Sheila Wanneene Dobbs Gebhards died Tuesday, February 24, 2020 under hospice care at Pioneer Ridge Retirement Community in Lawrence, Kansas after a struggle with severe anemia and a failing heart.
Sheila was born May 3, 1934 in Colby, Kansas, the daughter of F.H. and Elsie Carpenter Dobbs. Growing up in the Great Depression was not easy. Her dad did several things to support his family, including raising turkeys and sheep. Eventually the family left the farm near Colby and settled first in Wallace (where Sheila went to grade school) and then in Sharon Springs where her mom had a small restaurant, her dad did roofing and where F.H. (Fidelo Hubert) became Judge Dobbs, a position later occupied by Sheila’s brother – Logan.
As the youngest by some 13 years from the oldest, Edith, Sheila was somewhat protected, especially since her next oldest sibling, Shirley was lost to an infection at an early age, after appendicitis. One thing Sheila enjoyed was the freedom she had when visiting her mother’s sister and her cousins in Salina. They were allowed to go to the park across from the house (by themselves!) and to ride the bus with their dad, the bus driver. Sheila got to do that too, when she was with them.
On December 23, 1951, Sheila married James A. (Jim) Gebhards in Sharon Springs, KS. Together, they raised their sons Randy and Rex on the farm east of Weskan, KS.
Sheila was a fiercely loving wife and mother, and “Mom” was her favorite title. She worked alongside her husband to build a home for Randy and Rex, taking on “outside the farm” jobs such as school bus-driver, wall-paperer and painter. She was a great cook and baker, often providing pies and other treats for high school concessions, skating parties of the frozen variety and hosting family dinners. She enjoyed oil painting on canvas and attending auctions and antique stores, opening her own store to sell the excess - the Prairie Peddler in Sharon Springs in the early 1980s.
Sheila is survived by her daughter-in-law Lou Ann Gebhards, of Lawrence, KS; sister-in-law Irene Gittinger of Coffeyville, KS, sister-in-law Sheila Kay Gebhards of Walnut Creek, CA; and many loving nieces and nephews. Sheila was preceded in death by her husband Jim, and sons Randy and Rex; her parents, her sisters Shirley and Edith Dobbs; brother Logan Dobbs and his wife Bertha Dobbs.
The family wishes to thank the caring and supportive nurses and staff at Pioneer Ridge Health and Elara Caring Hospice. Sheila was cremated as she wished.