Terrence Dolan
1940 - 2020

Dolan, Terrence Raymond

LINCOLNWOOD, Ill. - It is with profound sadness that we share news of the passing of Dr. Terrence Raymond Dolan on Dec. 11, 2020. Terry was born to Buell and Mary (Engler) Dolan on May 24, 1940, in Huron, South Dakota, the oldest of six children. After multiple moves, the family settled in Mitchell, S.D., where they thrived. In high school, "touchdown Terry" excelled on the football field and eventually won over the beautiful Mary Ann (Mechtenberg) with his athleticism and charm. Their high school romance blossomed into a nearly 59-year marriage.

Terry received his B.A. in Psychology from Dakota Wesleyan University in 1962, a M.S. from Trinity University in Physiological Psychology in 1963, and a Ph.D. in Psychology and Physiology in 1966 at the University of Texas, Austin. In 1970, Terry completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship with Dr. Dewey Neff at Indiana University, followed by a move to Chicago to become Director of the Parmly Research Institute at Loyola University. While at Parmly, Terry co-authored (with Mark Mayzner) the book "Minicomputers in Sensory and Information-processing Research," which illustrated his commitment to modern research techniques. In 1976, the family moved to Washington, D.C., where Terry became Program Director of Behavioral and Neural Sciences at the National Science Foundation. In 1977, Terry made one of his many dreams a reality by transferring his wife and three children to Germany, where he was a Von Humboldt Scholar at the University of Erlangen. The family spent a year living in Germany and traveling throughout Europe. That year remains cherished by the family.

In 1982, Terry and Mary Ann, along with their now four children, moved to Madison, Wis., where he assumed the Directorship of the Waisman Center for Mental Retardation and Human Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. This center is one of only 12 established by Federal Legislation signed by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. Under Terry's leadership the center became one of the leading research centers in the world in the study of neurobiological and behavioral processes in human development. He raised more than $25M for a new building designed to support research on stem cell biology and gene therapy.

Additionally, Terry was elected President of the Association of Mental Retardation Research Centers in the U.S., President of the American Association of University Programs for People with Disabilities, and President of the International Association for the Scientific Study of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

After nearly 20 years at the University of Wisconsin, Terry was recruited by the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia to develop a national research and treatment center on childhood diseases and disabilities. The Prince Salman Center for Disabilities Research would be the first such center in the Middle East outside of Israel. He and Mary Ann, along with their youngest child, Meaghan, lived in Saudi Arabia and were enriched by experiencing the culture, religion, and traditions there. This life-changing experience prompted Terry to write his second book, "Children of the Kingdom: Bridging Genetics and Islam to Save the Newborns of Saudi Arabia." Professionally, Terry remained perhaps most proud of the important progress he helped foster there.

Terry was passionate about his work with the Special Olympics. He was the Personal Science Advisor to Eunice Kennedy-Shriver and an Executive Advisor to the Kennedy Foundation, Best Buddies International, and the International Special Olympics. Terry traveled with Sargent Shriver to the Soviet Union to start the Special Olympics there. In 2017, Terry was honored with a Lifetime Distinguished Alumni Award from Dakota Wesleyan University.

In retirement, Terry and Mary Ann relocated to Tucson, Ariz., where Terry enjoyed golfing and living near his father, Buell. In 2008, Terry and Mary Ann returned to Chicago to enjoy life with their children and grandchildren.

Terry is survived by his beloved siblings, sister, Jacqui (Vern), and brothers, Rick, Michael (Nancy) and David (Vickie); along with many adored nieces and nephews; dear brother-in-law, Bill (Dottie); and treasured friends, Fred and Doris, and Tom and Marsha. He is further survived by his cherished children, Kathy (Gary), Patrick (Jennifer), Liz (Brian) and Meaghan (Matthew); along with his adoring grandchildren, Sam, Jack, Natalie (Sam), Noah, Lyndsay, Isabel and precious Aniela and Sloane. Last, he is survived by wife, Mary Ann, who remained the spirit in everything Terry did. Beyond this life, we believe Terry was greeted into the open arms of his parents; baby brother, Kim; and best buddies, Don and Murph.

Terry was a brilliant man, but his greatest joys remained simple . . . family reunions, fishing at their lake house in northern Wisconsin, Cubs baseball, UW Badgers football, a well-made martini, Neil Diamond songs, entertaining friends on a Friday night, any gathering with his children and grandchildren, and holding the hand of his beloved Mary Ann.

No services are scheduled. In Terry's honor please consider a memorial contribution to the Waisman Center WECP Scholarship Fund (www.waisman.wisc.edu/giving, click on "WECP Scholarship Fund") or by sending a check to Waisman Center, Attn: Lisa Karnes, 1500 Highland Ave. Room T201, Madison, WI 53705. Note "Terrence Dolan Memorial Gift." These funds are available to provide therapy assistance for eligible families of children with special needs who receive services from WECP.

Info: www.donnellanfuneral.com or (847) 675-1990.

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Published by Madison.com on Dec. 20, 2020.
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5 Entries
Dear Mary Ann We are very sorry to hear of Terry´s passing. Terry and I were friends and classmates from the 4 th. through the 12th grade. Unfortunately our adult lives took us on different paths. We only saw you a few times at reunions since 1958. It was clear in high school that Terry was a leader and was destined to make a positive impact in his life as his obituary so beautifully documented. I wish we would have had know each other as adults We will remember you and Terry from our good times at Notre Dame. May you and your family be comforted by the Grace of God during this hard time in life. Roger and Kayleen Fritts Kessler
Roger Kessler
December 26, 2020
Dear Family Members I was sorry to hear about the death of Terry. I knew him at the Waisman Center when I was active with the Friends of the Waisman Center and its President for a year. He was a wonderful person and did so much for the Center. He always had time to listen to people and cared so much about people with developmental disabilities. My sympathy to all of you. May he enjoy eternal piece.
Elaine Staley
December 22, 2020
Dear Mary Ann, I am so sorry to read that Terry has died. His leadership at the Waisman Center brought us both understanding of how to improve the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities and the new technologies leading to genetic cures and vaccines now. I send my great sympathy to you and your family. Robin Chapman
Robin Chapman
December 21, 2020
MaryAnn, I'm so sorry to hear about Terry's passing. I hope you're doing okay. I'm also sorry we haven't kept in touch.
Diane Maloney
December 21, 2020
Terry was a capable leader at the UW Waisman Center
Paul White
December 20, 2020