Oklahoma lost a legendary sandwich maker, friend, and family man last weekend. George McCleary Hobson, founder of Hobby’s Hoagies, died July 13 after a long battle with clinical depression.
Born Sept. 3, 1940 in Wilmington, Delaware to parents Howard and Elva Hobson, George dropped out of school in his sophomore year and joined the Navy in 1958. After serving for four years, he earned his GED and then an associates degree in 1973 while working for General Motors.
When he moved to Oklahoma in 1978, he was disappointed to find none of the local restaurants were serving the style of hoagie sandwiches and Philly cheesesteaks he’d grown up with, so when he retired from GM in 1991, he decided to open his own shop.
Hobby’s Hoagies started in Edmond in April 1991 with a second location opened in Oklahoma City in 2009. George’s great joy was meeting customers. He never met a stranger. Though in later years, he focused more of that attention on the loves of his life: his grandchildren.
Over time, George’s clinical depression grew worse, becoming treatment resistant, until he could not recover.
He is survived by his brother Bill Hobson, his daughter Kim Nixon and sons Chris Hobson, Danny Hobson, and Matt Hobson, his grandchildren Madison, Josh, Lainey, Riley, Anna, Aleksa, and Tanner, and his special friend Marilyn Woods.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks for donations to the National Association of Mental Illness of Greater Oklahoma.
A date for his funeral has not yet been set.