UW-Washington County is proud to feature Tony and Michele Dobson, as this month’s alumni family.
Tony Dobson met Michele Webb for the first time in 1998, when they were students at UW-Washington County. They shared a common interest in athletics. Michele participated in volleyball and basketball while Tony played basketball, soccer and tennis. After completing their Associate degrees at UW-WC, Michele transferred to UW-EauClaire (one semester) and then UW-LaCrosse, where she completed a bachelor’s degree in Business Marketing. Tony transferred to UW-LaCrosse, where he completed a bachelor’s degree in Parks and Recreation Management. Today, Tony is employed by the Village of Slinger and also serves as head varsity basketball coach for the girls at Slinger High School. Michele works full time at West Bend Mutual Insurance as a commercial lines underwriter.
On top of the list of reasons as to why UW-WC gave them a “great start” is the fact that it’s where they met. The couple married in 2000. Also on the list of reasons is the fact that “it allowed us to stay close to home and save money while we figured out where we wanted to finish college and what we wanted to major in,” Tony stated. “It also gave both of us an opportunity to continue playing the sports we loved,” he said.
A huge part of the Dobson’s life is their family. They have three sons. Brendan, their oldest would have been eight years old this September. They lost him tragically in December of 2010 in a snowmobile accident. Jackson is 6 years old (“an amazing little boy”) and attends St. Peter’s School in Slinger. Their youngest, Aaron is just three months old and has been a “blessing” for their family.
A good friend, Kelly Valentino, who serves as Parks and Recreation director in Jackson, spearheaded an effort to build a new playground in Brendan’s memory. Valentino worked with Wisconsin Parks and Recreation Association along with Minnesota/Wisconsin Playground to make “Brendan’s playground” become a reality. As Tony explains, “Michele and I were in such disarray, that we had not even thought about a tribute to Brendan yet.” An unbelievable amount of support from WRPA, family, friends, co-workers and the entire community made the new playground near Slinger Middle School all possible. “Donations came from everywhere,” Tony explained and truly was an “amazing team effort”.
The couple still finds time to enjoy sports. In addition to coaching basketball, Tony also plays softball and basketball and Michele plays volleyball. The couple also keeps busy by volunteering at their church and the Gingerbread House and “supporting our troops”.
Washington County is located at 400 University Drive in West Bend. For admission information, visit the campus website at washington.uwc.edu or phone Student Affairs at 262-335-5201.