William Patrick Dolan


Poet, Teacher, Outdoorsman

William Patrick Dolan, 77, died November 29, 2016 at St. Luke’s East Hospital surrounded, loved, and cared for by his immediate family.

Patrick was born in Dallas, and raised in Omaha. He attended Holy Cross for grade school, and was a proud graduate of Creighton Prep, Class of ’57. He entered the Jesuits and obtained a BA and MA in Philosophy at St. Louis University. After serving in the Wisconsin Province, he was transferred to Buenos Aires, Argentina where he worked for several years before leaving the Jesuit order. At the age of 28, he returned to the U.S. and began work as the Dean of Freshman at Georgetown University. There he met his first wife, Pauline, and they had their first child Elizabeth. After serving as Dean, Patrick was offered placement in the Harvard University School of Education where he received an Ed.D in organizational development.

Patrick founded his consulting firm in Kansas City in 1976. For the next twenty years, the firm did pioneering work in labor/management change in large institutional settings working with both corporate management and unions on both a national and international scale, focusing on the goal of improved work culture to enhance quality and productivity. Clients included Ford and Ford Europe, Goodyear, Republic Steel, John Deere, Boeing, General Dynamics, Cessna, and the FAA. The United Auto Workers, United Steelworkers, International Association of Machinists, United Rubber Workers, and the National Association of Air Traffic Controllers were also joint clients in this work.

In 1992, Patrick broadened the focus of his work to the restructuring of public education, always working from a joint perspective of union/management cooperation. He worked in the states of Illinois, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, Minnesota, California and Iowa helping to implement collaborative structures at all levels. He worked extensively with local affiliates and the federal level of the National Education Association, working with over 200 school districts on deep reform of both their decision-making structures and the development of professional culture surrounding teaching and learning. Since 2004, Patrick lead a consulting group that supported the grant awards of the GE Foundation in the United States, particularly their College Bound Grants in Math and Science through the Illinois based Consortium for Educational Change (CEC.) Author of two books, the first entitled The Ranking Game dealt with the college admissions process. His second focused on public education, Restructuring Our Schools, A Primer on Systemic Change, is in its fourth printing.

An avid outdoorsman, Patrick, developed a love for hunting, an activity he frequently enjoyed with his former neighbor, and friend, Charles Gusewelle, of the Kansas City Star. Their adventures saw them traveling to duck blinds in Normandy, France, and the coast of Senegal where they fished for sailfish out of dugout canoes. Patrick could always be tempted by new consulting work with the promise of fly fishing in the rivers of Wisconsin and Montana, or excellent quail hunting of rural Texas. One of his favorite hunts was of red stag deer in the Araucania region of Argentina on the west face of the Andes Mountains.

Patrick was preceded in death by his brother, Michael Francis Dolan, and his parents William P. Dolan, and Mary Geraldine Dolan nee Fitzgerald all of Omaha, NE. Patrick is survived by his wife Marian McClellan of Kansas City; his daughters Elizabeth Dolan of San Salvador, El Salvador, and Kathleen Dolan of Austin, Texas, and son Ryan Patrick Dolan of Los Angeles; his step-daughter, Dorothy Allen and her fiancée, Travis Cooke of Chapel Hill, NC; his former wife, Pauline Dolan nee Fox of Fairway, and his former wife Shirley Layne of Montana; his four grandchildren, Alejandro, Carmen Sofia, Isabela, and Juan Diego of San Salvador; his first-cousins Mary Fitzgerald and Peggy Jones nee Fitzgerald of Kansas City, and Patty Greenwood nee Fitzgerald of Cherokee, Iowa.

So Many Adventures