I first met Tom when I found their labs and secured them, many years ago. A couple times.
As written about Tom, what a great personality and sweetest man ever. Always willing to help anyone. So handy he could fix anything and helped me and my husband more times than I can count!
He fixed my horse trailer door, put a brand new tractor seat on my tractor and wouldn’t let me pay him for it. As mine had holes all over it.
When my neighbor died of Covid and I had to more her large Aviary to our house. He sprung into action using his Bobcat and booming it over a fence, with his bucket truck. With the help of my husband and 3 other male neighbors, that all loved meeting Tom. He just had that special something about him, most hope to have. A guys guy for sure, but also a gentleman with woman. Great sense of humor too as well.
Then one Christmas he came and put a Santa Claus hat on our 20 foot Saguaro. I had no idea how he did that, but found out he used his bucket truck. So funny.
Tom you are missed by so many. Our prayers and condolences for Mitzi and all your wonderful family.
Thomas Alban Dooley
November 07, 1953 - December 15, 2022
I first met Tom when I found their labs and secured them, many years ago. A couple times.
What an amazing man I was so blessed to know. So many memories I will cherish forever. May you rest in Peace on the Tractor of your dreams.
Too many memories to even begin.
The legacy Tom has created is far and wide.
He taught me the art and rewards of "volunteering".
He made work, fun and desirable. He made tools, cool.
I'm fortunate and better, for having known Tom.
But his mark on men and machines surrounds us.
I need only look around, to the modified tools in my backyard, to the ideas he has encouraged, to the friends I have because of him,
to the family that he and Mitzi created.
His legend lives forever in my heart.
Let me tell you about my dad.
He was a one of a kind man.
He was a father figure to many.
But was only my dad.
They met in the ‘70s, and married in ‘78.
They built a marriage, life, and love, that anyone would agree was great.
In 1980 and again in 81 with a loving bond so strong.
The biggest decision of all was made, and myself and sister came along.
He was a bit old fashioned, and I sometimes felt he was tough on me.
But he only wanted for me,
to be the best that I could be.
He was the best father you could ask for, and his advice, knowledge, and love was rightfully measured in tons.
So it wasn’t long before his only daughter started her own family, and gave him two grandsons.
He served in no wars, but fought a long, hard battle with cancers.
And with all the doctors and all the questions, in the end they just had no more answers.
He was a father, son, husband, brother, and best friend.
To have to one day write these words down, would mean it was the end.
I have lost my lifelong hero and that makes me truly sad. For his name is Tom and that’s the story of my one and only dad.
Your one and only son.
Memories with my PaPu, by Arthur, his “Arthur-itis”
Alligator Hunting – How to Guide for every Grandpa and their Grandchildren
What you’ll need: NERF gun (non-functional A-okay), black electrical tape, flashlight, reflective tape
Instructions for your Grandpa:
1. Cut the reflective tape into the shapes of eyes, big ones, small ones, squinty and scary ones
2. Stick the reflective pairs of eyes on objects in your yard like large rocks, planters, tractors, and cactus
3. Tell your Grandsons that you have an invasion of alligators that you need their help eradicating before they overtake the house
Instructions for you, the Grandchild
4. Pick the brightest flashlight from PaPu’s collection, he has a lot of them, so turn on every single one of them and shine them in your PaPu’s eyes to find out which one is the brightest and best for the job
5. Give your little brother the Maglite flashlight which is heavy and not as bright as your LED one, but convince him that it’s the coolest one
6. Grab your favorite NERF gun, the one that you got the foam bullet lodged in and can’t remove which is fine because alligators don’t die from bullets but from bright lights that are like lasers or light sabers or something
7. Tape the flashlight to the top of your NERF gun with the black electrical tape. Note - Black electrical tape is cut best with PaPu’s snips (and he always has them so just ask him to do it for you). Use way too much electrical tape because you are going to be running and you can’t stop to fix your flashlight or else the alligators will get you
8. Give an epic speech describing how NERF guns and flashlights kill alligators, talking in gibberish which most will claim is German, until you’ve convinced yourself you’re ready for the task
9. Turn on the flashlight, head into your Grandparents yard, and shine it around slowly as you sneak around
10. When you see the eyes of an alligator shining back at you, yell “pew, pew” and run around screaming
11. Continue throughout the yard until the batteries wear out in the flashlight, or your PaPu wears out, whichever comes first
Memories with my PaPu, by Clay, his “Clay-ache’n”
