Jim Dobbie, who resigned his seat on the Atherton City Council in March because of poor health, died yesterday (July 24) at Stanford Hospital. He had celebrated his 84th birthday earlier this month.
After Mr. Dobbie announced his resignation, his wife, Pat Dobbie, told the Almanac that for the prior few months, he had been battling a strange respiratory condition, and despite undergoing numerous tests by "outstanding" doctors, the cause remained a mystery.
In a formal announcement issued this morning, the town of Atherton wrote: "It is with great sadness that the town must inform you of the passing of Jim Dobbie. ... Jim held a clear sense of commitment ... to this town and its residents. The town will miss Jim and his passion for democracy."
Mr. Dobbie is survived by his wife, Pat, their three daughters, and seven grandchildren, according to the statement. "Our thoughts and prayers go out to his family and friends," the announcement said.
Councilman Bill Widmer said Mr. Dobbie was "a real family man" who also loved the town he lived in for more than 20 years. "He wanted to do the right thing for Atherton," Mr. Widmer said. "He was a strong businessman and always paid attention to the dollars and cents."
Several years ago, when the town was struggling with a systemic budgetary deficit, Mr. Dobbie was a key player in helping turn the situation around, said Mr. Widmer, who also played a major role in helping the town return to financial health. "He was a major contributor in putting the town in the financial position it's in today," Mr. Widmer said.
The Almanac will report information about memorial services when it becomes available.