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1929 Velma E. Dobbins 2023

Velma E. Dobbins

October 5, 1929 — July 3, 2023


It is with deep sorrow and much love that we mourn the passing of Velma E. Dobbins of Speedway, IN on the 3rd of July, 2023 at the age of 93 years. 


Born Velma Eunice Rivers on October 5, 1929 in Dryden, VA to Earl & Virgie (Cox) Rivers, Velma had 12 siblings with whom she was very close; growing up in a small home where privacy was nearly non-existent. To help with chores, she became an incredible cook at a young age. As Velma started her own family, she enjoyed sharing her joy of cooking with her family and friends. The best part of any visit to Velma’s house was getting a plate full of her delicious homemade biscuits and gravy and finding her stash of snickerdoodles. 


During high school, Velma played half-court basketball because women were considered ‘too delicate’ to play full-court. If you were lucky enough to know Velma, she was anything but ‘too delicate’. Although Velma was somewhat reserved, she was determined to accomplish any goal she set out to achieve. In fact, nothing brought out Velma’s competitive streak more than a good Lady Vol’s basketball game. 


Velma met Ray Poteet who had the courage to teach her to drive. Her driving skills didn’t scare Ray off and their relationship flourished. They were married in May 19, 1948 in Harlan, KY. They welcomed their first born, Dennis, in Pennington Gap, VA in 1950. Not long afterwards, the family moved to Indiana where jobs were more plentiful and the couple’s two other children, Gerald and Debora, were born. 


Velma was extremely intelligent and realized she needed more for her children and herself. She enrolled in night-school to gain the necessary skills to become independent and support not only herself but her children. As difficult and challenging as those years were, she eventually landed a prosperous job with the Indiana University School of Law where she worked her way up to become the school recorder. She was well respected by not only her colleagues but the students. In fact, many of her students enjoyed sitting in her office to study, share laughs and life stories. During her tenure at IU, Velma was honored to have received the White Cane Award which is awarded annually to recognize an outstanding administrative staff member at the law school. After her retirement in 1994, the Velma Dobbins Scholarship was established in her honor to be given to an outstanding law student attending IU. Every year she enjoyed receiving thank-you letters from the lucky recipients of this special award and learning how the scholarship would assist them with their educational pursuits.


Velma went on to marry Glenn Dobbins but they decided to separate after 5 years; realizing they were better off as friends. 


Velma found the love of her life with James (Jim) Kidwell and went on to have a special relationship which lasted over 20-years until his unfortunate passing. Velma & Jim shared not only a passion for traveling and seeing the world but were an intellectual match. They both loved reading and Jim encouraged her creative side to blossom. She became an avid amateur photographer and proudly displayed beautiful photographs from her travels throughout her home. They treasured family over anything else and enjoyed the holiday’s which brought their blended brood together for wonderful meals and lots of laughter. 


To say Velma will be missed is an understatement. We take solace knowing she is reunited with her parents, siblings, and friends that have proceeded her in death. 


Velma is lovingly remembered by her children Dennis Poteet (Dylane), Gerald Poteet (Patricia), Debora Poteet (Lara); grandchildren, Jeremy (Jessica), Jessica, Jake, Christopher (Maria), Isabelle, Isaac; great-grandchildren, Taylor, Nicholas, Emily, Maverick, Gavin, MJ; great-great-grandchildren, Karter, Evelyn; siblings Neil, Colin, Gaye, Earletta,Shirley & Jim. 


A private burial service will take place in her birthplace of Dryden, VA on July 13, 2023. 


The family would like to thank Meadow Lakes Senior Care & Nursing Home & IU Hospice for their compassionate care during Velma’s last year. 


Memorial Donations in Velma’s name may be made to your local Battered Woman’s Shelter.

To send flowers to the family in memory of Velma E. Dobbins, please visit our flower store.


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