Laurence (Larry) Edward Dolezal of Ohio City, Colo., passed away on March 19, 2020 at the Senior Care Center in Gunnison, Colo. He was born in Ashland, Wisc., to Anthony and Cora Belle Dolezal on June 6, 1931, the last of 14 children. His early childhood was spent on the family farm. After his parents died when he was 10 years old, he and his 14 year old brother stayed on their own for two years. His older sister moved him to Chicago to live with her and her husband. During the depression years and at age 14 Larry worked at a restaurant and grocery store while attending high school.
On Sept. 10, 1948 he joined the U.S. Air Force. Larry served in Washington D.C., occupied Germany; Travis Air Force Base, California; England; DaNang; Vietnam; Ent and Lowry Air Force Bases in Colorado, Okinawa, and the Philippines.
Larry worked as an aircraft welder, civil engineer, and 1st Sgt. in the Air Force. While he was stationed at Travis Air Force Base in California, Larry met Ruth Erickson. They were married on Feb. 14, 1955. Their marriage produced two sons Larry J. and Gary.
After 21 years in the Air Force, Larry retired as a Sr. Master Sgt. In 1973 the family moved to Ohio City, Colo., where Larry and Ruth owned and operated the Sportsman’s Resort. During this time Larry attended Western State College for three years and worked for the Gunnison Post Office for 10 years. Larry and Ruth sold the resort and retired in 2001 moving further up Gold Creek Rd.
Larry was active in many organizations in the community. These included Post Commander in the Gunnison American Legion and VFW. Larry and Ruth sent care packages to active duty personnel serving in Iraq and Afghanistan for many years. Many military services for Memorial Day, Flag Day, and Veterans Day as well as military funerals and memorials were coordinated by Larry. Larry was involved in Boy Scouts as a Scoutmaster for a time. He was also a member of the Mayflower Society, Air Force Sgts. Association, DAV (Disabled American Veterans), lifetime member of the Elks Lodge, Pitkin Historical Society, The Quartz Creek Improvement Association and assisted with the Ohio City Volunteer Fire Department. Larry and Ruth donated property to the Ohio City Volunteer Fire Department so they could build a fire station.
Larry and Ruth enjoyed traveling throughout their life together. They traveled to Europe, Hawaiian Islands and Alaska, and in 2006 completed their quest to visit all 50 states. Larry also enjoyed hunting and ice fishing with his sons and grandsons.
Larry is survived by Ruth, his wife of 65 years; son Larry J. (Nancy); grandsons Ryan (Lindsay) and Shawn; sister inlaws Sally Wilcox (Warren), Jean Carey (Bill); many nieces and nephew, including Don Wilcox (Beth), David Wilcox (Jennifer), Sheri Schuster (Walt), Roy Olson (Beth) and Anita Fox (Lee). He was preceded in death by his beloved son, Gary.
His ashes will be placed in The Pitkin Cemetery. In lieu of flowers please make donations to The Gary Dolezal Memorial Scholarship at Western Colorado University.
After much consideration the Dolezal family has made the difficult decision to wait until June of 2021 to have a Celebration of Life for Larry. We feel with the uncertainty of COVID-19, it is the best and safest choice. There will be an announcement in advance of this event.