Dolores Mae Krajicek Little Penk, PhD

Dolores Mae Krajicek Little Penk, PhD

Dolores Mae Krajicek was born on February 19, 1932 in Omaha, Nebraska.

His mother was Marie Ann (née Stenho) and his father, Charles Krajicek, and his younger sister is Kathleen Riha. Dolores attended Catholic elementary schools and then South High School in Omaha, receiving scholarships to complete her bachelor’s degree at Duchesne College in Omaha. She married John Little who was serving in the US Air Force, who after completing his military service went on to study at the University of Kentucky. There, Dolores earned a master’s degree in psychology, including training at Lexington VA Medical Center, while studying rehabilitation at the University of Kentucky Medical School with Ernst Jokl, MD. While John Little pursued his doctorate in biology at Texas A&M University, Dolores raised four children: Judith Little, John Little, George Little and Thomas Little. But Dolores’ life changed dramatically when her husband died suddenly of heart disease in 1970 while starting work for NASA.

Dolores was among the first women to begin training at Texas A&M, earning her doctorate in 1973, specializing in career counseling for women, as women began to be admitted to Texas A&M. Such experiences – psychology, rehabilitation, career development for women – characterized Dolores’ life, as she joined the Veterans Affairs Health Administration at the Department of Veterans Affairs, as women increasingly pursued more careers to serve veterans leaving the US military.

Beginning in 1974, after a year teaching psychology at Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Dolores served as the first woman to serve as associate chief of staff for education at the VA Medical Center in Dallas, overseeing the training of nurses and doctors at Southwestern Medical. School at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, Dallas, Texas.

In 1980, the VA selected Dolores to train under its Associate Medical Center Director program, working at the Audie Murphy VA Medical Center in San Antonio, Texas. She later served as Associate Medical Center Director for VA Medical Centers in Big Spring, Texas (1982-1984); Edith Nourse Rogers Memorial VA Hospital in Bedford, Massachusetts (1984-1988); Providence VA, Rhode Island (1988-1991) and Loma Linda VA in Loma Linda, CA. She finished her VA career in Boston, retiring in 1997, focusing on career development for women in Veterans Administration.

Dr. Little’s area of ​​expertise included the design and development of health care systems to deliver trauma-related services through psychosocial rehabilitation of recovering veterans, training of physicians and nurses, and accompanying educational interventions. medical care. Having specialized in preparing the first women to enter Texas A&M, Dolores led the VA administration to develop resources for female veterans as more women began serving in the U.S. military and were transitioning to work as veterans.

Dr. Little married Walter Penk, PhD, in 1985, a VA psychologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). And,

while Dr. Little and Dr. Penk have always worked in different VA medical centers, they were able to conduct studies on PTSD, write scientific papers, as well as books and chapters on psychosocial rehabilitation. Retired, Dr. Little and Dr. Penk moved to New Braunfels, Texas in 2004, continuing to consult in the provision of psychosocial rehabilitation, under contract with the Department of Defense and the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as affiliations with the Texas A&M School of Medicine. Examples of collaboration between Dr Little and Dr Penk are included in Ainspan & Penk (2008), Returning Wars’ Wounded, Wounded, and Ill (Praeger); Ainspan & Penk (2012) When the Warrior Returns (Naval Institute Press); Ainspan, Bryan and Penk (2016) Handbook of Psychosocial Rehabilitation for Veterans and Military (Oxford University Press); and second edition of Moore & Penk (2018) Treating PTSD Among Military Personnel (Guilford Press). The enduring theme in Little-Penk’s studies included the rehabilitation of American servicemen and American veterans, as they continually face new problems to solve as they mature throughout their lives, facing new challenges as we grow and mature.

Dr. Little completed her 90 years of work which began in 1932 in Omaha and ended in New Braunfels on September 23, 2022. She was thrilled with all of the accomplishments of her children (three Aggies, Judith, John and George, and an undergraduate of Rice, Thomas) and her grandchildren, Babette, Rochelle and Matthew, all of whom are continuing their careers, teaching Dolores’ youngest granddaughter, Mary – in the spirit of what the neuroanatomist Viennese Sigmund Freud inspired us all in 1921 “No other technique for the conduct of life so attaches the individual to reality as it emphasizes work, for work at least gives a safe place in a portion of the reality of the human community.

A visitation will be held from 5:00 p.m. until time of the wake which will be at 6:30 p.m. followed by the Rosary at 7:00 p.m. on Monday, October 3, 2022, at Doeppenschmidt Funeral Home in New Braunfels.

A Mass will be celebrated at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, October 4, 2022 at St. Peter & Paul Catholic Church in New Braunfels, Texas. Entombment will follow in procession to St. Peter & Paul Catholic Cemetery #1, West Walk of the Mausoleum in SPP #1 by New Braunfels Public Library.

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