WAKE & FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS ANNOUNCED FOR JEROME A. DOLAN, M.D. '44
Friday, September 14, 2007
Dr. Jerome A. Dolan, 84, of Jersey City died Wednesday, Sept. 12, in Christ Hospital in Jersey City, surrounded by his adoring family, who sang some of their fathers favorite Irish songs. Dr. Dolan, a cancer survivor for more than a decade, died after a monthlong battle with pneumonia. Visiting will be on Saturday and Sunday from 2 to 4 and 7 to 9 p.m. at the McLaughlin Funeral Home, 625 Pavonia Ave., Jersey City. Relatives and friends are invited to attend the funeral from the funeral home on Monday, Sept. 17, 2007, at 10 a.m. A Funeral Mass is at St. Aloysius Church, Jersey City, at 11 a.m. Entombment will follow at Holy Name Mausoleum. During an illustrious career, Dr. Dolan had a hand in bringing more than 20,000 babies into the world. The former chief of obstetrics and gynecology at St. Vincents Catholic Medical Center in Manhattan, he was known nationally, not only as a top rate deliverer of life, but also as a savior of OB departments in financially-troubled hospitals. He developed the first registered perinatal unit in the state of New Jersey as chief of department at St. Josephs in Paterson. He also ran the Margaret Hague Maternity Hospital in Jersey City. Those who knew Jerry, as he was called, as a kindhearted man would not be surprised to learn that before he donned a white coat, he planned to wear the white collar of a priest. Compassion and selflessness were instilled early in this rail thin lad, the seventh of 10 children growing up during the Depression in Jersey City. Two older brothers, Charles and James, had already joined the Jesuits, so the call to be a man for others was a familiar refrain. In the 1940s, Jerry Dolan answered the call to duty. He served his country in the Navy, graduated from St. Peters College and NYU Medical School, and was requested to join the Army due to a shortage of doctors. Just days after marrying the love of his life, Marguerite May, in the summer of 1949, Captain Dolan and his bride were aboard a troop transport steaming across the Pacific to Japan. At the outbreak of the Korean War, he was dispatched as a battalion surgeon with the 8th Cavalry Regiment/1st Cavalry Division. He was the first American physician to cross the 38th parallel separating North and South Korea. His unit had been surrounded, cut off. His wife endured several false reports of his death and swore off ice cream in exchange for her dear Jerrys safe return. Capt. Dolans valiant service was captured in an iconic photograph taken behind enemy lines and featured in publications back in the States. Wearing his helmet and poncho, Capt. Dolan and his chaplain dodged bullets in a monsoon as they slogged through deep mud to escort a shellshocked soldier off the battlefield. Ever the optimist, Dr. Dolan never dwelled on the death and destruction of the war. Instead, he would reminisce about the time Bob Hope used his aid station as a dressing room for a USO show. After the war, Dr. Dolans private practice flourished at the height of the baby boom. He and his wife had four children of their own. Between family duties and house calls, Dr. Dolan somehow found time to teach medicine. He was a clinical professor at NYU Medical, NY Medical, Columbia P & S, NJ Medical and Seton Hall medical schools. Even while gravely ill in the hospital, Dr. Dolan counseled a young resident considering OB/GYN. He traveled the country evaluating hospitals in rural America for the Joint Commission on Hospital Accreditation. He was an officer of the Hudson County United Way for more than 40 years. A man of deep religious conviction, Dr. Dolan was a fixture at St. Aloysius parish in Jersey City and volunteered to teach Pre-Cana to young couples. For all of his professional accomplishments, Dr. Dolan shunned the spotlight. He was most comfortable at home in Jersey City wearing a flannel shirt and a wool Irish cap, with the Science Times, a crossword puzzle and an etymological dictionary by his side. In his later years, his final role as care giver would be his most important, as he tenderly nursed his beloved wife, Peg, who died in 2006 from Alzheimers disease. At an awards ceremony in 2006, Dr. Dolans son, Martin, said of his father, He lived a life of service to his family, country, church, community and his fellow human beings. A man of insatiable curiosity, he was a student, teacher, scientist, doctor, healer, and truly a man for others. Dr. Dolan is survived by a brother, Francis X., and a sister, Eileen, a nun with the Sisters of Charity, St. Elizabeths Convent Station. His children are Martin, an assistant corporation counsel for Jersey City, Maryellen Adams, a school psychologist in Hanover Township, Dr. Margaret Dolan, superintendent of schools in Westfield, and Dr. Marc Dolan, coordinator of the American studies certificate program at the CUNY Graduate Center, Manhattan. His grandchildren are Sean Adams and wife, Erika Grant Adams, Tara Ragone and husband, Alex Ragone, Ryan Adams, Stephen and Robert LaTour-Dolan; his three great-grandchildren are Elly, Evan and Claire Ragone; his sons-in-law are John J. Adams Jr. and Richard Lamb, and his daughter-in-law is Stephanie LaTour.
Reprinted from the Star Ledger 9/14/2007
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Saint Peter's College, St. Aloysius Church, St. Peter's Prep or Seton Hall Prep.