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In Remembrance

Edwin L. "Dubbs" Roush ’47 died in the afternoon on Wednesday, June 8, 2011. Dubbs was a beloved friend of Otterbein and touched many of its alumni.

Dubbs' senior photo
Dubbs' senior photo.
A native of central Ohio, Dubbs grew up on a farm near Gahanna, Ohio. Following graduation from Gahanna Lincoln High School, Dubbs entered Otterbein University as a freshman in the fall of 1940 to play football under Coach Sam Selby. Dubbs and teammate Francis “Red” Bailey ’43 co-captained the 1942 football team before leaving to join the U.S. Navy during WWII.

Dubbs served for three years, three months, and three days. After his honorable discharge, Dubbs married his college sweetheart, Marilou Harold ’45, and re-enrolled in Otterbein. In the fall of 1946 he was the co-captain and quarterback of the football team, leading his teammates to an undefeated conference season and the conference championship, the first in Otterbein’s history. Dubbs graduated from Otterbein in its Centennial Year and would spend the rest of his life promoting and serving his alma mater and Otterbein athletics.

Photo of Dubbs in a striped polo
Dubbs as a coach.
Following one year as a professional football player in Detroit, he accepted a position at Columbus North High School to teach and coach, then returned to Gahanna to teach and coach the 1950 Franklin County championship football team.

Dubbs left his career in education in 1951 to become a successful businessman, starting with his first small store, Roush Hardware. He later added Roush Sporting Goods and Roush Honda to the Roush family of businesses.

In 1955, when former teammate Robert “Moe” Agler was named head football coach at Otterbein, Dubbs joined former co-captain Red Bailey to establish the “O” Club, an athletic boosters club, and served as its first president. He was also instrumental in the establishment of the “O” Club Foundation.

A loyal alumnus, Dubbs began serving on the Board of Trustees in 1968. During his time on the board, Dubbs served as vice-chairman and chairman and retired from the Board as a trustee emeritus. He also served as a trustee of the Vida S. Clements Foundation and as president of the Westerville Business Men’s Association, the Westerville Rotary Club, and Hardware Wholesalers, Inc.

Photo of Dubbs and Marilou in front of the Roush Hall construction sign
Dubbs and Marilou Photo of Dubbs speaking at the Roush Hall dedication
Dubbs speaking at the Roush Hall dedication.
Dubbs and Marilou made the lead $2 million gift to build Roush Hall, which was dedicated on June 12, 1993. They also were the leading private donors of the new Memorial Stadium, which was dedicated on September 17, 2005.

Otterbein has awarded Dubbs the honors of an honorary doctorate of business administration degree, the Distinguished Service Award and the Distinguished Alumni Award. He also was a member of the inaugural Otterbein Athletic Hall of Fame class.

He is survived by his wife, Marliou; two sons and three daughters. Their daughters, Wendy ’71 and Cynthia ’80, and son Larry ’76 also graduated from Otterbein.

Alumnus and former Otterbein employee Jack Pietilia ’61 shares, “Dubbs was like a second father to me when I was at Otterbein. I worked for him at the hardware store that was first in Uptown and then in the summer of 1960 helped him move to the new Schrock location. I often saw a cute 12- year-old around the place that summer as I served as a stock boy and all round gofer. Her name was Wendy. I have so many great memories of a great man and his family. I’m sure we all have them and we’ll all miss Dubbs Roush.”

Otterbein President Kathy Krendl adds, “Dubbs epitomized the culture of Otterbein. He was a caring and giving individual who made lasting friendships. His engagement with the Otterbein community, Westerville community and beyond has left us in a better place. We are grateful for having Dubbs in our lives. Our thoughts are with Marilou and the family.”

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