Dubs remembered for adventures

Rogue Valley homebuilder who made movies, hunted big game, dies at 83

Homebuilder, outdoorsman, filmmaker and philanthropist Arthur Dubs, 83, died Tuesday in Medford.

Dubs, who was born in Phoenix in 1930, was a lifelong Rogue Valley resident, although he traveled widely, shooting family-oriented outdoor films along with documentaries of his pursuit of big game.

During the post-war boom years of the 1950s and into the '60s and '70s, Dubs Custom Homes became a benchmark for construction.

"When you saw a "Dubs built plaque" on a home, you knew it had good bones," said local real estate agent Stacey Boals. "He was a modern day Frank Clark."

Dubs' Pacific International Enterprises venture produced more than a dozen feature films that appeared in theaters here and abroad. Many of them continue in syndication. His titles included "Across the Great Divide," Dream Chasers," and a 1981 film "Windwalker," which drew raves from the Detroit Free Press.

He also produced a series of "Wilderness Family" films.

In 1960, he felled the world's largest polar bear, according to the Guinness Book of World Records and Life Magazine.

Dubs reached his hunting zenith in December 1988 when he bagged a world-record desert bighorn ram in Arizona's Aravaipa Canyon Wilderness Area. He purchased the permit for $47,500 during a Foundation for North America Wild Sheep annual meeting auction the previous winter in Reno, Nev., then unveiled the mounted bighorn along with a film on the hunt the next February.

The ram, nicknamed "Old Chiphorn" by an Arizona Outfitter, exceeded the previous Boone & Crockett record of 198 5/8 points by six points.

"He was built like a bulldog with tremendous muscular neck and shoulders," Dubs told the Mail Tribune.

He remains the record holder for the largest Grand Slam of North American bighorn sheep.

Years later, Boals and her husband got a look at the ram while visiting Dubs.

"He made everybody guess how long the horns were," she said. "His original plan was to build a museum — not a subdivision — where Bella Vista Heights is now for all of his critters."

Dubs was the original developer of the Bella Vista site, which now sits on McAndrews Road just east of Foothills Road in east Medford. Dubs fought a long battle with the city over the extension of McAndrews through the property, but eventually settled. He sold the property before the real estate market downturn of the Great Recession put the development into bankruptcy.

Dubs was also was a benefactor of Asante's expanding medical campus in Medford.

His gift of $250,000 was instrumental in development of a cancer care center in 1994 that bears his name. He also helped fund an intensive care unit for babies.

"Art was very passionate about serving this community and supporting this community," said C.J. McPhail, director of development at the Asante Foundation. "He was certainly very generous with health care here at Asante. His legacy certainly lives on through those two means, among others."

In addition to the Medford Apostolic Faith Church, the Arthur R. Dubs Foundation has been a supporter of the Children's Advocacy Center of Jackson County, the United Way of Jackson County and Legal Aid of Jackson County,

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m., June 17 at Apostolic Faith Church, 285 Sunrise Ave. A full obituary is in today's Mail Tribune on Page 2B.

Reach reporter Greg Stiles at 541-776-4463 or business@mailtribune.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregMTBusiness, and read his blog at www.mailtribune.com/Economic Edge.



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