Steve Dobbins, the son of Jay and Rose Hill Dobbins, was born on Feb. 16, 1943 and grew up in Cliffside, mostly on South Main Street.
Steve joined the Cliffside Boy Scout Troop when he became 11 years old. The August, 2006 Photo of the Month on this website shows Steve with his Scout troop, his chest covered by the badges he had earned. He achieved Eagle Scout status before he left scouting when he was about 14 years old. He laughingly suggests that, as most boys do, he probably replaced his interest in scouting with interest in girls at about that age.
Steve attended Cliffside School through part of his junior year. The Department of Education was in the process of building three new school buildings in which they would house consolidated Rutherford County high schools. Chase High School had not been completed when the 1959-60 school year started in the fall, so students were transferred in the middle of the year. One day, Cliffside students went to classes with fellow students they had known since first grade, and the next day they were attending a new school where most of the other students were strangers. Steve played basketball and football at both schools, but modestly advises that although he made the teams, he was not an outstanding player.
He and Edie Jolley started school together in first grade, and had dated during high school. Since Edie was allowed to skip second grade, she graduated from Chase in 1960, just before Steve began his senior year, and went off to college at UNC-Greensboro. After his graduation from Chase in 1961, Steve attended NC State on a Cone Mills scholarship. Steve was an NC State fan, and Edie was a UNC fan.
On June 6, 1964, a week after Edie received her BS degree in Biology from UNC in May, Edie and Steve were married and moved to Raleigh for Steve’s last year at NC State. Edie worked as a lab biologist at NC State while Steve went to school there. Steve says she was working on her PHT (Putting Hubby Through) degree while he was working toward his degree in Textile Chemistry.
After graduating from NC State in 1965, Steve was interviewed by Cone Mills for a job in Greenville, SC, but instead took a job with Springs Industries at their Lancaster, SC, plant.
While Steve worked for Springs for a little over a year, Edie worked for the county’s Social Services Department. This was during the time of the Vietnam conflict when the army was attempting to build up troop strength. The lottery was yet to be implemented, the draft was still in effect, and Steve knew he would soon be drafted. He learned that his education would allow him to enter the Air Force as an officer, which he preferred to being drafted into the army infantry, so he enlisted in 1966.
When Steve was deployed to a station, Edie went with him. They lived in Texas and in Duluth, MN, before being sent to Berlin, Germany for three years, which they enjoyed most of all. Steve attained the rank of Captain before being discharged in 1971.
Steve returned to his job at Spring Industries in Lancaster, and both he and Edie also continued their education. Steve received his Master’s degree in Business from the University of South Carolina.
Edie enrolled in the Medical Technology Program at Presbyterian Hospital in Charlotte, NC, driving back and forth from Lancaster to attend classes each day. After completing this program, she worked for some time as a medical technologist in Lancaster and Rock Hill, SC, hospitals. She was asked to teach several biology orientated classes at York Technical College in Rock Hill, and did so. Deciding it would increase her effectiveness in this field, she worked toward and received her Masters Degree in Health Education from Central Michigan University. She continued to work at York Technical College in Rock Hill, and later, in 1996, received her Doctorate Degree in Technical College Administration from Clemson University.
When asked if there was a strained atmosphere in their home with the rivalry between their alma maters, NC State and UNC and later Clemson and the University of South Carolina, Steve said they had come to an agreement not to bring up the subject.
Steve, suffering from rheumatoid arthritis, retired from Springs Industries in 2002. He attends exercise therapy to retain his mobility, and enjoys his hobbies of photography and reading.
Edie is currently Executive Vice President of York Technical College in Rock Hill where she has worked for over 30 years. She enjoys her job, and while she will not say when she plans to retire, Steve says he encourages her to do so within the next year or so.
When the fact that he and Edie had received good educations and had attained much success in meeting most of their life goals was pointed out to Steve, he agreed. He said that only a few days ago he and a friend were discussing how many Cliffside residents had done well in life, which some people may view as out of proportion to what would have been expected from a group of kids from a mill village. He says he attributes this to the influence of their parents and their principal, Mr. H.C. Beatty. Steve says Mr. Beatty’s respect and love for all the students was reflected in how they felt about him, and he feels a great deal of the students’ successes are due to the values, expectations, and ambitions instilled in them by Mr. “H.B” and their parents.