Jessamine County Schools grieves the loss of beloved teacher Abby Dobie

Published 11:30 am Friday, August 4, 2023

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Abby Dobie, a West Jessamine High School teacher and a former teacher of the year, died in a single-vehicle collision on Tuesday afternoon in Woodford County. 

According to the Versailles Police Department (VPD), the collision occurred around 3 p.m., with four occupants in the vehicle. Emergency medical services brought three of the occupants to the hospital. Dobie was pronounced dead at the scene. 

West Jessamine Principal Brady Thornton wants the public to know how special of a teacher Dobie was.

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“She had a heart for kids. Her kids at home and her kids here at school. She was constantly working to balance those two things and do everything she could to make teaching valuable and meaningful,” Thornton said. 

Dobie was a mother of three elementary-aged children. She had one daughter and two recently adopted sons whom she parented with her husband, Mike, an East Jessamine Middle School teacher. Building a family through adoption was “Very, very important to her. She gave a hundred percent on two different fronts, she really did, every day,” Thornton said. 

Not only was Dobie an incredible teacher, mother, and wife, but losing her is also a grave loss to her friends and colleagues at West Jessamine High.

“It’s a huge loss for our staff. She was always smiling. Even when she was frustrated or at her wit’s end, you didn’t hear her talking negatively. She was always looking at the positive side of how she could work through things and was always willing to lend an ear to her coworkers. So many of them could testify that (Abby) would stop what she was doing because they needed her, and that’s just how she worked,” Thornton said.

The loss of Dobie is being felt across the school district.

Superintendent Matt Moore said this in a written statement: “It is with a heavy heart that I share that Abby Dobie, a teacher at West Jessamine High School, was killed in a car accident yesterday afternoon. Abby is a long-time member of our WJHS family, and her positive influence and impact extend well beyond her school. Abby’s passing is an immeasurable loss to our entire JCS Family. Our hearts and minds are with Abby’s family, friends, and loved ones. Just as Abby is known for her kindness, compassion, and for caring for those most in need, I am confident that our JCS team will pull together to be their “rock,” surrounding them with our love and support. We will have counselors available to assist students and staff for as long as needed as they cope with this loss. Abby leaves a great legacy in the positive difference that she has made in hundreds, if not thousands, of students’ and staff members’ lives. We will be forever grateful, and she will be dearly missed.”

Dobie’s visitation will be held on Monday, Aug. 7, from 3 to 8 p.m., and the funeral will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 8, at 10 a.m. Both will occur at Wilmore Free Methodist Church at 1200 Lexington Rd. in Wilmore. Following the funeral, the burial will take place at Wilmore Cemetery. 

Thornton has also been told that the family has no official GoFundMe. He said that fake GoFundMe pages are going around and not to share or donate to those fraudulent pages and that the community has covered the family regarding financials and meals. “I’ve been told by the church that (Abby’s family) are covered with everything they need right now. So, people have gone above and beyond. There’s plenty of food and plenty of flowers. We’re waiting as a school to step in after a few weeks after that (support) fades a little bit.”

A GoFundMe spokesperson sent the Jessamine Journal the following statement: “Our hearts are with the entire JCS community during this challenging time. It’s not uncommon for a community member to initiate a fundraiser on behalf of someone else. We found a signal fundraiser created to support Abby Dobie’s funeral expenses. The GoFundMe did not receive any contributions and was promptly removed.”

“I would say, I just think our community needs to continue to keep her family in their thoughts and prayers because we, as her work family, are grieving, but she has a family that is also going to work through that,” Thornton said. 

The VPD investigation into the accident remains ongoing.