William Patrick Dolan Jr., age 98 years, of Reading, loving husband of the late Rosa, (Jordan) Dolan, and father of Roseann and Patricia, of Reading and San Francisco, CA, passed away peacefully at his home on January 9, 2014.
Born on June 7, 1915 in Mahanoy City to William and Margaret (Fay) Dolan, he was the third generation born of Irish immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania to work in the anthracite coal mines.
Dad never smoked or drank. He was a fit, avid walker for fifty years. Fiercely independent and blessed with exceptional health, he lived independently in his home, walking the neighborhood frequently and caring for his needs until a fall at age 97 necessitated the hiring of caregivers.
He drove a car until age 93 and never had a moving violation. Dad could be scrappy at times. But, mostly he was a loving and protective father.
He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II, and was stationed in Burma, India where he helped coordinate the flights of U.S. airmen fighting over the Pacific. Honorably discharged in 1945, he received the Good Conduct Medal, Distinguished Unit Badge, American Defense Service Medal, American Campaign Service Medal, Asiactic-Pacific Campaign Service Medal, Presidential Unit Citation, and the World War II Bronze Star Victory Medal.
In his last years of life, he enjoyed recounting stories from the war, including one day that was indelibly etched in his memory when fighting was particularly heavy, and seven of the brave young fliers he sent off never returned.
Dad dropped out of school after eighth grade to help support his family during the Great Depression. He started as a needle straightener at Meinigs, Reading, and spent most of his working years at Camp Hosiery, Reading, where he rose to the position of expediter without the benefit of a formal education.
He continued working part-time as a school crossing guard until age 85 when he was forced to quit to take care full-time for our ailing mother. She was the love of his life. He remained at her side daily, tenderly caring for her through her seven year decline from Alzheimer's disease.
He was predeceased in death by his parents, his soulmate, Rose; his brother, John Dolan and sister, Grace (Dolan) Klahr, all of Reading. In addition to his daughters, he is survived by his younger brother, Joseph Dolan, of Tucson, AZ, whose kinship and friendship meant so much to him, and several nieces and nephews.
Dad was a member of St. Margaret's Roman Catholic Church, Reading.
Graveside services will be Friday, January 24th at 12 p.m. at Gethsemane Cemetery, Laureldale with full military honors. We are happy he has finally found his peace. But, we will miss him more than words can express.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made to the The Salvation Army Reading Corps Community Center, 301 South 5th St., Reading, PA 19603.
Obituary, directions and condolences at www.johnfeeneyfuneralhome.com.