Crash victim 'remarkable human being,' father says

Saturday March 3, 2012

SHEFFIELD -- Friends and family are remembering Moira Banks-Dobson as a remarkable person who had a positive impact on everyone she met.

Banks-Dobson’s father, Ted Dobson, said his daughter was strikingly beautiful and equally talented. And while she was modest, people could always tell Banks-Dobson was special.

"Without my daughter trying to flaunt or put out who she was, she did it anyway," said Dobson. "This is a remarkable human being that was killed and she was a real sweetheart in every sense of the word."

Banks-Dobson was killed on Tuesday night in a multi-car crash on Route 7 after her car was hit by an allegedly drunken driver with a history of drunken driving arrests. She was 24.

Banks-Dobson graduated from Yale University in May 2011 with a degree in English. While attending the school, she sang in the a cappella groups Something Extra and Tangled Up in Blue. She also rowed for the varsity crew team after walking on as a freshman.

Banks-Dobson had most recently worked as a tutor in the Pittsfield Public Schools and was passionate about helping young people. She was also known to help out with her family’s organic farm.

"The one thing I want people to know is how much she wanted love to be a real thing in life, not for her but between people," said Dobson. "She cared enormously for the people that were important to her and it turns out there are a lot more people who were important to Moira than I ever knew about."

Services will be held in Banks-Dobson’s memory on Sunday, at 1 p.m., at Dewey Hall, 91 Main St., Sheffield. A memorial to honor her life will be held on Sunday, March 11, at 278 Mitchell St., Hillsdale, N.Y., on what would have been her 25th birthday.

Banks-Dobson is also survived by, among others, her mother, Anne B. Banks, of Hillsdale, N.Y., brother Benjamin Banks-Dobson, sisters Melany and Freya Dobson, and sister-in-law Nalise Polyte Dobson.

Banks-Dobson graduated magna cum laude from Hotchkiss School, in Lakeville, Conn., in 2005, winning numerous awards and participating on the cross country, track, sailing and soccer teams.

In a letter to Hotchkiss alumni, Mariel Kozberg, a roommate and teammate of Banks-Dobson’s at the school, described her friend as someone who didn’t even realize how remarkable she was.

"Moira was brilliant, artistic, athletic, and beautiful, and she had one of the most exquisite voices I know I will ever hear," Kozberg wrote. "She lit up our classrooms and stages and athletic fields with her un-self-conscious grace."

Kozberg went on to write that Banks-Dobson was loved by all who knew her and could make anyone feel at ease with just a smile.

"Her death is a great loss to all of us, and for the world; she was destined to accomplish great things," wrote Kozberg.

Dobson said his daughter was driving home from a successful job interview at the time of the accident, having just been hired as a babysitter for a family with two young children. He said the response from the community has been overwhelming, and the one silver lining to the whole situation is the realization of the love and memories she left behind.

"I feel that it’s rippling out in a world that is sometimes dark and scary," said Dobson. "This is a nightmare, but there’s something she left that maybe is more than love -- it’s a caring about people."

To reach Trevor Jones:,
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