Monday, July 13, 2020

Leona Danette ‘Dani’ Dobyns, 90

| June 28, 2020 1:00 AM

Leona Danette “Dani” Dobyns passed away peacefully at home in Kalispell on April 11, 2020.

Dani was born to Daniel Roy and Leona Grace Fenn Dobyns on Jan. 28, 1930, in Shelby. She was the oldest of seven children.

Dani started school in Shelby and then attended school in Dunkirk, Montana, after her parents bought land along the Marias River. Danette finished high school in Great Falls, at St. Thomas, where she graduated in 1947 before going on to college in Great Falls. Beginning in 1960, Dani attended Notre Dame University and earned her Doctorate in Chemistry degree.

Following her studies, Dani went on to share her love for science and education, as a distinguished professor at the California State University at Dominguez Hills. She was selected as a member of the American Chemical Society and earned full membership in the Society of the Sigma Xi in 1965. Dani was loved by her students and delighted in making basic chemistry concepts understandable and approachable.

After more than 30 years at the university, Dani retired and moved to Kalispell in 1996. Back in Montana, Dani rekindled a passion for photography that kept her inspired throughout the rest of her life. She was an active member in all of the local camera clubs and was a generous patron of the local art community.

With her camera in hand, Dani traveled all over this beautiful state and around the world. She particularly loved flying up to Nome, Alaska, to be a part of the Iditarod sled dog race finale. Dani attended photography workshops all over the country and delighted in learning new skills with her camera well into her late 80s.

Dani is survived by two of her sisters, Juanita of Carnation, Washington, and Jesse of Lincoln, Montana, and by her brother William in Shelby.

She was preceded in death by her siblings Peggy, Pat and Dan, as well as by her father and mother.

A celebration of life is planned for her from 6 to 9 p.m. on Friday, July 31, at the Lawrence Park Pavilion in Kalispell and a private ash scattering will be held later in the summer.

In lieu of flowers, her family asks that those who wish to please send donations to the North West Montana Veterans Stand Down and Food Pantry.

Columbia Mortuary in Columbia Falls is caring for Dani’s family.