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Master Gardener lived life with fervor

| Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2016, 9:00 p.m.
Mandrea Dobson
Mandrea Dobson

Whether she was volunteering her time tending to the gardens at Old Economy Village or putting up a valiant fight against brain cancer, Mandrea Dobson of Cranberry did so with the same unwavering, positive attitude.

“Everything she did, she did with gusto,” said her mother, Rita Dobson. “She would just put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.”

Mandrea A. Dobson of Cranberry died Saturday, Jan. 9, 2015, at UPMC Cranberry Place. She was 34.

“She had such a determined spirit, no matter what she was doing,” her mother said. “Even when she was fighting cancer, she was willing to try anything and always looking for ways to help others.”

Mandrea Dobson was born in McCand­less on April 5, 1981, a daughter of Gary and Rita Huber Dobson.

A member of Penn State Master Gardeners, she volunteered at the Old Economy Village gardens in Ambridge for 16 years, beginning in high school.

“She loved flowers,” her mother said. “Her grandparents were avid gardeners, and it was always something she enjoyed.”

That enjoyment showed when she volunteered, said Dean Sylvester, historical horticulturalist at Old Economy Village.

“She was a really hard worker, and it was obvious she enjoyed what she was doing,” Sylvester said.

A homemaker, Mandrea Dobson was a member of St. Gregory's Roman Catholic Church in Zelien­ople and the church's Gianna Wellness Group.

She had a love of the outdoors, especially kayaking and fishing. She was a den leader for Cub Scout Pack 403, and last spring had the pleasure of watching her son, Noah, win the annual Pinewood Derby.

“She was so proud of him,” Rita Dobson said.

Surviving, in addition to her parents and her son, are a sister, Dana Brown of Butler; a brother, Adam Dobson of Portland, Ore.; her pater­nal grandmother, Willavene Dobson of New Castle; and many aunts, uncles and cousins.

She was preceded in death by her maternal grandparents, John and Betty Huber; and her paternal grandfather, Jimmy Dobson.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. Wednesday at the McDonald-Aeberli Funeral Home, 238 Crowe Ave., Mars. A Mass of Christian Burial will be at 10 a.m. Thursday at St. Gregory's Catholic Church, 2 W. Beaver St., Zelienople, with the Rev. Michael Roche officiating. Burial will be in St. Mary's Cemetery, Hampton. Memorials may be directed to the family, for a fund for her son, Noah.

Vince Townley is a staff writer for the Tribune-Review. Reach him at 724-772-6364 or

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