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: http://alsaz.org By phone: (602) 297-3800