Date of death: 11-02-2011
Keep on sharing memories of Tom M. Tolen.
Our beloved husband, son, brother, uncle, and grandfather.
Our beloved husband, son, brother, uncle, and grandfather.
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Many years ago in Morocco, and a bit in NYC. Tom was one of the most open-hearted, warm-hearted, not to mention funniest guys whom I had the pleasure to know.
il aimait les dauphins je crois bien.
Warmest thoughts and prayers are with you and your family through this unexpected dark time! I am very sorry for your loss. He sounds magnificent...
I can' t tell you how sorry I am that Tom is gone. But I can tell you how glad I am that you were able to spend the greatest part of life with him. While I was sad to have my best friend move across the country, I could see the happiness that you and Tom had together. Of course he had to prove to me that he was worthy...and he certainly did! He was a wonderful man and I was so glad to know that the two of you had such a wonderful life. While it's hard to not have him here I hope time will replace the pain with joy. Not everyone gets to have a Tom in their life, so as the days pass, I hope you can look back with wonderful memories and realize how lucky you both were to find one another. And always remember that you have lots of us who love you !
I work with Donna and we go to lunch together frequently. However, sometimes when I ask Donna to go to lunch, she says no because Tom cooked this amazing meal and she has leftovers. Not only do I have to go to lunch by myself, but then I have to smell this delicious food as I walk to the elevator.
One time, I got lucky and was invited to lunch at Donna and Tom's. I wore pants with an elastic waistband because I knew I was going to eat my fill of Tom's delicious cooking! He didn’t disappoint. There were multiple appetizers and drinks. I think he cooked salmon on the grill, but he made a piece of chicken just for me because I don’t eat fish. It was everything I had dreamed of. Tom, I just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your creative and inspired cooking, your contributions to the lighting industry, and the fact that you were such a loving husband to my dear friend Donna.
My condolences to Donna and Tom’s family.
Tom and I became best buds sometime around ( not positive ) 1962, when his family relocated to Denver. Neither of us had Dads, mine died and his was gone. So our Moms spent a lot of time together trying to get their lives back on track, while we bonded, doing things that 6 and 7 year old boys without Dads might do while mostly unattended. like the time we found a piece of remesch wire in my back yard area. I'm not sure whose idea it was but we decided to unroll it and stand on either end, then when Tom stepped off it rolled back and caught me under my right eye, needing a couple of stitches to fix. Then we got bb guns for Christmas, pretty sure Aunt Donna regretted that gift, cause we must have shot out the majority of the street lights in their neighborhood. I can still see him running out from under the falling glass of the first one, laughing hard after he had tried to convince me I could'nt hit it . Tom and Anne had a little pomeranian dog named Buffy, one day he turned up missing and Tom went crazy with fear that he was in danger, we searched the neighborhood with no luck, and he was never found, but I always remembered how upset Tom was that Buffy was gone, and he continued to look for him for a long time after.
We spent many weekends together over the next 7 or eight years, and while he lived across town, our familys spent lots of time together. At that time there were many cousins living in Denver, and life was good.
After they moved to California we never had much more contact, untill about a year ago, when Tom called me up, we had a good long conversation and talked about getting together in the near future. It never happened, but I am so grateful to all the people that posted pictures and text about my cousins life, I feel like I new his adult person, and he was good.
Life is a mystery, we come in to it, we go out of it, but our essence lives on in the minds and hearts of the ones we touch, maybe we never really leave at all.
Love ya Bro, Steve
I am so sorry to learn of Tom's untimely death - it was much too early for him to leave. I hadn't seen Tom in many, many years but have fond childhood memories. My mother was and is great friends with Tom's mother Donna, and when we were young - my family would take trips out to California to spend summers with Donna, Tom and Anne in California - on the beaches and taking many road trips to see the sights. I remember when we visited the Hearst Castle in that little car with all of us smashed inside and the air conditioning went out - it was so hot we were all nearly sick. I remember Tom always loving music and one summer all he played was Crosby Stills & Nash! HA - I thought he was so cool. The last time I spoke with Tom was probably twenty years ago when I was researching a job overseas - I called him for advice as he had been there - and he said "GO! Definitely!" - so I did! Thank you, Tom. My thoughts and prayers go out to you all for your loss.
So very sadden by the loss of such a wonderful man. Tom was always a delight and had a infectious passion for the lighting industry and for Donna. I remember the grin on his face when he talked about you before you joined him and the rest of us bay area lighting folks. May the deep love you shared bring you comfort in walking through this path.
" the things that matter most in our lives are not fantastic or grand. They are moments when we touch one another" jack kornfield
How blessed we all are to have Tom touched our hearts and spirts.
I didn't know Tom well but I know he made you a very happy person and for that alone I am very sorry for the suffering that you must be going through. Know that Katie and I are thinking about you and our souls are sending out spiritual support. Given what I know of your life, I am very thankful that you met someone like Tom for he was an important person who put a smile on your face. Your and Tom's relationship and happiness inspired me to realize that great relationships are very possible. He will be missed.
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