Johann “Jo” Louise Doles

Johann “Jo” Louise Kendall Doles died on April 8, 2024. She was age 95 and lived in Lawrence, Kansas.

She was born October 13, 1928, the daughter of Lida Everett Kendall and Josephine Rosa Alice Beers Kendall in Topeka, Kansas. She had two sisters, Margaret Eleanor Kendall Swalwell and Doris Mae Kendall Payne.

Jo graduated from Topeka High School in 1946. She studied microbiology at the University of Kansas and earned a bachelor of arts degree in 1950.

She married Elmer Jackson “Jack” Doles on June 14, 1950, in Topeka.

Jo had two children, Jill Ann Michaux and Dennis Alan Doles, three grandchildren, Michelle Meredith Neis, Jacob Alan Doles, and Jonathan Adam Doles, and a great-granddaughter, Lennox Jade Doles.

She lived with her family in Topeka until 1985. She worked as a registered medical technologist (ASCP) at Lattimore-Fink Laboratory, St. Francis Hospital, A.T.& S.F. Hospital, Dr. Treger, Dr. Crary, and the Veterans Administration Hospital. She later worked for the Kansas Legislature and at the Kansas State Historical Society. She was a Den mother and volunteered in other activities.

She enjoyed friendships with classmates from Curtis Junior High School. They remained close and formed a potluck supper club with their spouses and met monthly for more than six decades.

When Jack retired from the Santa Fe Railroad in 1985, they sold their home and auctioned off their belongings. They embarked on a twelve-year adventure of living and traveling full-time in their recreational vehicle. They visited 49 states, including Alaska three times, all the provinces of Canada, and several trips to Mexico, including a trip to Cabo San Lucas at the southern tip of the California Baja Peninsula. They actively participated in Holiday Rambler Recreational Vehicle Club rallies and caravans.

During their travels, Jo was well known for writing long letters to friends and family frequently. The letters were detailed travel logs of their journeys. She was an early adopter of a word processor and of email to keep up her correspondence.

The couple settled in the Texas Hill Country in Kerrville in 1997. Jack died on August 2, 1998. Jo returned to Kansas in 2002 and lived in Lawrence. For the past 16 years, she lived independently at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor. She moved to assisted living about one year ago. She made many friends with residents and staff there.

She enjoyed the many cultural activities in Lawrence and the surrounding area. She was a volunteer at the Lawrence Memorial Hospital laboratory for many years.

Jo is survived by her daughter, Jill Ann Michaux, her spouse, Mark Walter Neis; and their daughter, Michelle Meredith Neis, and her daughter’s spouse, Fritz Kendall Helbert, of Topeka.

She is survived by her son, Dennis Alan Doles, his spouse, Wanda Spears Doles, of Olathe; and their children, Jacob Alan Doles and his spouse, Hannah Doles, and their daughter, Lennox Jade Doles, of Olathe; and Jonathan Adam Doles and his spouse, Chanda Williams-Doles, of Inwood, WV.

Jo also is survived by her sister, Doris Mae Kendall Payne; Doris’ children, Kendall Robert Payne, and Ellen Elizabeth Payne Jensen, and her grandson, Ryan Martin Payne; and nephew Greg Earl Swalwell and niece Jan Lee Swalwell.

Her sister, Margaret Eleanor Swalwell, a brother-in-law, James Earl Swalwell, a brother-in-law, Robert Roy Payne, and a nephew, Paul Andrew Payne, preceded her in death.

The family is honoring Jo’s strong wishes not to have a funeral service. She will be buried with her husband Jack at the Leavenworth National Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Arthritis Foundation in the care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home: P.O. Box 1260, Lawrence, KS 66044.

Messages & Condolences

From Carmen VanHoutan...

I became really close with your mother over the 4 1/2 years. I worked at Lawrence Presbyterian Manor. And when I would return to work, I would always visit with her. Loved her stories. And she was very dear to my heart. Peace be with you all.

From Angela Ramos...

I am so sorry to hear about Jo’s passing. I worked at Presbyterian Manor for 15 years and met Jo when she moved in. I got to know her quite well! I know your happy memories with her will keep you all smiling.

From Leslie Hill...

Jo was my volunteer at LMH laboratory for all the years that she was at LMH
She was like my grandmother to me also
She will be truly missed

From Susan Schmidt Henderson...

I am so sorry to read of Jo’s passing, and I am holding your family in my thoughts. She was such a good friend to my grandmother, Sarah, and I loved spending a little time with her over the years that they were enjoying one another’s company.

From Elaine Schmidt...

Jo was a dear friend to my mother-in-law, Sarah, at Prairie Commons, and they kept that friendship until Sarah’s death in 2019. Jo was a gentle delight to know.

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