In Remembrance: Robert J. Dodds III ’65 Died on September 10 2019

Robert J. Dodds III, a prominent trust and estates lawyer, died on September 10, 2019, in his home. He had been an associate and then a partner of Reed Smith Shaw & McClay in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and a counsel and then a partner of Rose, Kohl & Davenport, Ltd. and its successor firms in Santa Fe, New Mexico. At his death he was the proprietor of the firm Davenport & Dodds.

Dodds was born in San Antonio, Texas, on September 19, 1943, the son of Robert J. Dodds Jr. and Kathryn Bechman Dodds. Kathryn Dodds died September 25, 1943. After the war his father married Patricia Colbert, who adopted him. Dodds attended Shady Side Academy in Pittsburgh, the Choate School (1961), Yale University (1965), and the University of Pennsylvania School of Law (1969).

During his time in Pittsburgh, he served on a number of for-profit and nonprofit boards: Air Tool Parts & Service Company (director), Davison Sand & Gravel Company (director), Carnegie Museum of Art (term trustee), Carnegie Mellon University (term trustee), the Westmoreland Museum of Art (director), Pittsburgh Plan for Art, later to become the Carnegie Mellon University Art Gallery (director and chairman), the Homewood Cemetery (director and president), YMCA of Pittsburgh (director), the Western Pennsylvania Hospital (trustee), the West Penn Hospital Foundation (director and chairman), the Pittsburgh Athletic Association (director), and the Museums Panel of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (member). His club memberships included, in Pittsburgh: the Duquesne Club, the Pittsburgh Golf Club, Fox Chapel Golf Club, the Pittsburgh Athletic Association, the Harvard Yale Princeton Club, and Rolling Rock Club; and in New York: the Yale Club of New York and the University of Pennsylvania Club.

Dodds is survived by his wife, D. J. Dodds of Santa Fe and two sons, Zachary B. Dodds, a professor of computer science at Harvey Mudd College in Claremont, California; and Seth D. Dodds, an associate professor in hand and upper extremity surgery in the Department of Orthopedics at the University of Miami School of Medicine. He is also survived by four grandchildren.

—Submitted by the family.

3 remembrances

  • Lynda Jamison
    Lynda Jamison, 2:43pm September 23 2019 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Dear Zachery and Seth,
    Truly saddened by hearing of your father's death. We had some marvelous memories in our early youth. Much love to you both,
    Lynda & Bob Jamison

  • Deborah Stark
    Deborah Stark, 12:48am September 24 2019 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    Zachary and Seth,

    I'm so pleased to see your dad's remembrance in the Yale Alumni Magazine. This is what he wished for. Thank you for seeing it through.

    Your dad was an unusual man - brilliant in many ways and unlike anyone I have known before. I learned so much from him over the years. He changed my course and broadened the view. I will always be grateful.

    With all best wishes,
    D. Stark

  • Elena Chavez
    Elena Chavez, 11:31am January 08 2020 | Ico flag Flag as inappropriate

    I’m hoping this will mean something to the family, who I’ve heard about but may never meet. I knew your father during the last 3 years of his life. It was a extremely difficult few years for me personally and was contemplating suicide. I only didn’t because I have 2 daughters. Your father came into my life when I needed a friend the most and we become close. He was even there for me when I lost my own father and father-in-law just 3 days apart. He and I had conversations that changed my life and perspective for the better. That, along with my genuine love for him saved my life. I even recently got a tattoo in remembrance of him, which he probably would have hated! However, it’s because of him that I’m still here and happier than I’ve ever been, except for missing my best friend.
    Elena Chavez

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