Former Natchitoches resident, Vennie Dobson, age 89, passed away on July 16, 2023. Mrs. Dobson was born on October 1, 1933 in Natchitoches, Louisiana to the late Auguste Rachal and Ouida Nolley Rachal. Vennie was the wife of the late E. P. Dobson, Jr., Architect. She is survived by her four loving daughters, Jan Baldwin (Bill) of Natchitoches, La., Gail Varner (Bobby Jack) of Arcadia, Florida, Cynthia Dobson of Beaumont, Texas, and Martha Griffith (Jim) of Parker, Colorado; ten grandchildren, Alex Baldwin, Ashley Baldwin Graham, Robin Varner Davis, Tina Varner Rote, Robert Varner, Dylan Bertrand, Jaslan Cardino Harrison, Christine Griffith Lagace, Alexandra Griffith Tsvetkov, and James Bradley Griffith; and fifteen great-grandchildren.
Vennie was blessed with a green thumb. She was passionate about gardening and loved bromeliads. Her husband, E. P. supported her interest by taking her to Mexico to search for rare plants and eventually designed and built a beautiful octagonal greenhouse that would house the hundreds of bromeliad plants. For years, she attended numerous bromeliad shows around the country and won many awards. Her most prestigious award was “International Best of Show”. She was then considered a renowned horticulturist around the world.
Vennie could light up any room with her sense of humor, verve, and strength of character. She absolutely loved sewing which she taught herself beginning at the age of nine and continued her entire life. One of her teachers in grade school once told her she should be a dress designer one day. After retirement in Sun City West, Arizona she joined a sewing club and over the years made hundreds of dresses for needy children.
Vennie was a member of First Baptist Church in Natchitoches and moved her letter to First Baptist Church in Sun City West, AZ. She attended Bible Study Fellowhip for many years and loved reading her bible. She served in the church and volunteered tirelessly throughout the community. As a member of the Natchitoches Service League she was instrumental in the creation and publishing of the cookbook “Cane River Cuisine”. Flower arranging came naturally to Vennie and she won awards and was a member of the St. Denis Garden Club. One of her all time favorites was her fun-loving role in the “Lolly Gaggers”, a group of entertainers that traveled to young children’s classrooms throughout Natchitoches Parish.