October 9, 1930 - December 28, 2009
Herbert Dostal was a devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather and good friend. He lived a life that was both adventurous and rooted, outgoing and contented, fun loving and considerate. Herbert tried every day to be the best man he could, and was rewarded with a life of happiness for his efforts.Times were hard in the United States in 1930, unemployment rates were high and spirits were low as many American families tried to stretch their dollars in order to survive the Great Depression. Despite the challenges of the time, Frederick and Evelyn (Gaffney) Dostal of Mason County, Michigan had something to celebrate. On October 9, 1930, they welcomed the birth of a healthy baby boy, a son they named Herbert.Herbert grew up on his family’s farm, located on the corner of Stiles and Hanson Roads in Amber Township. Along with his two brothers and sister, he learned to appreciate hard work, helping with the daily farm chores. His father worked several different jobs in order to provide for their family, including farming, delivering milk, and driving a school bus. His mother also worked outside the home as a teacher in the rural schools around the county, including Pleasant View and Riverton. Outside of the time devoted to hard work, Herbert found enjoyment in fishing Crystal Lake with his brothers. Another passion of his was deer hunting, with the many opportunities to practice his skill. It was a lifelong pursuit, and he became a very accomplished hunter.At a young age, it became obvious that Herbert was a very intelligent boy. He graduated from Ludington High School at the age of 15, and at the age of 16 began taking dairy classes at Michigan State College, undoubtedly the youngest student on campus. Influenced by his grandfather and father's legacy of military service, Herbert followed a patriotic calling and sense of honor and duty, enlisting in the U.S. Air Force. He was first stationed in San Antonio, Texas, but was later sent to Yale University to learn the Chinese language. Herbert excelled at languages becoming fluent in Chinese, Russian, and Korean, and also spoke German, Portuguese and Arabic. During his tour of duty, he served in the Korean Conflict in Japan and Korea. He took great pride in the fact that his sons and some of his grandchildren carry on the family legacy of service in the military.During his time in the service, Herbert decided to marry the love of his life, Dorothy E. Carlson. They were happily married in a full military ceremony on October 20, 1951, in New Haven, Connecticut. Herbert’s best man from home, who wasn’t in the service, borrowed a uniform for the ceremony, but was so tall, even the longest uniform was two inches too short. After Herbert was honorably discharged from the service, he returned to Mason County to settle into married life with his new bride. Over the next several years, Herbert and Dorothy filled their hearts and home with the joy and excitement of six children: Debbie, David, Douglas, Derek, Dean and Drew.To provide for his growing family, Herbert worked on the family farm for a time, but didn’t really like this line of work, so he took various jobs working on the car ferries, and at the railroad switchyard. After some time, he decided to return to Michigan State University, where he earned his Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, and Doctorate degrees in Horticulture and Plant Physiology. He put his education to good use, teaching at the University of Idaho for 2 years, and at Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana for 16 years. A consummate professional, Herbert was well respected by both his colleagues and his students, and always showed great interest in every one of them. His students were very important to him, and he spent many hours encouraging their studies. As a well-respected horticulturist, he had several articles published throughout his career on a variety of his specialties, particularly tomatoes.After his tenure at Purdue, Herbert's love of the western United States, which rivaled his affection for Mason County, drew him to move his family back out to Washington, not far from the University of Idaho, where he started a consulting business. After only 2 years, the family moved back to Mason County, and Herbert began a consulting business which was located in Indiana. With an apartment in Bluffton, Indiana, he would commute back and forth every week. Eventually, Herbert sold this business to his partner, and started a fertilizer business in Ohio with 3 farmers, while still living in Mason County. This business is still active today.A hallmark of Herbert's life, whatever new ventures he pursued, Herbert gave it his all. From the research and planning stages, to implementation and course of action, his decisions were detailed, organized and done with precision. This didn’t apply only to his work, he was just as devoted to his family. He took an active role in every phase of his children’s, and grandchildren's lives. Whatever they took an interest in, he studied up on it so he could be at the top of his game and enjoy the passion with them. A true outdoorsman, he looked forward every year to taking his boys on a trip in the great outdoors for camping, canoeing and, of course, hunting. This was a chance for the men of the family to be men, and his grandson referred to him as "the last of the cowboys." As a sportsman, Herbert served as president of the local Quality Deer Management Group. When relaxing at home, Herbert loved to read, cook, and eat. He took great joy in the planning and careful shopping for the perfect ingrediants, in order to make the most delicous meals. Herbert was also a very proud Michigan State Spartan Alumni.Herbert led a life saturated with honesty, integrity and respect. He was many things in his life – an educator, a businessman, and a devoted husband, father and grandfather. He will be remembered and greatly missed by all who knew and loved him, and endeavor to follow his example.Herbert Dostal died peacefully on Sunday, December 28, 2008, at his home in Amber Township. He was preceded in death by his parents, his beloved son David in 1969, and his brothers, Frederick and Clayton. He will be greatly missed by his wife of 57 years, Dorothy; his children: Debbie Biggs and her husband, Robert, of Roanoke, Texas, Douglas Dostal and his wife, Tonya, of Custer, Washington, Derek Dostal and his fiancée, Larisa Sofronova, of Scottville, Dean Dostal and his wife, Sharon, of Ludington, and Drew Dostal and his wife, Dena, of Scottville; 17 grandchildren, 8 great-grandchildren; his sister, Nancy Englund of Ludington, and several nieces and nephews.Funeral services will be held for Herbert at 11:00 a.m. on Friday, January 2, at Our Savior Lutheran Church in Scottville with his pastor, Rev. James Schroeder, officiating. Burial will take place at Rickey Cemetery near his home in Amber Township. Friends may meet with his family for a time of visitation on Thursday evening, January 1, from 4-7 p.m. at the Stephens Funeral Home in Scottville. Those who wish may make memorial contributions to Hospice of Michigan ~ Mason County, or to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Herbert Dostal was a devoted husband, loving father, doting grandfather and good friend. He lived a life that was both adventurous and rooted, outgoing and contented, fun loving and considerate. Herbert tried every day to be the best man he... View Obituary & Service Information
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