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Robert A. Dobart, former police major

Robert A. Dobart, a retired major of the Baltimore County Police Department and the county's first polygraph expert, died Thursday at his home in Hamlet, N.C., of cardiac arrest. He was 63.
   Major Dobart retired from the police department in 1969 after 22 years on the force. In addition to his work with polygraph examinations, Mr. Dobart was a champion marksman in the department and started the department's scuba-diving squad.
   He was the Maryland police pistol champion in 1962.
   Appointed to the department in 1946, he served as a patrolman in the Essex district for four years and then transferred to the newly formed traffic division, where he was promoted to sergeant in 1951.
   After six years in traffic, he was assigned to the detective bureau and promoted to lieutenant.
   When the county acquired its first lie-detector machine, he was selected to take a course at the Keeler Polygraph Institute in Chicago and became the department's first polygraph expert.
   He also was selected to attend a 12-week course for local police officers at the FBI National Academy in 1963.
   He was a damn good detective because he was a perfectionist ... he had to be the best at everything he did," noted retired police Col. Edner Story, who described Mr. Dobart as "a great freshwater fisherman" and "a really good golfer."

   The two men worked together on a 1958 case involving a cat burglar who committed a string of 58 burglaries in the eastern portion of the county. They broke the case after tracing the burglar to his girl friend's apartment through pawnshop transactions. The case was later made into a 30-minute movie, produced by Rapier Productions and starring the actual detectives and burglar.
   Mr. Dobart was a champion skeet-shooter and interested in golfing, fishing and music. Before moving to North Carolina after his retirement, he lived in Colgate and Parkville, and he was an original member of the Hawks Pleasure Club in Essex.
   During World War II, Mr. Dobart was a paratrooper in the Army's 82d Airborne Division, and was wounded in action at the Battle of the Bulge. Before the war, while stationed in Panama, Mr. Dobart swam to a plane that had crashed in the water, and was later awarded a Presidential Citation for saving the lives of several of the crewmen.
   He is survived by his wife, Gladys Dobart, of Hamlet; a son, Robert Dobart III, of Baltimore; a grandson, Robert Dobart IV, of Baltimore; his mother, Anna Dobart, of Baltimore, and three sisters, Audrey Fria, his twin, and Maryanna Moorhead, both of Denver, and Helen Miceli of Baltimore.
   Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Monday in the Second Baptist Church of Hamlet.
   The family has requested that contributions be made to the Heart Fund.

[The Baltimore Sun, Baltimore, MD, 24 Dec 1983, Sat, Page 15]

[courtesy of Donna V. Kester]

Grave marker for Robert A Dobart in Richmond County Memorial Park, Rockingham (Richmond county), North Carolina.

Robert was registered for the draft ca. 1945 but had already enlisted in the Army on 9 September 1939.

He was wounded in action during the Battle of The Bulge and was awarded the Purple Heart.


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