October 14, 1948 – December 13, 2020
The first-born son of Cuadrato Irlanda Dolalas and Nenita Acapulco Dolalas. Beloved husband to Elvessa Descallar Dolalas. Loving father to Elaine Descallar Dolalas and thoughtful father in law to Michael Nailat. Manong to his siblings Luz, Teresita, Titus, Fe, Joey, and Alan. Affectionately known to his family and friends as Dodge, Manong Dodge, Tito Dodge, and Papa.
Dodge was a storyteller who could regale you with tales of his life as a child growing up in Oroquieta City and later Ozamis City in the Misamis Occidental province of the Philippines. His penchant for mischief led to punishments from his Mamere Annie, such as kneeling on mungo beans while holding large books in his hands. During martial law, Dodge ignored his mama’s instructions about coming home before curfew. After a night of gallivanting with his barkada, he found the front door locked. Dodge spent the night sleeping in a ditch, avoiding being caught by the police.
In the Philippines, Dodge studied engineering and math as an undergrad, in the hopes it would lead him to a career as a pilot with the Philippine Air Force. However, his mother would persuade him to pursue less risky endeavors like law.
Mischief was one consequence of Dodge’s charismatic personality which allowed him to connect with everyone he met. This larger than life personality captured the eye of his wife Elvessa when they were both employees at the Development Bank of the Philippines. Persuaded by coworkers, Dodge serenaded her with the classic ballad “Strangers In The Night.” Their courtship would lead to their wedding on July 1, 1978 at Pope Pius XII Chapel in Manila.
Later, the couple would emigrate to Los Angeles, California, where their only daughter Elaine was born on a fateful day in September. The 12th of September would mark their daughter’s birth and also the day Dodge quit smoking cold turkey at the advice of his sister-in-law Gertrudes Collyer, who he teasingly called “Manang” since she is a few weeks older than him.
Dodge attended a local community college and took computer programming courses which then led him to a career that started at Sunkist Headquarters in Sherman Oaks. He went on to join Litton Industries in Woodland Hills. The company would then change to Northrop Grumman after a merger.
At Sunkist, he started as a COBOL computer programmer. Inside the Smithsonian, there is a COBOL reel in its collection. When Dodge learned that a piece of what he used to work on is now in the Smithsonian, his response was “Now it’s a museum piece…But it fed the family.” Over the course of Dodge’s career, he would go from computer programmer to software engineer. This close to 30-year career would be his 9 to 5. The work he did to ensure his family would be taken care of in the years to come.
As the family historian and photographer, Dodge would attend parties, weddings, baptisms, and Ozamisnon & Misamisnon events with his camera in tow. Because of that, his family and friends have years of photos and memories to cherish. Smiles and laughter directed at his camera; directed at him. However, the family knew to avoid the watchful eye of Dodge’s camera when food was around. Dodge had a penchant for capturing people midbite. He would affectionately call this collection of photos “Yum Yum Moments.”
His marksmanship transcended his passion for photography and extended to a hobby with archery and firearms. As an adult, Dodge took archery classes and began a passion for shooting arrows well before the likes of Katniss Everdeen became the norm. Shooting archery targets was an easy transition from the ranges he frequented with his firearm collection. He would partake in this hobby with his brother-in-law Michael Collyer. The two of them could easily be found joking at family parties together over shots of Chivas Regal or Crown Royal.
The family would like to thank everyone who has supported them through this difficult time. Thank you to everyone who has shared memories of Dodge and contributed to his memorial fund. Special thanks to the Collyer’s, the extended Descallar clan, the extended Dolalas clan, the Acapulco’s, and the Abesamis clan for the love and support you have shown Elvessa and Elaine & Michael.
Funeral services for Dodge Dolalas will be held at San Fernando Mission Cemetery on Thursday, January 7th at 8:30 a.m. To share a memory of Dodge or send your condolences to his family please visit: https://tinyurl.com/DodgeDolalasMemories. Livestream info for the funeral services can be found here: https://tinyurl.com/DodgeDolalasFuneralServices. (Contributed by Elaine Dolalas)