We’d like to introduce you to our father, Lenny Dobens.
Lenny was born on November 16, 1932 in Nashua, New Hampshire, the youngest of three boys. When he was just a toddler, Lenny, along with his two older brothers, was sent to live at the Daniel Webster Home for Children (formerly the New Hampshire Orphan’s Home) when their parents could no longer provide for them. Once there, he was immediately separated from his brothers due to his young age and went on to spend the seasons of his childhood isolated from his family. When he turned sixteen, Lenny “aged out” of the facility, for all practical purposes, deemed an adult. As he set foot out into the real world that day, no one would have batted an eye if he had grown into a sad, depressed or embittered young man. But Lenny pulled a fast one! Despite a desperately lonely childhood without the basic needs of a family’s love and support, Lenny beat the odds. He emerged a bright, enthusiastic young man filled to the brim with confidence, and a desire to make a difference in the world. As time went on, his big heart, caring nature, and million-dollar smile continued to bubble to the surface, leading his peers to name him class president of the Nashua High School Class of 1951.
But his story doesn’t end there.
The legend of “Lenny Dobens” was born.
After serving in the U.S. Air Force as a Russian linguist during the Korean War, Lenny proudly earned his bachelor’s degree in business at the University of New Hampshire while working for New York Life Insurance Company, a “company he kept” his entire 55 year career. He fell in love with his career and devoted his life to building a successful business with the goal of helping the seniors of New Hampshire better understand the complicated process of Medicare supplement insurance. It was his personal motto to “do something good for someone in need” that made him successful and drew people to him in droves. He was beloved by his clients, the majority of whom he considered his “family” – perhaps filling that most basic need of the little boy who grew up without one.
Never was his devotion to his clients on display more than when Lenny was in his hospital bed in the critical care unit of Mass General Hospital, dependent on a heart pump to keep him alive. As he sat, propped up in bed on oxygen, he was determined to make sure his clients were taken care of, personally sorting through paperwork and answering messages just days before succumbing to heart disease in 2014.
We can think of no better way to carry on the legacy of our father, Lenny Dobens, who founded his company based upon the simple principle of helping others. That’s the true measure of a man who genuinely loved what he did and the people he did it for. It has become our singular mission to carry his spirit forward as we usher his beloved company into a new era.
Dorrie and Charlie Dobens
The Lenny Dobens Memorial Scholarship
provides opportunities to foster care children.