Obituary of Douglas Robert Robarchek

Douglas Robert Robarchek, 75, died on August 29, 2018.


Doug was born in McCook, Nebraska, on July 23, 1943. The son of Clarence Albert Robarchek and Mary Sharlaine Stevens Robarchek, Doug spent most of his childhood in Grand Island, Nebraska.


Grand Island is also where Doug launched his life as a newspaper reporter and editor. Newspapering took Doug to Coffeyville, Kansas; Port Arthur, Texas; Attleboro, Massachusetts; Fontana, California; Lewistown, Pennsylvania; and Tallahassee, Florida. In April, 1980, he moved to Charlotte, NC, to take a position at The Charlotte Observer, where he received both local and national awards for his writing. He is still well-known by many as The Charlotte Observer’s Outfront columnist even after his retirement in 2005,


Far more important to Doug than his accomplishments were his loyal family and friends and the memories he made with them. He traveled extensively, including a year-long trip in a van across the U.S., Canada and Mexico in 1977-78. His great love, however, was Paris, where he walked the boulevards and wandered the narrow neighborhood streets many times. He also loved old movies, old books and old music.


Survivors include Doug’s brother, Clayton (Carole); daughter Laurel Ally Garces; son Chris Robarchek; grandson Nicholas,  granddaughter Taylor, grandsons Baylen and Donny; and many cousins, nieces and nephews across the country, including nieces Jaque Davis, Sandy, and Traci Robarchek.


Doug was also the honorary Uncle Doug to Kristian Ring and Cory Ring. Others who were Doug’s close friends and caregivers are Greg Ring, Donna Bise, John McBride, Lolo Pendergrast, Vinny Kuntz, Henry Gilbert, Wilma Petty and his former relative, Peg Robarchek.


Instead of flowers, please make any memorials to Doug’s favorite nonprofit, the Southern Poverty Law Center (, an organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry and to seeking justice for the most vulnerable members of our society.


A memorial service for Doug will be Saturday, September 22, at 2 p.m. at Caldwell Memorial Church, 1609 E. Fifth Street, Charlotte, NC. Before the service, local musicians will perform some of Doug’s favorite music. A reception will follow.