Thomas Anthony Golis

Thomas Anthony Golis


Thomas Anthony Golis was born in Binghamton, New York to Anthony and Marie Golis on March 19, 1955. He passed away on December 17, 2019 in Mesa, Arizona, following a six-month battle with ALS. Tom’s life included all things active, including multiple marathon races, 2 ironmen events, multiple softball teams, soccer, hiking, skiing, swimming, biking, and kayaking.  Tom enjoyed dancing, and along with his wife Aleen, enjoyed many country and western dance events.

Tom graduated as salutatorian from Montrose Area High School in 1973, and then attended Colgate University, majoring in Chemistry. He moved to Houston, Texas where he attended University of Houston Optometry College, coaching girls’ soccer along the way. Following a year of internship in New York at a VA Medical Center, he accepted a full-time position as optometrist with the VA in Hot Springs, South Dakota, from which he retired in 2014 after 30 years. At the Hot Springs VA, Tom held adjunct faculty positions of Houston and Pacific optometry schools. He was a sought-after teacher and mentor in the position of adjunct instructor.

In 1992 he married Aleen Bray and became an instant grandfather to five, and relished the ability to “play with the kids” routinely. Tom loved his grandchildren: Cade, Zane, and Cassie Hengel; Taya Verplancke; and Amber and Colter Smith, and his great-granddaughter, Charlee Smith, held his heart and was very special to him.

Tom is survived by his wife, Aleen; stepdaughters, Judy Verplancke and Jeri Hunter; siblings, Linda Mattern and Gerald Golis; half-sister, Sarah Golis; stepmother, Joan Golis; niece, Renee Robb; and multiple grandnieces and grandnephews. He was preceded in death by his mother and father; infant brother, Timothy; and grandson, Colter Smith.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation in Tom’s memory to the Community of Hope, The ALS Association Arizona Chapter. By mail: 360 East Coronado Road, Suite #140, Phoenix, Arizona 85004. Online: By phone: (602) 297-3800

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15 responses to Thomas Anthony Golis

  1. Dan Trammell says:

    Tom was an instant friend after meeting on the softball team and road many miles cycling together. He never said anything about anyone that wasn’t good. Such a great man that will be missed by so many.

  2. Aleen: We are deeply sadden to hear of Tom’s passing. We remember good times at Good Life, your visit to Stub Creek Colorado, and our visit to you folks at Kurt Goudy Campgound in Wymoing.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with you. Blessing and comfort, Kris and Larry

  3. Gary Merkel says:

    I will miss Tom a lot and will always remember all our New Years Eve Runs and the Great meals after! Also the Wonderful time pouring his Driveway!!

    1. This New Years walk will be for Tom . We will always remember the great breakfast afterwards and other walks and times together . He was a great energizer.

  4. J&v weber says:

    Aleen so sorry to hear of your loss hope you and your family are doing OK love to you all Val and Jerry Weber

  5. I am at a loss for words….Dr. Golis meant the world to me and I will miss him more then words can describe.

  6. I am so sorry for the loss of Tom Golis. He was a great friend and had a kind soul. He was always fun to be around. We shared many meals together long with Aleen. One of their favorite places was Starbucks.

  7. Maureen says:

    So pleased you came into our lives! So happy for the time we got to spend with you. George and Maureen Poirier

  8. Tom and Aleen were our neighbours here at Mesa Regal for they pass three years. We were so broken hearted this pass summer when we received the news about Tom’s ALS.
    Tom was the kindest person anyone could have met, our sympathies to Aleen and family our prayers and thoughts are with you all. Cherish Tom’s memories.

  9. To the entire Golis family, our sincere condolences. May Tom rest in peace.

  10. Please accept our condolences for the loss of your family member. Tom was an energetic guy who loved the outdoors and his family. We first had the pleasure to meet him when he came to Pennsylvania to visit his sister. Then we even got a chance to hike with him out west one afternoon. We know he touched many lives and we are sure he is in heaven now on another adventure. We will honor his memory.

  11. Aleen we didn’t realize Tom had been ill. We are so sorry to hear about your loss. Our thoughts & prayers are with you & your family. It was great working with him.

  12. Our sincere sympathy and prayers for you in your loss. May time and memories help you through this period.

  13. Aleen, Tom was such a wonderful guy! I really enjoyed working with him at the VA. He was always so kind and did all he could for the veterans. The world will be a little lonelier without him but Heaven will be graced with his presence. God bless you and your family.

  14. ANGIE LONG says:

    Aleen, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of Tom. I will always remember him from our work at the VA and enjoying him being on our bowling league for many years. The world has lost a great human being.

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