Obituary: Robert Russell Dolson, 88, of Custer Township. 

May 7, 2021

Obituary: Robert Russell Dolson, 88, of Custer Township. 

Robert (Bob) Russell Dolson, 88, of Custer Township, died on Friday, April 30, 2021 in Ludington. 

Bob was born July 19, 1932 to the late Matilda (Florek) and Russell C. Dolson in Chicago. He married Lorli Marie Wiedenkeller in Valparaiso, Ind. on February 27, 1954.  Their first four children were born in Valparaiso where he met Lorli while working on his bachelor of arts degree in business and cconomics with minors in math and physics from Valparaiso University in 1956.

Bob served in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War (1951-53) as an electrician’s mate second class on the minesweeper USS Fulmar (AMS 47).  He proudly served six years in the Naval Reserves after his active duty.

Bob always had various jobs as a teen growing up in Valparaiso including starting an ice cream bicycle cart business, employing his youngest brother, David.  He started a magnet making business, Valparaiso Magnet Company in his garage and sold it to a Detroit company. Soon after, he and Lorli moved to Detroit where he worked for General Motors.  However, his career trajectory soon changed and he went to work  then for Kaufmann and Broad in construction for a number of years followed by starting his own construction company, Dolson & Ogg, with his friend, Bill Ogg.  

One of his proudest accomplishments was designing, with his wife, Lorli, an interior designer, their home in Grosse Pointe Farms.  While in Detroit and Grosse Pointe Farms he joined both the Detroit Yacht Club and the Grosse Pointe Sail Club as his love of sailing grew.  He was a proud past commodore of the GPSC.

After closing Dolson & Ogg in 1975, he taught math at Detroit Technical College, began running, baking, and making soap.  He began to run 5Ks and eventually ran in several marathons.  In 1977 Bob and Lorli decided they wanted to be fruit growers so they moved northwest, bought two adjacent farms near Scottville, in Custer Township, and planted apple, peach, and cherry orchards.

Bob owned and operated Sugar Ridge Orchards and Summit Fresh, Inc.  He also served as general manager of the Ludington Fruit Exchange and taught math at West Shore Community College for several years.

Bob was a faithful member of the Catholic church and of St. Mary’s parish in Custer, VFW Custer Gold Bar Post 5096, American Legion post 76 in Ludington and the Mason County Fin and Feather Club.

He was a sailor, and enjoyed golf, cooking, reading, cribbage, cross country skiing and snowshoeing in his later years. He loved his jokes, Sousa marches, and played the piano, clarinet and most brass instruments.  He was a lifelong polymath, Peep lover, and loved his mens’ groups.

Family was his priority. He is survived by his wife, Lorli Dolson; children, Lynmarie Pugh (John), Jeanne Dolson (Mike Yocum), Kristine Molmen (Otto), Sheri Manett (Steve), Karen Alberts (Mike), Kathleen Dolson (Christopher Spilling), Jonathan Dolson (Carmen), Eric Dolson, and Karl Dolson (Jennifer); 23 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; siblings, Thomas Dolson, David Dolson, Maryann Dolson and Susan DeLeeuw. He also leaves behind many loved cousins, nieces and nephews and in-laws.

He was preceded in death by his parents and infant granddaughter Anna.

Services will be at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Custer. Visitation will take place on Friday, May 28 at 6 p.m. and Rosary at 8 p.m. on Friday May 28.  Funeral mass will be Saturday, May 29 at 11 a.m.  U.S. Navy burial at sea to occur at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a memorial gift in his name to the VFW Custer Gold Bar Post 5096, 2022 E. US 10, Custer MI 49405, American Legion Post 76, 318 N.James St., Ludington MI 40431, or Hillsdale College (www.hillsdale.com/donate).

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