Robert Alan Dornburg (1931 - 2012)



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Robert Alan Dornburg Biography & Family History

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at Pittsburgh, Allegheny County, Pennsylvania, United States,


Cause of death

There is no cause of death listed for Robert.

Burial / Funeral

at Private Residence,
Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee United States


Last Known Residence

342 Waterstone Circle, Greeneville, Greene County, Tennessee United States

Average Age

Life Expectancy


Father: Carl Auguste Dornburg
Mother: Elizabeth Marie (Kreutz) Dornburg
Siblings: Ruth Madaline (Dornburg) Marple and Charles Joseph Dornburg


Mount Vernon Academy, Washington Adventist University, American University


Literature Evangelist, Elementary School Principal, Teacher, Real Estate Realtor


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Military Service


Middle name




United States


United States


Seventh day Adventist



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1931 - In the year that Robert Alan Dornburg was born, in March, “The Star Spangled Banner” officially became the national anthem by congressional resolution. Other songs had previously been used - among them, "My Country, 'Tis of Thee", "God Bless America", and "America the Beautiful". There was fierce debate about making "The Star Spangled Banner" the national anthem - Southerners and veterans organizations supported it, pacifists and educators opposed it.

1946 - By the time he was just 15 years old, on July 4th, the Philippines gained independence from the United States. In 1964, Independence Day in the Philippines was moved from July 4th to June 12th at the insistence of nationalists and historians.

1969 - When he was 38 years old, in August, a previously planned small concert turned into a (free) more than 400,000 strong gathering of attendees and bands at Max Yasgur's farm in upstate New York - now called Woodstock. Just some of the 32 acts: Richie Havens, Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Who, Joan Baez, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Jefferson Airplane, Country Joe, Santana, The Band, and Sly and the Family Stone.

1974 - He was 43 years old when on February 5th, Patty Hearst, age 19 - granddaughter of William Randolph Hearst and daughter of publisher of the San Francisco Examiner Randolph Hearst - was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, a left wing terrorist group. She was found, alive, 19 months later.

1977 - By the time he was 46 years old, on January 20th, Jimmy Carter became the 39th President of the United States. Running against incumbent Gerald Ford, he won 50.1% of the popular vote to Ford's 48.0%. He was elected to only one term.

Robert Alan Dornburg Family Tree

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Robert Alan Dornburg Eulogy

By Shanda Dornburg

My father Robert Alan Dornburg was born on September 21, 1931, in Pittsburgh, PA to Carl Auguste and Elizabeth Marie Dornburg. Dad was a surprise baby and joined his 14-year-old brother, Charles and his 10-year-old sister, Ruth in the Dornburg home. Dad told me that his father told him the day of his birth was a black day in American History, a day in which American’s ran on banks causing over 800 banks to close by the end of that year.

Before Dad was born his mother was a Catholic and his father a Lutheran. While recuperating from a serious accident on the job his father read, The Great Controversy Between Christ and Satan, and started visiting a Seventh-day Adventist Church. Both of Bob’s parents converted to the Seventh-day Adventist faith. When little Bob was born his aunts were so worried about him not being baptized that unbeknownst to his parents they snuck him up to the attic and baptized him.

One of Bob’s regrets was losing the German he had learned while his grandparents lived with his family. After his grandparents death German was no longer spoken frequently in his home, and he lost it.

Bob’s father became a literature evangelist for the Seventh-day Adventist church. This meant that Bob spent his summers at camp meeting where his mother cooked for the workers and his father helped to lead camp meeting services. Bob loved to play ball, especially baseball and while growing up could often be found with his glove and baseball. He always had a love for animals and always had a dog by the name of “Pal”, by his side.

When Bob was 14 years old his parents sent him to Mount Vernon Academy in Mount Vernon, Ohio. He arrived at the beginning of the summer to begin working at the print shop to help pay off his school tuition. There was a lot of faculty transition that summer and while he did have a place to sleep in the boy’s dorm there was no food or place for him to eat. Being the resourceful man that he always was, he found a way to get into the home economics classroom. There kept his own food and used the classroom & cookware to prepare it.

From the age of 14 Bob was basically on his own, working his way through high school until he graduated from Mount Vernon Academy on the 29th day of May 1949. Ed Wilson was Bob’s roommate while at Mount Vernon Academy, and one summer they the canvassed together in Logan, West Virginia. Wanting to eat as cheaply as possible they bought several cans of okra, which they found they did not like but it could sustain them. This was a life long friendship.

Bob graduated from Washington Missionary College with his Bachelor’s of Arts in Theology on the 29th of August 1954. Bob escaped the military draft due to the fact that he was enrolled in college as a ministerial student making him exempt. After graduation he became a associate Pastor on the Eastern Shore of Maryland. This ministerial position also kept him from being drafted. Together with pastoral duties at the small Seventh-day Adventist Church on the Eastern Shore, his job also included teaching at the small grade school which was held in the Church. During this period of time Bob discovered that his passion was in the field of education. He ultimately made the decision to become a full time teacher. Once Bob had left the ministry he knew that he could escape the draft if he did not disclose that fact to the draft board. Bob however made the ethical decision to report his eligibility status to the draft board, resulting in his being drafted into the Army. Dad did not care for military life but was grateful he was stationed in Germany. This enabled him to look up and meet his mother’s side of the family with whom we are still in contact today. Dad acutely remembered returning home from service sailing past the Statue of Liberty as a profound feeling came over him that he was home.

