Donald Dreiling, ’45
Donald “Don” Laverne Dreiling passed away at The Heritage of Overland Park, KS on June 23, 2020, at the age of 93. He was born to Louise Legge Dreiling and Acqueline “Ack” Dreiling on March 14, 1927, in Park, KS. He spent his childhood in both western Kansas and Kansas City.
After graduating from St. Joseph Military Academy, Don enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served as a radar operator in Jacksonville, FL; Olathe, KS; and Memphis, TN, during which time, he obtained his Airman’s Certification (pilot’s license). After his honorable discharge, he attended Fort Hays State College.
Don married Bernice A. Haas on May 22, 1948. Don and Bernice started a family with the birth of their sons John and Michael. He also began his 46-year career in the automotive industry. Starting as a parts manager for O’Loughlin Motor Sales, where he quickly moved into car sales, then selling for Jensen-Lungren Chevrolet, Herb Lungren Chevrolet, and, ultimately, James Motor Company. He retired in 1989.
During retirement, Don took up golf. Don was a fixture at the Fort Hays Municipal Golf Course back when it only had nine holes, and he donated countless hours of sweat equity to ensure the back nine went from an idea to reality.
Don’s infectious personality and love of golf brought his two sons and several of his grandchildren into the sport, which they still play today. He often hosted his grandchildren at the course, where echoes of him shouting, “Keep your head down!” still reflect off the grounds of the Fort.
When not on the course, Don loved to swim laps at The Center (CHI), or he could be found having a cup of coffee and a doughnut, while visiting with friends, old and new.
Don is survived by his son Michael J. Dreiling and daughter-in-law Patty Rohr Dreiling of Leawood, KS, his five grandchildren and ten great grandchildren, his half-brother Mark Dreiling of San Diego, CA, and his daughter-in-law Patricia Dreiling of Austin, TX.
Don was preceded in death and is now reunited with his wife Bernice Dreiling, his son John Dreiling, his brother Ralph Dreiling, his sister Alice Anderson, his mother, Louise Legge Dreiling, his father Acqueline “Ack” Dreiling, along with his favorite canines, Perk, Maggie, and Molly.
Services will take place the morning of Thursday, July 9, 2020, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Hays, KS. Visitation at Church begins at 9 a.m., followed by a rosary to be held for Don at 9:30 a.m., with Mass beginning at 10 a.m. Entombment to follow at St. Joseph Cemetery. The military honors will be provided by the Hays VFW Post 9076. Lunch and refreshments will be served at the VFW following his entombment.
The family suggests memorials to St Joseph Catholic Church, 215 W. 13th St., Hays, KS.