Molly Anne Dolan

Memorial Service February 11, 2017 from 11am to 3pm at Rice University Brown College PDR (Private Dining Hall).

Molly Anne Dolan was born in Fairbanks, Alaska with the weather outside at minus forty degrees below zero. There were six inches of frost inside on the windows of the hospital.  She spent her first week snuggled in a dresser drawer because her father had accepted a job in the country of Saudi Arabia and the crib they had purchased had to be returned.  At a week, she was on her first plane heading to her grandparents in Lakewood, Colorado.  After that she went to Des Moines, Iowa and met her other grandparents and where she got her first passport.  She, at twenty-one days, then flew with her Mother  to join with her Father and another dresser drawer until a crib could be purchased.

The extreme swing in temperatures wasn’t the only big change to come into her life in the coming years. By the time she had reached the age of eight she had lived in Saudi Arabia, Iran, New Mexico, Nebraska, Wyoming, California, South Carolina, North Carolina and Texas in the U.S.  By the time she graduated high school she’d added California (again) and London, U.K  to that list.  She attended thirteen schools with the hardest being second grade where she was in three different schools.  She told her parents that moving wasn’t so bad but could they just get her into new school at the beginning of the school year?

During her time (mostly) growing up in Dallas, she attended the district’s various Talented and Gifted magnet schools. By the time she graduated with her class of twenty-nine fellow students in 1992, she’d known some of them for ten or more years; a fact that always surprised her after her nomadic childhood.

Love for Texas grew slowly. By the time she was ready for college she was ready to leave Texas for (literally) greener pastures until a weekend visit to Rice University convinced her to attend.  It was a choice she still regards as one of the best of her life.  After four years at Rice, she headed to New York City to work in book publishing, a career she had started to pursue during part-time jobs in college at the Rice University Press.  Her first real job gave her an endless fount of stories about the vicissitudes of the publishing industry as well as the desire to never work in publishing again.  She moved on to coding HTML for where she found a new set of skills and the best co-workers of her entire career.

During a vacation in Scotland, she had decided to move on to another career and applied to library school. Landing at LaGuardia Airport at 8:30 AM on September 11, 2001, briefly caused her to second guess that decision; but, by the following August she had moved to Champaign-Urbana, Illinois and found it to be her home for the next eight years and it became the true home of her heart.

A couple of library degrees and nearly a decade later, she headed for Morgantown, West Virginia, for a position as the Digital Initiatives and Scholarly Communications Librarian with West Virginia University, where she again made friends with a wonderful group of people.

After five years in Morgantown, she left to return to Texas in order to be closer to her family. Although the cancer diagnosis was a terrible and unexpected shock, she appreciated the opportunity it gave her to spend time with her beloved nephew and niece as well as being able to let the friends she loved as dearly as family know how much they meant to her.  She said that she looked on the last two years of her life as an opportunity for something like a farewell tour where she tried to spend as much time as possible with those dear to her heart especially her brother, Brian, sister-in-law, Kristi, her niece and nephew and her parents, James and Susan.

She hopes that she will live on in the hearts of those who loved her, the many wonderful people she meant throughout her life being her greatest treasure. Every moment spent was precious to her and, in the words of Kurt Vonnegut, “if (that) isn’t nice, I don’t know what is.”

A celebration of her joyous life is being planned by her family in days to come.




  1. I am so saddened by Molly’s untimely death. I hope her family can find comfort in knowing that she knew she was loved and will be missed.

    Linda Blake
  2. Beautiful listing for a beautiful person. News of Molly’s diagnosis was devastating to me and others here in Morgantown. I know that we are all grieving the loss of Molly’s living-light right now, but that she will continue to shine on through each of us.

    Danyel Tacker
  3. A love and a treasure and a librarian. I will remember. Aunt Pat

    Patricia Coffie
  4. I”m so very sorry. Molly was a kind, friendly and helpful colleague who visited us in Charleston to assist with digital scholarly communication initiatives. We will miss her.

