Music 01

Joe F. Dolezal

September 16, 1943 ~ October 25, 2023 (age 80) 80 Years Old

Joe Dolezal Obituary

Joe F. Dolezal

Joe F. Dolezal, 80, Hays, passed away Wednesday, October 25, 2023 in Hays, Kansas.  

He was born September 16, 1943 in Belleville, Kansas to Elmer and Marcella (Kalivoda) Dolezal.  He attended school at White School, Cuba and Belleville High School.  He did not attend kindergarten because White School had eight grades in one room but no kindergarten.  Joe's mother told him he was gifted and didn't need it.  His wife reminded him that everything he really needed to know, like sharing, neatness, and good manners, he should have learned in kindergarten-hence his adult problems!

When Joe's abundant musical talent took over in high school age, he drove to Belleville because there were two outstanding music teachers there -Mr. Van Gundy and Mr. Nelson King.  Following three busy years at Belleville High School, graduating in 1961, Joe eventually went to Fort Hays State University and majored in music education in 1965 (Mr. King's advice).  He earned his Masters of Music Education in 1970.

His freshman year he played Charley Dalrymple in Brigadoon at Fort Hays.  In the audience his future wife, Sue Nelson, noticed him singing "Come to Me, Bend to Me" and thought, "Wow, he is talented and cute".  A year later, she and Joe finally met when she accompanied him on his voice recital.  Then he discovered Sue lived a block from campus with a mother who kept her refrigerator full.  Joe enjoyed her food.  His sophomore year he had the lead in Kismet.

Joe married Sue Nelson on November 1, 1963, in Hays, both completing their music education degrees. Joe taught two years in Plainville, three years in Belleville, and 28 years in Hays, Kansas.  He had three choral groups selected to perform at the Kansas Music Educators Association state convention and served as the president of the Kansas American Choral Directors Association.  He took four choirs to Europe, three to New York festivals, and five show choirs to Disney World.

Following his retirement in 1998, he and Sue bought a convenience store, laundromat, RV park, and many rental units that kept him busy.

Joe and Sue's union was blessed with three wonderful children.  Scott and Darlene (Randa) Dolezal and all three of their sons, Steven and Kate (Koetting) Dolezal with Sofia and Riley, Matt and Meagan (Jennings) Dolezal with Brooks, and Joshua and Alexa (Pacheco) Dolezal with Mark Ryan live in Amarillo, Texas.  

Mark Joseph Dolezal, his middle child, died in 2016. He was Joe's right hand managing rental units, etc.

Jan Staab, the apple of her father's eye, married to Kirk Staab, live in Irving, Texas with two sons Kaden and Callie (Siruta) Staab and Kyler Staab living in Colby, Kansas.

He is also survived by his brother, Loren and Beverly Dolezal, and several nieces and nephews.

He was preceded in death by his parents, Elmer and Marcella Dolezal, and his son, Mark Joseph Dolezal.

Joe loved traveling to Broadway musicals, Alaska, Hawaii, Cancun, Czechoslovakia, family ski trips, and K- State bowl games.  He loved attending Royals, Fort Hays, and K-State games.  His later years were all about his Joe Dolezal polka band.  He was passionate about his Czechoslovakian folk music and culture and playing his German purchased button accordion.  He and Sue enjoyed walking their dogs, playing bridge, golf, and tennis (a long time ago).  He played in an over-the-hill basketball league with fellow teachers until his over-enthusiastic defense caused a one-game suspension!

No words can express his family's sincere feelings of loss and sadness at this time, and how proud they are of his contribution to the musical world in Hays, America.  He influenced many generations of high school choral students for four decades.  He passed his love of music onto not just his children and grandchildren, but thousands of his students.  He left his footprint wherever he went.  

Funeral services will be at 10:00 am on Saturday, October 28, 2023 at Hays First United Methodist Church with Rev. Craig Hauschild officiating.  Burial will follow in Mount Allen Cemetery.  Visitation will be from 5:00 pm until 7:00 on Friday at Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home and from 9:00 am until service time on Saturday at the church.  Memorials in Joe’s memory may be made to Hays High Music Department.  Condolences and memories of Joe may be left for his family at  

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October 27, 2023

5:00 PM to 7:00 PM
Hays Memorial Chapel Funeral Home
1906 Pine Street
Hays, KS 67601

October 28, 2023

9:00 AM to 10:00 AM
First United Methodist Church
305 W. 7th Street
Hays, KS 67601

Funeral Service
October 28, 2023

10:00 AM
First United Methodist Church
305 W. 7th Street
Hays, KS 67601


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