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Henry Albert Dolezal, 90, passed away peacefully from Multiple Systems Atrophy on February 9th, 2022, at his home in Ronan, MT, surrounded by his adoring family.
Henry Albert was born April 25th, 1931, in Havre, Montana to Henry and Regina Dolezal. The family moved to Ronan in 1935. “Hank” graduated from Ronan High School in 1949. He attended Northern Montana College in Havre, before serving in the Army during the Korean war. After completing his military service, Hank returned to college and graduated from Montana State University in Bozeman with a Civil Engineering degree.
While in the Army, Hank was first stationed at Fort Ord in Monterey, California, serving in the Medical Corps where he met his friend, Dr. Ray Curtis Bristol. The two of them embarked on many fun adventures and a life-long friendship. Hank eventually ended his military tour in Puerto Rico at the Army hospital. He fondly joked that he successfully defended the island from any Korean invaders and did his best to protect the local girls and the rum! His quick wit and sense of humor was something that all who knew him enjoyed.
Hank’s work ethic was amazingly strong. Even as a young boy, he always had a job to financially help his family. He started working at the local hardware store at age 14 and soon saved enough money and gathered parts to install indoor plumbing in his family’s home. He was instinctively empathetic and quick to help others. It gave him a great sense of pride to be generous to family, friends, and neighbors alike.
Hank was the eldest of 5 sons: Dick, Dale, Les, and Chuck. He was proud of how successful his brothers all became, especially due to their humble beginnings. He was extremely close with his mother, naming his first-born daughter after her. He designed, and with the help of his brothers, proudly built a modern home for her. He took great joy in his daily visits with his mother.
While designing municipal water systems for California Water Service Company in San Jose, California, he met and married his wife of 64 years, Marilyn Grace Singer. After starting their family and having 5 children, Hank and Marilyn returned to Ronan. They bought a ranch property from Dr. Murry Brooke, south of Ronan. The original house on the property was a Sears and Roebuck house that he transformed into a local landmark, The Mission Mountain Manor, or “the big white house with pillars”. He always had the vision to look at an old building, see what it could be and bring it to life. He marveled over what he was able to accomplish, the beauty of the property and surrounding area, and the lifestyle it provided his family. He lived on the ranch for 48 years, until the time of his death.
Hank was an amazingly giving man with an instinct to help others whenever possible. He was generous with his time and possessions. He often commented that his greatest joy came from the pursuit and acquisition of things that were important or useful to others, especially his children. He spoke to each of them every day. He had many personal interests that included Architectural Design (specifically Frank Lloyd Wright inspired), art, cars, motorcycles, and antique guns. But the greatest interest that remained consistent throughout his life was the pursuit of a good “deal” in real estate. Until the very end, he was still pondering how he could get his hands on properties, laughing aloud, wondering if the banker would consider giving him a 30-year mortgage. Such was his humorous nature…
Hank is survived by his wife Marilyn; his children Gina (Muffie) Kanzaki, Tami Cotton, her husband Greg, and Alan Dolezal, grandchildren Brian and Kevin Kanzaki, Sterling and Madison Cotton, brothers Richard Dolezal and wife Eileen, Dale Dolezal and wife Chris, and Charles Dolezal and wife Mary Ann and many nieces and nephews. He is preceded in death by his parents Henry and Regina Dolezal, his two daughters Katie and Brenda, and his brother Les Dolezal.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, February 16th, at 11am in the St. Ignatius Catholic Mission in St. Ignatius, Montana. A graveside service will be held after the funeral at the Ronan Cemetery with a luncheon to follow at the Sacred Heart Catholic Church Parish Hall, in Ronan.
Wednesday, February 16, 2022
Starts at 11:00am (Mountain time)
St. Ignatius Catholic Church
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