Elmer Dean Hobson (Dean) passed away on May 23, 2020 of complications of congestive heart failure. Dean was born in Topeka, Kansas on May 29, 1945.
Dean's family moved often in his childhood. By the time he graduated high school, he had lived in 36 residences across multiple states. After graduating high school, Dean entered the United States Air Force. His first assignment was a Morse code intercept operator in Okinawa, Japan. After 4 years, Dean became an Air Traffic Controller. He was highly respected by his peers and commanding officers. He enjoyed teaching others the skills of his trade and was selected to create completely new training programs for the USAF in Spangdhalem, Germany.
During the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) controllers' strike in 1982, Dean was seconded from the USAF to work in New York's Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTC) for 2 years. Upon completion of his secondment, Dean received an award of commendation for his dedicated service. He returned to Kirtland Air Force Base and decided to leave the USAF after 19 1/2 years of honorable service to pursue a permanent position with the FAA at Albuquerque's ARTC. Dean retired from the FAA in 1994, with a total of 30 years of service to the Federal Government.
In his 40's, Dean decided it was time to fulfill his lifelong dream to own horses. He was a natural cowboy. He taught himself to ride and how to pack. He also taught his sons to ride and his love of horses, rubbed off on them as well. Dean loved to horse pack into the wilderness with his sons and friends to hunt deer and elk. He even learned how to shoe a horse by himself by applying a lifestyle that he followed his entire life - reading a book to learn how to do something. He would always say, "Why should I pay someone to do something if I can learn to do it myself?"
Dean and Val met in Albuquerque, NM in March 1990. They were introduced by Erinn M. Martocchio, the daughter of one of Dean's longtime friends, Ed Mullaney. Dean proposed to Val just one week after their first date. Val romantically responded with a dozen roses sent to his work with a single word, YES. In 1994, they bought their little slice of heaven in La Plata County. Dean and Val have spent the last five years building a house that they designed together. They have had many adventures and challenges in their time together, but nothing could separate them as they were truly committed to their wedding vows "Until death do we part." On May 19th, 4 days before Dean's passing, Dean and Val enjoyed a lovely day at home celebrating their 30th Anniversary.
He is survived by his loving wife of 30 years, Valerie Greer Hobson; sons: Dean (Tamara) Hobson of Mercer Island, WA. and Alex (Yuko) Hobson of Tokyo, Japan; grandchildren: Keeley, Kaitlyn, Kieran, Joshua and Misia; siblings: Sherry Hobson, Clare Benson and David Hobson; as well as numerous nieces and nephews, whom he cared for deeply. He is preceded in death by his parents, Owen Dean Hobson & Angeline B. Hobson (De Long); brother, John D. Hobson and sister, Angeline Hobson.
Published in The Durango Herald on Jun. 1, 2020.