Alan Llewellyn Bobbe
Alan Llewellyn Bobbe, 97, died on Monday, January 16, at Riverside Regional Hospital. He was born on a farm in Albion Township, North Dakota, on July 11, 1925. Though he went to live with relatives in Wisconsin at age 16, his home state left an indelible mark. He recorded a patchwork of these early memories in his book “Crazy Quilt”, as well as in a memoir “Born On The Prairie and Thereafter.”
In 1943, Alan graduated from Sheboygan High School, and enlisted in the Navy. After training at Purdue University and Oberlin College, he served as a radarman aboard the U.S.S. Chenango (CVE-28) in the Asian Pacific. The ship was among those that retrieved prisoners of war from Nagasaki after V-J Day.
Alan returned to Oberlin, where he earned a B.A. in political science. It was there that he met his future wife, Fran Kraft. They married in 1951, and raised their family in Moorestown, NJ. He served on the finance committee of Moorestown Methodist Church, and was a past president of the Moorestown Free Library Association. During family vacations in Barnegat Light, NJ, he discovered a love of sailing. He enjoyed competing in races, first with a sunfish and then a celebrity.
Alan made a career in advertising. He was a media executive for Aitkin-Kynett in Philadelphia. He then became a senior vice president at Montgomery & Associates in King of Prussia. His commute shortened in his last position as Marketing Director for Virtua Mount Holly Hospital, NJ.
After retiring, Alan moved to Newport News. He joined Trinity Lutheran Church, where he served as a Stephen Minister. He was a docent at the Mariners’ Museum and a member of the Bronze Door Society. He continued to travel before moving to Warwick Forest. He was always an avid reader. But when this became more challenging, he took up needlepoint, stitching both kit and original designs.
He was preceded in death by his parents Albert Edward Bobbe and Isla Hazel Bobbe Simmons, stepfather Carl Simmons, his brother Norman Leroy Bobbe, and his wife Frances Kraft Bobbe.
He is survived by his daughter Francie Bobbe Pearce (Al) of Newport News, and sons David Bobbe (Cindy) of Bryant Pond, ME, and Peter Bobbe, (Dee) of Burnsville, NC. He leaves five grandchildren Annie Pearce, Erik Bobbe (Julie), Victoria Bobbe Weymouth (Tim), Mark Bobbe (Katie), Chris Bobbe (Richard), and Sarah Bobbe. He has three great-grandchildren Miles Bobbe, Owen Bobbe, and Sylvia Weymouth. Mark took the wonderful photograph of him used here.
In lieu of flowers, if you would like to send a memorial, please consider the Frances Kraft Bobbe ’41 Fund (Moorestown Friends School), The Seamen’s Church Institute of Philadelphia and South Jersey, The Stephen Ministry at Trinity Lutheran Church, and the Mariners’ Museum.
Plans are being made for a memorial to be held in Newport News this spring. And Alan’s ashes will be buried this summer in Ellendale, ND.