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Sept. 1, 1954 – Feb. 28, 2024

Our beautiful Denny Dobbas passed away peacefully from pancreatic cancer in the comfort of her home with her surrounding family and friends on February 28th. She now joins hands in heaven with her daughter Brittany.

Denny was raised with her brother Donny in Auburn, California on Mt. Vernon Road by her father Jim and mother Barbara. From a young age, Denny had a love for agriculture and horses. Graduating from Placer High School, Denny made history in the school’s FFA by not only leading as the chapter’s president but by becoming one of the first women allowed to join the organization in 1969. She went on to compete at the Cow Palace in San Francisco and won the Grand Champion steer.

Denny was a Horseman. She grew up riding Western pleasure horses with the honorable Bobby Ingersoll. And later in life, she climbed-up on her daughter’s reining horse with dear friend and trainer Benny Guitron by her side. Denny went on to win 2nd place in the 2000 APHA World Show in Fort Worth, Texas in honor of her late daughter Brittany Gellerman.

Denny and her daughter established a treasured community in Oakdale, California by actively participating in 4H and Jr. Rodeos. It was there that Denny also met her beloved best friend, Charlene Smith. A friendship that has truly lasted a lifetime.

Denny had a career in the equine industry. She served as an encyclopedia of Old West knowledge from leather work to silver, saddles, bits, mecates, bosals, and romal reins. Denny knew the art of the western way and held the traditions in the palms of her hands. She enjoyed many years in the silver business designing custom buckles and rodeo awards, and boy, did she leave a Legacy.

For the last 20 years, Denny settled in on the family ranch back in Auburn where she built the home of her dreams. She loved helping her dad Jim with his antique truck shows, planning her nieces’ weddings and baby showers, and spending time with her dear McKenzie relatives. It is also warmly noted that she was a member of a very special friendship group that coined themselves “The Heifers.” An inside joke shared amongst a group of gals that gave her many years of great joy and laughter.

Denny faced the unimaginable as a parent. After experiencing such a devastating loss, she chose to pour her heart into her nieces and nephews. Denny also developed a cherished relationship with her eldest daughter Heather. Heather cared for her biological mother until her last day. A relationship that was truly heaven sent. These acts are nothing short of tremendous courage for both Heather and Denny who were committed to their divine fate. All while wearing their hearts on their sleeves.

Denny spent the summer months at the family cabin in Meeks Bay. She adored Lake Tahoe. She had this effortless way of creating the most loving and pleasant setting for her company. She always had a warm plate of food and a beautiful spread of appetizers accompanied with a perfectly chilled glass of chardonnay. Joyful memories that will never be forgotten.

Denny was the most attentive listener who created so much love and laughter for everyone around her. She showed us the importance of life … to believe, to love, and most importantly to never give up. She was a world-class western woman and a beautiful all-around cowgirl.

We love you our darling Denny til’ we meet again at your heavenly lake.

Denny is survived by her eldest daughter Heather, longtime partner and friend, Jeff Graham, brother Don (Linda), nieces and nephews, Hannah (Eli), Farrah (Mark), Dillon (Madison); and great nieces and nephews Coleman, Allie, Grant, Dane and Rowan.

A Memorial Service will be held March 28 at 11 a.m. at The Auburn Ridge Golf Course, 2020 Golf Course Road, Auburn, CA 95602.

Obituary Tribute written by Farrah Dobbas-Farr (niece)

The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader

The Riverbank (Calif.) News

March 27, 2024