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Dan S. Hobbs, a long-time resident of Norman, Oklahoma, died while Steve and Carol were with him in Trinity Woods (Tulsa) nursing care on January 12, 2023, after a series of health challenges over the past year. Dan was born at Rocky, Oklahoma, on February 8, 1927, the fourth of eight children (four sons/four daughters) born to William Seab Hobbs and Moneta Stewart Hobbs. He completed Cordell High School in 1945, and entered military service in September, 1945. He served as a member of the Occupational Forces in Japan during 1946-47, under the command of General Douglas McArthur. He married Betty Jean Ray of Cordell on August 26, 1948, and they attended Panhandle State University together. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from that institution in 1951, and then taught school at Texhoma, Oklahoma for the next four years.
In 1955, Dan and Betty and their first two children, Stephen and Catherine, moved to Norman, Oklahoma, where Dan enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Oklahoma, living in the Sooner City post-war prefabs. While a graduate student, he served as Principal and Interim Director of the University of Oklahoma Laboratory School and as Coordinator of Certification and Teacher Placement in the College of Education. He graduated from OU with a Doctor of Philosophy degree in 1969.
In 1961, Hobbs began a 27-year career with the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education in Oklahoma City, where he served in a number of capacities, including a year in 1977-78 as Interim Chancellor of the State Regents for Higher Education. He retired from that organization in 1988, with the title of Vice Chancellor Emeritus.
Following retirement, Hobbs spent a year as President of the University Center at Tulsa (UCAT) and taught as Adjunct Professor of Higher Education at Oklahoma State University in Stillwater, the University of Oklahoma at Norman, and served as Distinguished Professor of Education and Director of the Legacy Project at USAO in Chickasha during the 1990’s. He was the author of many publications and two books, University of Science and Arts: A History, and Coordination of Oklahoma Higher Education: A History of the State Regents. He served as a precinct worker for the Cleveland County Election Board for many years.
Hobbs was honored by Oklahoma Panhandle State University by his induction into that institution’s Alumni Hall of Fame. In 1994, he was inducted into the Founding Class of the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame by the Oklahoma Higher Education Heritage Society. He subsequently spent two decades as a member of that organization’s Board of Trustees.
His professional and personal associations included memberships on the board for the American College Testing Program, member and Chairman of the Board of Trustees of Oklahoma Baptist University, Member of the Executive Committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, Moderator of the Cooperating Baptist Fellowship of Oklahoma, Member of the Coordinating Council of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Atlanta, and Member and Past-Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Associated Baptist Press of Jacksonville, Florida.
Hobbs was a member of First Baptist Church of Norman for a half-century, serving as a deacon, member of the Chancel Choir, and Sunday School teacher for most of those years. In 2004, he and his wife joined with other leaders to found NorthHaven Church in Norman, where he continued to serve in leadership roles until the decline of his health.
Hobbs was preceded in death by his three brothers, William S. Hobbs, Frank B. Hobbs, and Jerry Hobbs; and his three sisters, Oleta Underwood, Joyce Cantrell, and Jane Davis. His loving wife Betty, after 65 years of marriage, died in 2013. He is survived by five children: Stephen Hobbs of Tulsa; Catherine Hobbs (Mark Mills) of Albuquerque, NM; Bruce Hank Hobbs of Oklahoma City; Jeanne Rogers (Chuck) of Chesterfield, MO; and Susan Cessna (Clayton) of Canton, OH. He is also survived by his sister, Lynda Hobbs Pence; brother-in-law, Glen Pence of Shawnee, as well as his sister-in-law, Darline Anderson Hobbs of Norman.
His surviving grandchildren include: Kevin Hobbs (Jodi) of Gurley, AL; Nathan Hobbs (Melissa) of Salem, OR; Valerie Hobbs of Denton, TX; Amanda Barry Mosure (Chris) of Columbus, OH; Ellen Barry Smith (Chad) of Delphos, OH; Calley Cessna and Audrey Cessna of Canton, OH; Jordan Rogers (Ashley Rube) of St. Louis, MO; Grant Rogers (Melissa) of St. Louis; Rachel Rogers of St. Louis, MO; Hunter Hobbs of Edmond; and Skyler Hobbs (Meagan) of Edmond;
He is survived by eleven great-grandchildren: Woodrow Xavier Hobbs of St. Paul, MN; Alexander Dean Hobbs and Francis Allen Hobbs of Salem, OR; Parker June Hobbs of Gurley, AL; George Joseph Rogers and Peter Daniel Rogers of St. Louis, MO; Eleanor Marie Mosure and Hazel Elizabeth Mosure of Columbus, OH; Oliver Anthony Smith and Henry Robert Smith of Delphos, OH; and Hazel Cove Hobbs of Edmond;
A private family interment was held on January 19, 2023, in a graveside service at Warren Cemetery in Norman. Plans are being made for a community celebration of life later in the spring of 2023.
Contributions in his honor may be made to NorthHaven Church in Norman or Trinity Woods (formerly Methodist Manor) in Tulsa.