James Edwin Dolan, age 87, of Painesville, Ohio, died Saturday, January 1, 2022. Born March 13, 1934, to James M. and Mildred M. (Bunker) Dolan, he grew up on their family dairy farm in Williamsfield, Ohio.
Mr. Dolan’s lifelong passion was basketball – first as a player, then as a coach in the Northeastern Ohio area for more than five decades. He started as a point guard for Williamsfield High School from 1948-52 and played for the Clinton Drugs in Jefferson (his exceptional play on both teams earning him membership to the Ashtabula County Basketball Foundation Hall of Fame) before playing varsity for four years at Hiram College. His achievements at Hiram (including 1956 Defensive Player of the Year and All Ohio honors in 1959) led him to be inducted into Hiram’s William H. Hollinger Hall of Fame in 1987.
Mr. Dolan became a teacher of science/biology, health and of course phys. ed. He poured his heart and soul into developing successful men’s basketball programs at Crestwood, West Geauga, Madison, Brush and Berkshire high schools, Lakeland Community College and Lake Erie College - compiling more than 500 victories in his coaching career, including numerous conference/divisional championships and college tournament wins. Mr. Dolan was named Coach of the Year numerous times by organizations including the Greater Cleveland Conference, Western Reserve Coaches Association, Northeastern Conference and Ohio Community College Athletic Association.
He cherished the camaraderie of other area coaches as well as the opportunity to have a positive impact on his players’ lives.
Mr. Dolan also had a passion for his business, Sunshine Painting, which he operated from 1980 until he suffered a massive stroke in 2014. He loved having work to do and managing exterior/interior painting projects of all scales. At home, you would find Mr. Dolan outside whenever possible – keeping up the landscaping or finding something to tinker with in his yard or garage.
Rumor has it he enjoyed a beer from time to time during his various endeavors.
His wife, Mary Anne (Goddard) Dolan, whom he married Dec. 8, 1972; a son, Sean of Painesville; a daughter Meaghan (John DeSio) of Staten Island, NY; and one grandson, Joseph Edwin DeSio, survive Mr. Dolan. He is preceded in death by his parents; a son, James Jr. in 2005; five brothers, Theron, Richard, Ronnie, David, and Cleo Dolan; and three sisters, Nona Heath, Ruth Baker and Marge Parsons.
Due to current health conditions, the family will not hold a service at this time. However, a remembrance event will be held in the Painesville-Mentor area when it is safe to do so – hopefully in March around what would have been his 88th birthday. Everyone who knew Mr. Dolan is welcome and encouraged to stop by. Please provide your current contact information to his daughter at firstname.lastname@example.org and she will make sure you have the details for the event once it is scheduled.