Dorothy Kolarik, 92

Dorothy Ann (Engelbert) Kolarik was born on August 5, 1928 on her parents' farm north of Beloit, Kansas, to Louis and Elizabeth (Bailey) Engelbert. She departed this life on April 8, 2021, at the age of 92, in her home where she lived her entire life. She attended St. John's Catholic Schools and graduated in 1946. On November 25, 1948 she married John F. Kolarik and they made their home on the family farm. They enjoyed 61 wonderful years together. To this union three daughters were born.
After high school graduation she went to work at the office of the Register of Deeds from 1946 to 1950. In 1957 she went to work for SRS (Welfare Office) and left there in 1980 to go to work for Gourley Ford Motor Company where she worked until she retired in 1985.
Dorothy began sewing at an early age making doll clothes on a Singer treadle sewing machine. She loved making clothes for herself, her daughters, her husband John, her grandsons and frilly dresses for her granddaughters. She made all three of her daughters' wedding dresses, the bridesmaids' dresses, and her dress for each of their weddings. There wasn't anything she couldn't sew. She also loved to crochet, knit, and embroidery and when the girls were little she made and knitted a lot of doll clothes.
After she retired, she started sewing and embroidering quilt tops and hand quilting them. She was a member of the St. John's Quilters. She made over 100 quilts and gave most of them away to family members, auctions, and raffles. One of her Butterfly quilts brought $2500 at the St. John's School Auction in Beloit. She was the featured quilter for the 2016 Piecemakers' annual quilt show at the Miltonvale Tootlefest.
Dorothy was a member of St. John's Catholic Church where she was involved in the Ladies Guild. She was also a member of the VFW Auxiliary and the American Legion Auxiliary.
After John retired, they enjoyed traveling around the United States and saw all but four of the 50 states. They also spent a week every year at Branson, Missouri, where they enjoyed the shows and attractions. Dorothy and John loved to dance and were members of the Waconda Swingin' Squares Square Dance Club until they disbanded. Then they started attending the Jolly Mixers in Salina on Wednesday nights.
In 2011 Dorothy suffered a stroke which affected her hand and leg but did not let it get her down. She received therapy where she was motivated to work hard so she could get back to her sewing and quilting. The therapy department was so impressed with her progress and motivation that they made an infomercial highlighting her rapid recovery.
Preceding her in death was her husband John, her parents, her brother Francis J. Engelbert, and a beloved granddaughter Jennifer Gelnar.
She will be deeply missed by her daughters Kathleen Gelnar and husband Roy of Granite, Oklahoma, Deborah Halepeska and husband Brent of Miltonvale, Kansas, Patricia Downing of Bennington, Kansas; eight grandchildren, Danielle (Gelnar) Roberts and husband Jesse of Shawnee, Oklahoma, Jacqueline (Gelnar) Grimes and husband Chris of Mustang, Oklahoma, Pamela (Gelnar) Esparza and husband Jarrod of Granite, Oklahoma, Matthew Gelnar and wife Liza of Granite, Oklahoma, Nathan Halepeska and wife Heather of Miltonvale, Kansas, Megan (Halepeska) Grams and husband Landon of Maize, Kansas, Jacob Downing of Salina, Kansas, and Rebecca Downing of Bennington, Kansas; and 13 great-grandchildren, Macy Roberts, Ava, Aubrey, and Addilyn, Grimes, Gavin, Gwendolyn, Dalton, and Chloe Esparza, Brianna and Henry Gelnar, Eli, Seth, and Isaac Grams and three step-grandsons, Devin and Colby Grimes and Braden Andrews.
Funeral services were 10 AM Monday, April 12, at the St. John's Catholic Church. Visitation was held 1-3 PM Sunday, April 11, at the Roberts Family Funeral Home, and a rosary service followed at 5 PM Sunday at the Church.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be given to the Cornerstone Foundation, St. John's Memorial Trust Fund, Solomon Valley Hospice, or Hilltop Lodge.
Roberts Family Funeral Services, Beloit, is in charge of arrangements.
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