Dean Dohrman’s Life of Public Service Recognized by Pettis County Peers & Friends
Dr. Dean Dohrman, a La Monte High School graduate who would go on to become well known and respected throughout Pettis County, the Central Missouri region, and the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City as both “Dr. Dohrman” as well as a strong proponent of Republican, conservative principals, will be laid to rest on Friday, Feb. 9, following his death the previous Friday.
Dohrman attended Pettis County schools and graduated from La Monte High School in 1977. One of his neighbors during his youth was current Pettis County Presiding Commissioner Bill Taylor. The Taylors and Dohrmans owned adjoining property.
“Our families grew up together,” Taylor said of the Dohrmans and the Taylors. “His grandpa lived there (on the Dohrman property) when my grandpa lived there (on the adjoining Taylor land).”
“Dean was a Joe Willie Namath fan. He was a huge Joe Namath fan,” Taylor said of Dohrman’s love of sports that began in childhood and, in particular, his admiration for the New York Jet quarterback. Just as their grandparents and parents had, Taylor said he and Dohrman grew up together as well, with Dohrman graduating from La Monte High School the year before Taylor did.
Dohrman started his post-high school academic career at State Fair Community College in Sedalia. He would go on to graduate from the College and would eventually receive recognition as Alumni of the Year in 2013.
Receiving his Master’s Degree from the University of Central Missouri (UCM), Dohrman would, while attending UCM, use his wealth of knowledge, particularly in history and economics, to help the University’s collegiate trivia team in competitions.
Dohrman would ultimately complete a PhD at the University of Missouri-Kansas City in Public Policy and Political Economy, but he would also serve in different roles for several companies that included both the Sedalia Democrat and Archers Daniels Midland in Overland Park according to articles from the same Sedalia newspaper in the 2000s.
“He just kept going forward it seemed like,” Taylor said of Dohrman’s accomplishments both academically and professionally.
Some of Dohrman’s earliest work in government would be internships, working as a legislative intern with State Representative Todd Smith and then with the City of Sedalia during Steve Dust’s Mayorality in the Summer of 1990 with a focus on Sedalia’s economic development efforts and the town’s capitol improvements plan according to a May 27th, 1990 article in the Sedalia Democrat. According to that same article, Dohrman earned $5/hour for his work for the City.
In political matters, Dohrman would become particularly close to both Pettis County Republican Central Committee Chair Carla Young and former Missouri State Representative and current Pettis County Pachyderm Club Vice President Stanley Cox.
With the years of work by Cox, Young, Dohrman, and many other locals, Pettis County would go from having a single Republican county-wide elected official in the late 1970s to today where now the County only has two Democrat elected officials.
Soon after 2004, Dohrman’s work was noticed within the Republican Party, and he would go on to be selected by Governor Matt Blunt as Pettis County Assessor to fulfill the recently vacated role in 2005.
Dohrman would win his next two successive general elections as Pettis County Assessor in 2006 and 2010 before deciding to run for State Representative for the 51st District in the 2012 election.
He announced his intention to run at a late 2011 Pettis County Pachyderm Club meeting according to a Sedalia Democrat article from their December 10-11, 2011 edition. The Pettis County Pachyderm Club was one of the many local clubs and organizations Dohrman would speak at and help serve throughout the years. Others that Dohrman joined or helped through the years include the Sedalia Lions Club as well as the Missouri Honor Flight program for Veterans that provided funds and support for veterans’ visits to Washington, D.C.
Dohrman would win election as State Representative in 2012 and continue to serve in that capacity for the next eight years after successive victories at the ballot box. This experience as a member of the Missouri State House of Representatives would lead to his role as Executive Director for the Joint Committee on Public Retirement for the State of Missouri.
Perhaps just as important as his work in Jefferson City, Dohrman would continue to help those seeking elected office in Pettis County, serving as a political mentor to many. Those helped by Dohrman in this role include his high school neighbor Bill Taylor.
“He was a lot of help for me,” Taylor said during his run for Pettis County Presiding Commissioner in 2022. “He gave me a lot of advice on what things really mattered to people and what not to take for granted.”
“Even if you can’t do what they (the voters) want you to do, they at least want you to take the time to listen to them,” Taylor said of some of Dohrman’s other helpful words of wisdom.”
“He had a lot of connections,” Taylor said of Dohrman’s knowledge of the ins and outs of the State Capitol in Jefferson City. “He was very good about sharing those connections, and he worked hard for Pettis County.”
“He’s done a lot of good nobody realized, I guess,” Taylor said. “He didn’t brag on himself none too much. He just went and done what needed to be done.”
Dohrman also helped Pettis County Western Commissioner during his early days as an elected official, becoming a good friend to Marcum.
“I got to know him really well for the last 11 years,” Marcum said. “He’s guided me through quite a few things. We’ve had a few things in Jeff City that we went together with, and talked about. I’ve learned a lot from him. It’s a very sad day for me because he was a good friend of mine I lost.”
Though working much of the time in Jefferson City, Dohrman would seek to continue to expand the influence of Pettis County locally and in the Missouri State Capitol and the Republican Party. He would successfully grow the annual Pettis County McKinley Dinner Banquet, previously attended by approximately 75-125 people, into what is now known as the annual McKinley Day Freedom Rally which has been attended by approximately 400 people the last several years and serves as the fourth largest Republican County gathering in Missouri, according to Carla Young.
Young also said Dohrman continued to work to help the Pettis County Republican Party, and specifically with planning for Missouri’s 4th District Congressional Caucus later this year, up until the week before his death despite the pain and difficulty stemming from Dohrman’s illness.
Young also said the following about Dohrman.
“Dean was a faithful Christian who looked at everything with a servant's heart,” Young said in a written statement. “He always gave of his time and energy to those that needed it. He is sorely missed by anyone who was privileged to know him. Rest in Peace Job well done. Good and faithful servant!”
Upon his passing, former State Representative Stanley Cox had the following to say about Dohrman.
“Dean was a fine public servant who truly carried about his community and the people he represented,” Cox said in a written statement. “He was also committed to doing what he could do to support Whitman Air Force Base and the people associated with it. He was a person that I always sought his insight into the problems of the world.”
Dohrman’s funeral visitation will be held at Rea Funeral Chapel at 3510 West 16th Street starting at 11 a.m. Friday Feb. 9. Following the Visitation, a funeral service will be held there starting at 1 p.m., with Dohrman being laid to rest following the service at LaMonte Cemetery. Pallbearers will include Mark Dohrman, Jim Kernell, Robert Lynde, Todd Lynde, William Lynde, and Jeff McClasky according to Dohrman’s obituary.
It is suggested that, in lieu of flowers, memorial donations be made to either the American Cancer Society or the Missouri State Veterans Home in Warrensburg, Missouri in care of Rea Funeral Chapel.
Though wanting to attend the services for Dohrman, the Pettis County Commissioners expressed regret at being unable to make it to Friday’s services as a result of a needed trip to Washington, D.C. on behalf of the County that could not be rescheduled.
Marcum wanted to be sure to let Dohrman’s friends and family know his thoughts on Dohrman’s passing.
“You’ve lost a great one,” Marcum said. “And so has Pettis County.”
-- Submitted by Kevin Lujin/Courtesy of The Windsor Review
NOTE: In addition to his work for The Windsor Review, Kevin Lujin also serves as President of the Pettis County Pachyderm Club. Pachyderm Clubs are an affiliate organization of the Republican Party.
LIfe of Dean Dohrman
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