OBITUARY: Mary Katherine ‘Midge’ Dobbins, 81

Mary “Midge” Dobbins, a longtime resident of Marblehead, passed away on July 24 in Salem.  Midge was born April 2, 1942, in the Panama Canal Zone to the late Harry and Irene (Hammerstrom) Dobbins.

Mary Katherine ‘Midge’ Dobbins

Her father was a civil engineer with the Army Corps of Engineers, and his assignments took the family to many parts of the country. Midge and her family eventually moved to Mobridge, South Dakota, where she graduated from Mobridge High School. After high school she attended the St. Elizabeth’s School in Lincoln, Nebraska, graduating in 1963.

With her RN in hand, Midge moved to New Haven, Connecticut, to work in the emergency room at Grace New Haven Hospital. From there, she moved to Brookline, as an operating room nurse at the then Peter Brent Brigham Hospital, moving to Marblehead in 1972.

Midge worked for several years as a manufacturer’s representative for several medical device companies, moving to Westport, Connecticut, for two years. She returned to Marblehead and nursing permanently, working in the Boston Medical Center operating room. She retired from nursing in 2019.

Midge loved Marblehead and after many years of moving with her family and during her early nursing career, she considered Marblehead her home. However, the wanderlust instilled in her as a child while moving with her family never left her, and she continued to travel throughout Europe, the Caribbean and the United States.

She was an enthusiastic sailor and would go from Brookline to Marblehead to sail on the orange Town Class “The OJ” and then the yellow 210 “The Top Banana,” both of which she co-owned with several of her friends. When she moved to Marblehead, she began sailing in the Wednesday night series and the Saturday Races on friends’ boats.

Midge will be remembered by her many friends from work and Marblehead for the many years they worked with her, sailed with her, skied with her, the trips they took with her, dinners at Sophie’s Café, meeting her as she walked around town with her dogs and as she sat on the State Street Wharf with her dogs, greeting old friends and making new ones. She was a generous and caring person who will be missed by many.

In addition to her parents, Midge was predeceased by her brother, Michael, and her sisters, Betty Saltzman and Barbara Erpelding. She is survived by her nephews, Nicholas Erpelding and his wife, Dana, and children, Maya and Alex, of Colorado; and Matthew Erpelding and his daughter, Louise, of Idaho; her nieces, Katherine Erpelding, her husband, Eddie Svetich, and daughter, Shylah, of Colorado; and Daria Dobbins Saltzman of Washington; and her brothers-in-law, Larry Saltzman and Alan Erpelding of Colorado.

She is also survived by her godchildren, Keene Allen of Massachusetts, Taylor Allen and her son, Maurice; Abigail Allen, Woody Allen and his son, Peter, of Connecticut; Morgan Allen, Talbot Allen and his son, James, of Florida.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, Aug. 25 at 11 a.m. in the Arland Dirlam Chapel at the Waterside Cemetery in Marblehead followed by a procession to her grave site. At the family’s request, there are no visiting hours; however, a reception will follow the services at the Masonic Hall, 62 Pleasant St. in Marblehead.

In lieu of flowers, due to the great joy Midge’s many dogs gave to her over the years, contributions may be made in Midge’s memory to the animal rescue organization of your choice.

For further information, visit or call 978-744-0497.

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