Schools, teaching all of the elementary grades, with fourth graders as her sweet spot. Her wide-ranging intelligence, ravenous curiosity, and never-ending empathy made for an unforgettable combination in the classroom. Toward the end of her career, she began teaching at the college level, mentoring young teachers as they began their professional journeys.
Julie, Marty, and Joe have been regaled their whole adult lives with versions of this conversation:
"Are you Mrs. Dobrow's daughter/son? She was the best teacher I ever had."
Not surprisingly, the apples did not fall far. All three of the Dobrow children teach, aware that they will never reach the standard set by their mom, but striving to make her proud nevertheless.
Other shining apples in her orchard included her grandchildren about whom she always swelled with pride: Mira Vale (and her husband, Nick Allen), Aaron Vale, Jeremy Vale, Jonathan Vale, Sarah Dobrow, Joshua Dobrow, and Jeremiah Thompson. She also reveled in her relationships with her son-in-law, Larry Vale, and daughters-in-law, Missy-Marie Montgomery and Julie Zagars.
Vicki loved music of all kinds, reading and writing, needlepoint, and travel to the Southwest. Above all, she loved playing a central role in the lives of her children and grandchildren.
Perhaps the old saying about a teacher affecting eternity is an overreach, but there can be no doubt that the positive ripples from this life of the good have extended very, very far and very, very wide.
Arrangements under the care of Concord Funeral Home, 74 Belknap Street, Concord, MA 01742 978-369-3388 www.concordfuneral.com