Les Dollinger, 82, of Monmouth, Ill., passed away Friday, Nov. 30, 2018, at OSF Holy Family Hospital.
Born Aug. 2, 1936, he was the son of Dave and Marie (Youngquist) Dollinger. On Aug. 10, 1958, he married his high school sweetheart, JoEllen Hamilton. Les grew up in Cameron, Ill., and attended Galesburg Churchill Junior High. After moving to Monmouth, he attended Monmouth High School, receiving three varsity letters in both football and baseball. He graduated in 1954.
Les went on to obtain his B.A. from Monmouth College in 1958. He was a member of Theta Chi Fraternity and lettered three years in both football and baseball. Les served as a sergeant in the 123rd Field Artillery Division of Monmouth National Guard for four years.
After graduation, he and JoEllen moved to Amboy, Ill., Stronghurst, Ill., and Clifton, Ill., where he taught and coached, before moving to Canton, Mo., where he taught and coached at Culver-Stockton College. Les spent 12 years at Marion High School in Marion, Iowa. During his career, he coached football, basketball, track and baseball and was most pleased to never have a losing season in football, with two undefeated teams before the playoffs began. After 15 years of coaching, he became athletic director.
He received his M.A. from South Dakota State in 1966 and his Specialist in Education Degree from Northeast Missouri State University in 1980.
During his career in education, he served as a teacher, athletic director, principal and assistant superintendent. The last 15 years of his career were spent as superintendent at Mid-Prairie School District, Wellman, Iowa, and Hillsboro School District, Hillsboro, Ill. Les retired in 1994, after 36 years in education.
Les and JoEllen moved back to Monmouth in 2004. Les served on the board of directors of Lincoln Land Community College and Hillsboro Area Hospital. He also served on the Monmouth City Council, and acted as elder and trustee for Faith United Presbyterian Church, where he was a member. He was a member and past president of Monmouth Rotary Club and recipient of the Paul Harris Award. He has served as a board member of the Maple City Community Concert Series and was a member of the Monmouth College Alumni Board. In 2012, Les received the Old Timer's Softball Award in Monmouth. Many around the area will remember Les as a player of summer softball and baseball for many teams. He belonged to Gibson Golf Course, where he had a hole in one in 2008. His hobbies included reading, crossword puzzles and golfing. He was a fan of Cardinals baseball and Bears football. Some of his best memories were hearing from his former players and students.
While at Marion High School, Les received several awards, including Teacher of the Year, Marion High School Athletic Hall of Fame, Marion High School Foundation Hall of Fame and Coach of the Year. He was also named Coach of the Year and selected to the Coaches Hall of Fame at Central High School in Clifton, Ill. He was elected to the state of Iowa's Football Coaches Hall of Fame.
He was preceded in death by his parents; infant sister, Marjorie; brother, Leroy Dollinger; grandson, Austin Zundel; and brother-in-law, Robert Pohl.
He is survived by best friend and wife, JoEllen; loving daughters, Diane Zundel of Raleigh, N.C., and Barbara (Joe) Walsh of Greenwich, Conn.; grandchildren, Blake Zundel and Alison, Emily and Joey Walsh; sisters-in-law, Janet Pohl of Sister Bay, Wis., and Gracie Dollinger of Metamora, Ill.; brother-in-law, Robert (Teri) Hamilton of Fayetteville, Ark.; and many nieces and nephews. Les was a devoted husband and father and loved his family.
Funeral services are planned for 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 8, at Faith United Presbyterian Church in Monmouth, Ill. Visitation will be one hour prior to the service at the church. Interment will be at Warren County Memorial Park. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Faith United Presbyterian Church, Jamieson Center and Rotary Club in Monmouth. For more information, or to leave a remembrance, please visit www.turnbullfuneralhomes.com.