    Rob Cagna
  5. Beautifully written as only Molly could do! She was loved by us all.

    Nicki Geiger
  6. God’s love and comfort for all the family and friends.

    Mark Stanger
  7. I met Molly via Rookies, and the trivia team she named “The Average Bears” in Morgantown, WV. She was such a lovely, intelligent, thoughtful, and fun person. Her radiant smile, and twinkling eyes, just lit up a whole room! I am so very, very sorry for her loss. What a lot of living she did in her time on earth. Peace to her family as they grieve such a terrible loss.

    Rosalind Lister
  8. Dear Susan and Jim…so sorry for the loss of our sweet Molly. She was an exceptional person and did so many things that I did not know. Going to miss my niece so much. You all have my deepest sympathy from my heart. Love you.

    Molly…I know you are in a beautiful place…glorious place…where the sun always shines and you are happy. No more pain or sadness…only love. Missing you.


    Aunt Trudy

    Trudy Scow
  9. What an amazing life spent on Earth. I pray for God’s peace for all who knew her well.

    Erica Ortiz
  10. Molly, you know I’ll miss you. So much.

    Kate McDowell
  11. I knew Molly from library school and after, and I came to value very much her perspectives on a great variety of topics.

    Joshua Lupkin
  12. I taught Molly at Illinois, and was so proud to know her, always. Scholarly communication is my bailiwick also, so after Molly graduated, I had the distinct privilege of interacting with her as a professional equal.

    She always had so much insight, so much energy. Librarianship has lost tremendously. I will miss her; she was such a wonderful student, colleague, and friend.

    Dorothea Salo
  13. Molly was an exceptional young woman. When she lived in West Virginia, I enjoyed playing trivia with Molly on the team that she named – The Average Bears. When we’d run into each other at WVU it always brightened my day. Molly’s kind and gentle spirit, intelligent wit, and infectious smile will be greatly missed by many.

    Linda Rosefsky
  14. I knew Molly briefly in earlier days and reconnected with her on MetaFilter (she helped with a lot of metadata stuff we did) and moreso when she became a librarian and we were in frequent contact. She’d send me stuff in the mail and was always a delight to interact with. She knew her stuff! She was a good friend. I will miss her ad my condolences to her family and those who knew her better.

  15. Molly was a wonderful sister-in-law and loving aunt to her niece and nephew. We love and miss her very much.

    Kristi Dolan
  16. Molly was such a lovely part of the MetaFilter online community, and she will be remembered there, and deeply missed. We have a tradition of posting a single period as a sort of “moment of silence” for someone we have lost, so I hope that tradition will be welcomed here by her family and friends.


    Dave Provost
  17. I worked with Molly at Medscape (the place she credits as giving her “the best co-workers of her entire career” – I wholeheartedly agree). I remember her as kind, smart, hilarious, creative and, most of all, effervescent. I will keep remembering. Wishing her loved ones strength, and comfort in your memories of her.

    Hope Vanderberg
  18. Services will be on February 11, 11A-3P at Rice University, Brown College.

    Susan Dolan
    • Our prayers and thoughts are with you and your family at this time. We are so very sorry for your loss. Bob and Maryanne

      Maryanne Anderson
  19. I knew Molly during her work at West Virginia University and was saddened to learn of her passing. Sending prayers for strength and comfort to the family and her friends.

    Allyson McKee
  20. Our prayers, thoughts and hugs are going out to you at this sad time. May Gods grace be with you

    Louise Ballard Green and Family
  21. I worked with Molly at Medscape/WebMD and she was one of the smartest and most genuine people I’ve ever had the good fortune to know. I offer my deepest condolences to her friends and family. She will be missed.

    Dan Bukszpan
  22. Molly was as sweet, kind, and caring as they come. She was also whip smart with a sly and subtle sense of humor. She was a dear friend, and will always be my high school Art History buddy. ” Play me a sad song.” -Paul Simon

    Rob Pulley

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