ROBERT RAYMOND "BOBBY" DOLAN was born on December 2, 1933 in Camden NJ to Charles and Ida Mae Dolan. His father was a veteran of World War I. His great-uncle, William A. "Billy" Dolan Sr., served on the Camden Police Department for 43 years, from 1898 to 1941. Charles Dolan worked for many years as an armed guard at the Municipal Pier at the foot of Spruce Street in Camden. This facility is now operated by the South Jersey Port Corporation.

Bob Dolan's early years were spent in North Camden, at 534 Cedar Street. He began working for the City of Camden in 1951. After serving in the United States Army from 1956 through 1959, Bob Dolan returned home to Camden and worked full time for the city as a Police and Fire Dispatcher. In his time in service, he made several helpful innovations, including the assigning of code numbers to pay phones on Camden streets. Bob Dolan retired from public work in 1986.

Interested in fire fighting from an early age, around 1954 Bob Dolan along with his boyhood friend Bob Bartosz founded the South Jersey Fire Buffs Association. Other charter members were W. Earl Doan, a stock broker; Sarah Sanderson, a newspaper reporter for the Philadelphia Bulletin; and a host of others including Dick Fox, Lew Egbert, Jack Brooke, father and son Elmer and Peter Meyer, Bob Cooper, Jack Albertson, Artie Batten, a Camden Fire Fighter; Joseph Reinhart, Zeke Bubnowski of Camden's Bruno's Restaurant, Nat Elliott, Francis Palmer and Bill Bean. Bob Dolan served as the president of the organization's canteen unit at different times during the 1950s, 1960s, and 1970s. He also served as an Auxiliary Fire Fighter for over 25 years with Engine Company 2 and Engine Company 11.

Bob Dolan enjoyed camping, hiking, and photography. In his later years he lived in East Camden, near Highland and Terrace Avenues. An only child and a lifelong bachelor, Bob Dolan was always a helpful soul. He befriended an immigrant family from Vietnam and helped them adjust to their new life in America, teaching them English. They became his second family. 

After a courageous battle with cancer, Bob Dolan breathed his last on December 11, 2006. By his side were his friends, Bob and Pat Bartosz, who had helped care for him. Bob Dolan had been the best man at their wedding. 

Bob Dolan was buried at Bethel Cemetery in Pennsauken NJ on December 15, 2006. His funeral was attended by friends, his second family, and police and fire officials from all over the Delaware Valley.

The Canteen in readiness
Corpsmen Bob Cooper, Bob Dolan, Earl Doan and Major Bill Gwynne
September 15, 1964

About Bob Dolan....

My Dad [Bob Bartosz] knew Bob Dolan since they were teenagers. My Mom met him when she was dating my Dad in the 1950's.  My Dad and Bob went to thousands of fires together for many years.  They always stayed in touch with each other  and had long talks on the phone.

Bob Dolan was interested in many projects.  All of them were around helping people..

In the mid 1950's my Dad and Bob formed a Fire Buff Club called South Jersey Fire Buffs Assoc. and Bob Dolan was the first president of the Club.  They teamed up with a local Reverend, William Gwynne.  Rev. Gwynne was noted for taking coffee and cold drinks to Camden Fire Fighters whenever there was a major fire in the City.  He normally worked out of the back of his station wagon with his wife serving refreshments to the firemen.  Bob Dolan would go with him to help him out.  Bob was an auxiliary fireman in Camden City but my Dad was too young to join but my Dad traveled with Bob taking pictures of the fires.  They had an idea and they raised money from donations and in less than a year they reached their goal and the truck was purchased.  The Canteen truck had many homes and its last storage place was at the Pennsauken 2 Fire Station and many of the firemen helped them run the canteen.  As the years went by many of the members passed away including the Reverend and his wife and in the late 1970's the Fire Buff Club only had three of its original members and went out of existence.  You can see many of the photos on display of the happier times showing Bob Dolan and the members of the South Jersey Fire Buffs Association at work from the photos that my Dad took.

In 1956 Bob Dolan was drafted in the Service and in 1958 my Mom & Dad were married.  Bob Dolan was able to get a weekend leave and he was the best man in their wedding.  It started out to be a beautiful day on Feb. 15, 1958. As my parents arrived at the church it started to snow and Bob would tell my Dad that the snow was getting very deep outside.  By mid-afternoon there was nearly 8 to 10 inches of snow on the ground and it was still snowing.  My parents had their bags packed and were heading for the New Jersey Turnpike to head South.  It took them almost four hours to reach Mt. Laurel and by then the Turnpike was closed.  They were lucky to find a nearly motel.  By days end, the snow was almost 2 feet deep.  The snow also stranded Bob Dolan at my grandparents home in East Camden.  For over a day and a half Bob had to walk and hitch hike back to Fort Dix.  Just making it back in time so he wasn't listed as AWOL.  This was one event he always liked to talk about for the last 48 years.   Bob Dolan would always say his famous quote "If I Was The Best Man Than Why Did She Marry Him"

My Sister Debbie and I always enjoyed Mr. Dolan's visits.  He always told us great stories. He loved nature and animals and he also enjoyed taking hikes and photography.  We would always invite Mr. Dolan to our family dinners, birthdays, thanksgiving, Christmas because we didn't want him to be by himself.  Now my parents have found out a lot of his friends did the same thing.  He would tell my parents about the Vietnamese children that he was teaching to speak English.  Now these children are adults and my parents have finally met them.

Bob Dolan enjoyed going to the Seabrook Japanese Festivals in the summer and he would go down there very early with his chair to save a special spot up front.  He enjoyed the music, dancing and especially the playing of the Japanese drums.  My parents would meet him at the Festival.

A man is judged by the number of friends that he has, if so than Bob Dolan was at the TOP.  Bob Dolan had many circles of friends and now he has joined them altogether As One.

Robert W. Bartosz,
December 15, 2006

Welcome refreshments for weary troops * May 13, 1965

Chief of Department Edward Michalak with Deputy Chief Anthony Saponare
among the troops after Fourth Alarm in North Camden in 1972

Camden Courier-Post * December 12, 2006

On December 11, 2006, of Pennsauken, NJ; age 74.
Born in Camden, NJ on December 2, 1933 to the late Charles and Ida Mae Dolan. Dear friend of Robert and Patricia Bartosz and family of Wenonah, NJ. Also survived by numerous personal friends.
He worked for the City of Camden for over 35 years as a Police and Fire Dispatcher until his retirement in 1986. He was also an Auxiliary Camden Firefighter for over 25 years, working with Engine Co. Numbers 2 & 11. During the 1950's, 60's and 70's, he served as President of the South Jersey Fire Buffs Fire Canteen Unit, and was an avid camper, hiker and photographer. Mr. Dolan was a United States Army Veteran, serving from 1956 to 1959; and was a recipient of numerous awards for his Police and Fire Service work.
Friends are invited to the Visitation and Funeral on Thursday from 8:30 to 10 AM at the FALCO/CARUSO & LEONARD Pennsauken Funeral Home, 6600 North Browning Road. Interment will follow at Bethel Memorial Park in Pennsauken.