After being honorably discharged from the US Army Bob returned to his passion of teaching for the Montgomery County School System in Maryland.

On January the 9th, 1965 Robert was immediately smitten with Juanita Mae Morris after meeting on a blind date. On January 9th, 1965 He also met the little girl who stole his heart and would become his eldest daughter 2 year old, Donette. When Donette met Dad she wanted to impress him by spinning around and around in little circles. Dad told me that as soon as he saw my mother he knew he wanted to marry her. Donette immediately charmed him and he knew this sweet little girl was meant to be his daughter.

On February 27th, 1965 exactly 1 month and 2 weeks after meeting Nita, Bob asked her to be his wife. That night they talked for hours in his car parked in Nita’s mother’s driveway. When Bob and Nita walked into her mother’s house at 2 a.m. Nita’s Mother was waiting. She asked Bob to have a seat and wanted to know what two respectable people could find to do at such an unreasonable hour. Although it hadn’t been planned that way, Bob told his mother-in-law to be that Nita had agreed to be his wife that night and that they were planning an August wedding.

On August 1, 1965, Nita and Bob were married at her parent’s home in Lanham, Maryland.

I remember Dad frequently telling me “When I married your Mom I was teaching for the Montgomery County School System and thought, I can surely support a wife and daughter on $9,000.00 a year!” He was always amazed at how the cost of living and salaries changed in his lifetime.

Another big event for Bob in 1965 was when he chose his first daughter Donette Dornburg, by legally adopting her. I’m a little jealous Donette; he got to pick you as his daughter but for better or worse he was just stuck with me!

Bob graduated from American University with his masters Degree in Education, Administration and Supervision on June 4, 1967.

Bob was promoted to Elementary School Principal in the Montgomery County School System. He was named the #1 Principal in the State multiple times, over the years, due to his schools having the highest achievement ratings.

In 1972 Nita and Bob moved into her parents basement apartment as they begin building their home in Mount Airy, Maryland. Every night after work they would travel an hour to the house that they were building, work until exhausted, then return a hour back to their apartment. In February 1973, Bob and a very pregnant Nita moved into their unfinished home so that they would be settled before the baby arrived. In June of 1973 Bob became a father for the second time when I was born. I turned the house upside down with severe colic and it’s never been the same since. Bob would walk me up and down the hall singing to me every night trying to hush the crying.

One of my favorite memories of Dad when I was little, probably up until I was 6 years old was when I would hear him walking down stairs and I would wait upstairs for him with great anticipation. I would hide around the corner from the stairs, then when I was sure he was on the stairs, I would run and jump at him, surprising him. He caught me EVERY time and never discouraged me from doing it again. He loved that I trusted him like that and never wanted my trust to falter, that is why he never discouraged me.

Bob retired from the Maryland, Montgomery County School System in 1990, but he didn’t stop working, immediately. He took real estate classes and on his first try passed the real estate exam. Bob sold houses for several years and then began to substitute teach which then led him to a full time position teaching at an Adventist Elementary School that was a three hour commute each way. Then he became principal of Hadley Acres Adventist Elementary, which was much closer to home.

Bob loved sports. He and his brother coached little league baseball for many years. When Bob moved to the Washington area he became a devout Washington Redskin Fan. When they built the new RFK stadium he was able to go and pick the seats he wanted on the 50-yard line in a great section! I liked the Cowboys, the Redskins biggest rival and Dad would always save the tickets for the Redskin/Cowboys game so we could go together. Dad was passionate about his faith, family, friends, sports, genealogy, and politics.

In 2003, upon Bob’s insistence, mom & dad sold the home that they had built together in Maryland and moved to Florida where he planned to retire. In the first month after they arrived in Florida there were 3 hurricanes. Dad told me that he did not move to Florida to die in a hurricane. The other thing he complained about was that he always had bought citrus fruit by the case during it’s season in Maryland but in Florida, to his great frustration, the citrus fruit cost more. So after 8 months of living in Florida, Bob and Nita moved to Greeneville, TN.

Shortly after moving to Greeneville, they started to attend Riverview Community Church

I feel so blessed that a week ago Thursday I brought my children to Greeneville to visit with my father for a long weekend. I really thought he would still be here when we came back at Christmas. We went home on Sunday and I talked to my Dad three times during the trip. He was sad that the Redskins had lost their game on Sunday, but believed that they were going to make it to the super bowl this year.

On the evening of October 23rd, 2012, Bob took Nita out on what was to be their last date. They had a lovely evening together enjoying each other’s company. When they returned home they studied their Sabbath school lesson and prayed together before going to bed. The last thing Bob ever did was consistent with his character he prayed for you, he prayed for each one of us in the family, for his friends, for his neighbors; for everyone that he loved.


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