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Marilyn Dobesh

Marilyn Dobesh

Eminent Homemaker

County: Butte

Marilyn Dobesh is a source of guidance and strength. Her influence reaches from the family to the field. In addition to providing a nurturing home for her four children, Marilyn and her husband Frank have welcomed more than 80 foster children into their home. While they no longer serve as foster parents, they recently opened their ranch home to a holiday party for foster parents and their children.

Marilyn and Frank Dobesh operate a ranch along the Belle Fourche River in western South Dakota where she is active in the day-to-day work of the cow-calf operation. They also have irrigated crops.

She believes that the future of the beef industry depends on presenting accurate facts to consumers, and she has devoted endless hours to promotion of the cattle industry. She is currently serving as president of the South Dakota CattleWomen. Marilyn is a member of the board of directors for the Beef Industry Council and has served two years as parliamentarian of the American National CattleWomen.

With more than 20 years of service to her credit as a 4-H volunteer leader, she is completing a term as vice president of the state 4-H Executive Board. She strongly supports the 4-H program throughout the state and has given countless hours of volunteer time to projects ranging from the state 4-H barbecue to 4-H dances.

Throughout her life, she has been interested in improving international communication and understanding. Through her efforts, her parents hosted the first foreign exchange student in Belle Fourche. That student from Norway opened the doors, the first of many other international students to visit the Belle Fourche community.

When her children were in school, Dobesh continued her family's tradition by hosting seven IFYE students and additional foreign students through various programs from around the world. Dobesh's daughter Misti traveled to Finland as an AFS student; and her son Dane traveled to Finland and Norway on an independent student exchange. Marilyn encouraged the personal growth and improved communication that made these international contacts possible. In recent years, she and her husband Frank have traveled abroad to visit former exchange students.

Dobesh joined the South Dakota Extension Homemakers in 1970 and served as vice president of the Butte County Extension Homemakers. She has been active in the Butte County Town and Country Club. She also has volunteered in her church, teaching Sunday school and Bible school and serving as advisor to the youth group.

Marilyn and Frank have four children: Misti Wahl of Harlowton, Montana; Boe of Belle Fourche; Clint of Valley Springs; and Dane of Belle Fourche.