David Tolley, of Galveston, Texas, transitioned to the next phase of his existence on December 31st, 2020 at UTMB, Galveston. Kudos to the caring and compassionate nurses at the Jenny Sealy Building, Station 9D for easing his battle with leukemia.
David (Dave) was born in Hartford CT and went to Portugal as a small child with his parents, Bill and Nancy (Sicilian) Tolley, who served there as missionaries of the United Church of Christ. David learned Portuguese as his first language, though it was soon forgotten as he traveled to Angola, Africa and then back to the States (MA) and then to Ghana Africa, living there until 1968, when his parents retired from the mission field. While living abroad, David became enamored of soccer, which he played into adulthood with great skill and fervor.
The Tolley family located to Southwick, MA where Dave completed high school in 1975 at Southwick High, picking tobacco in the summers and working at a summer camp in Maine (think Dirty Dancing) to earn spending money. Dave always had a tremendous work ethic and gave his all to any job he undertook.
After graduating in 1979 from Carleton College in Minnesota with a degree in geology, Dave went into the “oil patch,” where he gained experience in the field prior to being hired first by Western Geophysical and later by Phillips Petroleum – both in Denver CO – as a seismic data processing geophysicist. He worked for Phillips for 17 years, later transitioning into the Information Technology (IT) Department. David accepted a transfer to Houston, Texas in 1989 and continued with Phillips until 1997 when, based on his expertise in IT, Dave was hired by Anadarko Petroleum, to launch their IT Security Department. Retirement from Anadarko came in 2014, when Dave and his wife settled full-time on Galveston Island.
In 1993 Dave met his wife, Terry, through a personals ad in the Greensheet in Houston TX. Both had moved to Houston in the same month of the same year (July, 1989) – he from Denver CO, she from Memphis TN – and they lived only a mile away from each other in the inner-city neighborhood of the Heights. Both worked in the oil/gas and petrochemical industries. Following a whirlwind courtship, they were married on Terry’s birthday in Lynchburg VA in 1994. Dave’s minister father performed the ceremony. Terry always said that Dave was the best birthday gift she ever received.
Many years of landlord experience forged Dave into an admirable handy-man. In retirement, he became a proficient carpenter and single-handedly rebuilt the windows, doors, and all the sashes and casings in the formerly, dirt-floor kitchen of his 1900-storm-survivor home on Galveston’s East End. His lifelong love of sports led him to improve his golf game with regular lessons, practice sessions and rounds with his buddies on the course as often as he was “allowed.” Dave enjoyed his billiards nights with friends, where male-bonding became an art, helped along by infusions of pizza, the odd whiskey or scotch, and an accompanying cigar. Rumor has it that billiards was, indeed, often played, as well.
Until Covid-19, Dave and his wife were regular travelers to national and international destinations. Sadly postponed, 2020’s trips were to be Iceland in June organized by Dave’s alma mater, Carleton College, and Scotland in October to rendezvous with friends from England. And David was a lifelong, faithful, passionate member of Red Sox Nation. He was also an avid New England Patriots fan!
David is survived by his wife of 26 years, Terry Lynn Boudreaux; siblings Luis (Lisa) Tolley, Lisa Tolley Alber and Paul (Holly) Tolley; nephews Matt Alber, Brad Alber, Blake Alber, Ben Tolley, and niece Sydney Tolley; his uncle Bob (June) Sicilian; brother-in-law Mike (Phyllis) Boudreaux; cousins Cathy (Kenny) Koelle, Michael (Karen) Quattromani and Rhonda Richardson (Steve Hamlet); and many loving extended family and friends, including his god-daughter, Julie (Kris) Owen and her family. Dave’s beloved, feline, fur babies, Pyewacket, Zephyr and Zsa-Zsa are heart-broken without their Daddy’s special lap-time, playtime and scratches.
Dave is pre-deceased by his parents, Bill and Nancy (Sicilian) Tolley of Claremont, California, his paternal grandparents, Oma and Sally Tolley of Lynchburg VA, and maternal grandparents, Joseph and Edith Sicilian of Westerly, RI.
“A Celebration of Life will be held at Malloy Funeral Home in Galveston TX on February 27 at 11am. Services will be live-streamed at https://vimeo.com/event/399691. Tributes can be made to Artist Boat or Turtle Island Restoration Network.”