T.J. DreilingJanuary 18, 1931 ~ June 20, 2017 (age 86)
Thomas J. “T.J.” Dreiling
Thomas J. “T.J.” Dreiling passed away at Good Samaritan Society of Hays on Tuesday, June 20, 2017. T. J. was the third child born to Rose (Wolf) Dreiling and Edmund J. “E.J” Dreiling. T.J. was 86 at the time of his death, having been born on January 18, 1931. He was preceded in death by his parents, a brother Jim Dreiling, a sister Judy Dreiling Vollmer, and two nephews; Chris Dreiling and Stan Dreiling. He is survived by his sister Imogene “Imy” Leard (Loyal) of Overland Park, KS. T.J. never married but was like a father to his nieces and nephews; Maryellen Marr (Steve) of Louisburg, KS, Margaretanne McJunkin (friend Michael McPherson) of Jefferson City, MO, Stephen Dreiling (Diann) of Aurora, CO, Dr. Roger Dreiling (Lynn) of Lawrence, KS, and David Dreiling of Dallas, TX. He is also survived by great nieces and nephews and great-great nieces and nephews who all loved him dearly. T.J. graduated from St. Joseph Elementary School, attended St. Fidelis Seminary in Herman, PA and then graduated from St. Joseph Military Academy in 1949. He attended Rockhurst College in Kansas City, MO and after his freshman year he joined the U.S. Navy. He spent his entire Navy career on the USS Midway aircraft carrier as storekeeper in the Atlantic and Mediterranean Sea. He had many Navy tales to relate to family and friends. On his return to Hays, he attended and graduated from Fort Hays State University with a B.A. degree in business. He was employed at the Midwest Tobacco and Candy Company, which was also an Anheuser Busch distributor, which he eventually owned and operated. This franchise was in the family for over 65 years, having been started by his grandfather, Carl Wolf, and then run by his father, E.J. Dreiling. T.J. and all of his siblings worked there in some fashion as children and the boys their entire lives.
T.J. was a lifetime member of Knights of Columbus Council #1325, Bishop Cunningham Fourth Degree Knights of Columbus, and also the Hays VFW Post #9076. He was a devout Catholic of St. Joseph parish.
A special tribute to Suellyn Stenger and Heather Rupp and staff at Good Samaritan of Hays for their tender loving care, also Dr. Henry and Hays Medical Center, and though Hospice provided only one day’s care, that proved to be of great importance in making his transition a peaceful one. We’ll close with a dog story. A few years back on a December evening while bringing groceries into the house, T.J. fell backwards onto the garage floor and could not get up. With his thinking cap on, he scooted along the floor, retrieved a rake from the wall, and used the end of it to open the electric garage door and proceeded to call out in a frail voice for help. Instantly, the next door neighbor’s one year old golden retriever named Riley began barking incessantly at which time they let him out of the house. He ran into the cul-de-sac, looked around, then ran into T.J.’s garage finding him disabled on the cold, cement floor. Riley’s mom Tina brought T.J. to his feet, checked his status, and then assisted him into the house. We feel Riley saved T.J’s life that day. So let’s not forget the heroism of man’s best friend, and the comfort and joy they bring to our lives.
Mass of Christian Burial will be at 11:00 am on Saturday, June 24, 2017 at St. Joseph Catholic Church, 215 W. 13th. Interment with military honors by the Hays VFW Honor Guard will follow in the St. Joseph Cemetery. Visitation will be from 4:00 pm until 8:00 on Friday and from 9:30 am until 10:30 on Saturday, all at Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home, 1906 Pine St. A parish vigil service will be at 6:30 pm followed by a combined third and fourth degree Knights of Columbus rosary at 7:00 pm, all on Friday at the funeral home. Memorials are suggested to TMP-Marian High School or Hays Good Samaritan Society, in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be left for the family at www.haysmemorial.com