Cover photo for Donald Dennis Dolan's Obituary

Donald Dennis Dolan

May 24, 1947 — September 30, 2023

Donald Dennis Dolan

It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Donald Dennis Dolan at the age of 76. Don was born at Emanuel hospital in Portland, Oregon on May 24, 1947 to William George Dolan and Florence Ann Dolan. He was the fourth of six children. He passed away peacefully at Emanuel Hospital on September 30, 2023, surrounded by his loving family.


Don grew up in Oregon, which he affectionately referred to as “God’s Country”. Don was a hard worker who started his first job at a local motel when he was 8. That motivation and work ethic continued throughout his life. 


He attended Beach Elementary School and later graduated from Jefferson High School in 1965. Two weeks after graduation, he began work with Union Pacific Railroad, where he spent 42 devoted years.  Through those years he worked as a Key Punch Operator, Checker, a Utility Clerk and later transitioned to a Union Representative. He was known for his incredible organization, attention to detail, and dedication. Don left an indelible mark on his colleagues and the community he served. Union Pacific, and trains, were an integral part of who Don was and this passion followed him throughout his entire life.


Donald met the love of his life, Ruth Marie Harrison on November 8, 1968 and they were married six short weeks later on December 28, 1968. Donald and Ruth would have celebrated 55 beautiful years this December. Their family grew as they welcomed their first daughter, Julie, in October 1969 and their youngest daughter, Deanna, in November 1971. Don’s wife and daughters were the focal point of his world and he devoted his time to supporting and teaching them throughout his life. His family grew through Julie and Deanna with the addition of 7 grandchildren, and 7 great-grandchildren who he fully adored. 


Don was strong willed and stubborn about things he was passionate about. He had an enormous heart and wonderful sense of humor.  He was generous, silly, loyal, and dedicated. He was clever and filled to the brim with knowledge gained through all of his life experiences.


Don was a member of The Elks for 53 years, where he enjoyed billiards, bingo, bowling, swimming, golfing, and father-daughter dances. He also served as the Union Pacific Employees Club President since 1971. Don lived to help serve those around him, which included serving his community through fundraisers, activities, and events. 


After retirement from Union Pacific, Don got to spend more time doing what he loved most: spending time with his family and friends, fishing, bowling, working on his model train set, golfing, traveling with Ruth, and fulfilling his favorite yearly traditions. 

As a boy, in his spare time, Don loved fishing with his Dad and spending time at his favorite place in the world, Lost Lake. This tradition continued with his own family and this summer he went for his 72nd consecutive year. One of his favorite memories from his childhood was visiting his Grandma Wilhelmina’s house and playing Monopoly while spending holidays with his family. 


Don is survived by his wife, Ruth Marie Dolan; his two daughters, Julie Ann Zuber and Deanna Marie Clayson; his seven grandchildren: Gregory, Ashlee, Nichole, Shelby, Jacob, Jessica and Lillian; his seven great-grandchildren: Justyce, Brextin, Cooper, Liberty, Claire, Ruby, and Oakley; and siblings, Suzanne Klassy and James Dolan; and all his relatives and friends who will miss him dearly.


He was preceded in death by his Father, William George Dolan; Mother, Florence Ann Dolan; Brother, William Eugene Dolan; Sister, Deborah Kay Thronson; and Brother, Larry Dean Dolan.


The loss of Don leaves a void in lives that can never be filled. When his time came, he carried himself with dignity, strength, and full of love for those who went before him. His kindness, generosity, and unwavering love will be remembered and cherished by all who knew him.


We invite his family and friends to celebrate his life at the Elks Lodge in Sherwood, Oregon (22770 SW Elwert Rd, Sherwood, OR 97140) on Sunday, Oct 22nd at 11:00am.


Rest in peace, our beloved Don. You will be forever loved and missed.


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