Flea market founder dies at age 86

Dolores Dolan

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Longtime Stuyvesant Town resident Dolores Dolan passed away at age 86 on Sunday, September 1.

A former news clerk at the New York Times as well as a model, Dolan was the Stuyvesant Town resident who originally pitched the idea of a flea market to management about 45 years ago, and also encouraged current management to bring the market back.

Town & Village spoke with Dolan when the flea market initially returned to Stuy Town. She was excited about the prospect and said that she was considering setting up a table herself.

“Maybe it’s time for me to get rid of some of my stuff,” she said when management announced the market would make a comeback in 2016. “That’s the idea and hopefully other people have an interest, but it’s also a social thing, particularly when the weather’s nice.”

Dolan moved into a two-bedroom apartment in Stuyvesant Town at 4 Stuyvesant Oval with her husband Bill in 1964 and later moved into a three-bedroom at 2 Stuyvesant Oval. She was also active in babysitting co-ops and organizing mother’s groups with other parents in the area.

After her three children, Moira, Diane and Robert, were in school at PS 61, she went back to work at the New York Times as a secretary and later as a news clerk. A graduate of Erasmus Hall High School and Hunter College, she also previously worked at CBS and as a model.

She retired from the newsroom at the New York Times in 1993 and after her retirement, she was a frequent volunteer at the Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen and an active older student at Quest Center for Lifelong Learning.

Dolan was also a volunteer poll watcher at local polling places and went door knocking for various political candidates, including City Councilmember Miriam Friedlander and President Barack Obama.

According to her daughter Moira, Dolan enjoyed watching the changes in the neighborhood and loved the introduction of the open Oval, the farmer’s market in Stuy Town and the concerts on the complex.

Dolan was predeceased by her husband of forty years, Dr. Bill J. Dolan, who died in 2004. She is survived by her three children, Moira, Diane (Sauter) and Robert, and six grandchildren, Rachel, Bel, Neil, Teague, Ian and Kaleb.

There will be a memorial service on Friday, September 27 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. at Holy Apostle’s Church, 296 Ninth Avenue at West 28th Street. Condolences can be sent to the Dolan family at 711 Amsterdam Avenue, 22L, New York, NY 10025. Donations may be made to holyapostlessoupkitchen.org.

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