My PaPu taught me how to properly get dried off after a bath, fish, and to hit a volleyball and every other sports that I love. When I was little, we used to take baths filled with bubbles and toys. My PaPu was a smart guy. He knew that I wouldn’t want to get out of the tub unless he also made getting out just as much fun as being in the tub. So, he and MiMi invented this routine where we would jump out of the tub, throw hooded towels over our head, and run full speed down their hallway to the living room yelling “incoming” at the top of our lungs. We’d run straight to PaPu who was sitting at the foot of his recliner and then get put into a human drying machine where he wrapped us up, shook us, and scrubbed us frantically in our towels, sometimes upside down hanging by one leg. We’d giggle and laugh. When we were done getting dried, we’d scream “outgoing” looking over our shoulders as we run back to the bathroom where we came to get our pajamas on with MiMi. By then my older brother had finished his bath and was usually running down the hallway with his towel over his head and we’d collide, crashing to the carpet in a fit of laughter, forgotten that we left fun toys in the tub. Not only was PaPu a master dryer, but he was also the best at putting bait and lures on my fishhook. He didn’t mind if I spent more time trading lures with my brother and organizing my tackle box than actually fishing. He also didn’t mind untangling my lines from a slimy rock, or the dock, or my brother. He would take my brother and I fishing at Lake Mary in Flagstaff, sometimes from a small boat and sometimes from the shore. We started with Lightning McQueen fishing rods that MiMi & PaPu got us, and I still love Lightning McQueen to this day. Sometimes fishing turned into tad pole hunting or toad collecting, but he always said we caught the best ones. He let us keep all our collections in buckets and Tupperware till they were nice and ripe for the ride home in their truck! Once we went to a fish hatchery near the Dooley cabin in Payson. There were so many fish I don’t think I even used anything on my hook. I caught the biggest fish there. I was so proud and PaPu let me tell EVERYONE at the fish hatchery about my fish being bigger than the one my bigger brother caught. He still took me fishing at some of the lakes in town, just him and me, when he started feeling not so good. By then I had graduated from the Lightning McQueen rod to a regular one, but it he still helped me cast and this time I didn’t mind that I didn’t catch the biggest one, or anything at all sometimes, because we were together. My PaPu set up a full-size volleyball court next to his workshop and he and MiMi would come out and watch us play with our Mom and Dad. One time my brother hit the volleyball with a closed fist and PaPu told us that if his high school volleyball coach saw him do that, he would be so mad. He taught us how to serve, set, and spike the ball the right way. I’ll always remember him cheering us on while we played volleyball in their yard or at one of my school sports games that he came and watched. I played my best at the outdoor games like football, soccer and baseball because he would drive all the way from Dooleyville to watch me even when he got sick and couldn’t watch me play Basketball in the gym anymore. PaPu would throw around the football with my Uncles, my Dad, brother and I. He even let us put ash from our cabin fireplace in lines under our eyes so that we played and looked like “real football players.” He definitely was the "real PaPu” and always will be.
Memories with my Dad, by Jess, his “Smile with Arms & Legs”
My Dad was always the jokester and enjoyed the road of life despite bumps along the way. He always
found ways to have fun with my brother and me, and eventually his Grand kids. He’d say, “never take
yourself or others too seriously” while crossing his eyes and scrunching up his bushy mustache. Besides
teaching me the normal “Dad” things, like how to drive a stick shift and change a tire, he also taught me
to weld, the awesomeness of spreadsheets, and how to find the love of my life. He’d tell me,
“everybody’s different,” but thought highly of anyone that drove a white Ford. He made mundane tasks,
like taking our trash to the dump, fun by singing along with my brother and I “to the dump, to the dump,
to the dump, dump, dump!” My Dad taught me many important things, like how to decorate the inside
of the microwave with hot chocolate while Mom was away. My brother and I also learned that Santa
Claus leaves boot prints from the chimney across your living room floor to the tree before the carpet
gets installed, and rocks thrown on the roof sound a lot like reindeer hooves. My Dad loved reading and
he passed that love of reading on to me. He would take me on what we called, “Daddy-Daughter Dates,”
one-on-one trips to the movies, camping at the river, or to tour the U of A campus. During one of our
“Daddy-Daughter Dates” he taught me how to rock the car side to side while driving with the gas gauge
reading “E” until you just barely make it to the gas station. This later inspired me to always carry a 1-
gallon gas can in all my vehicles. He loved it when people were gullible, and despite his best efforts, I
eventually learned that Hush Puppy brand shoes are NOT made from puppies. Dad was always a big
trooper when it came to us kids. He turned a blind eye to me sneaking the kittens and cats into my room
growing up, because he knew I loved them, even though he was highly allergic and would suffer terrible
sneezing fits and watery eyes because of it. When I was in High School and exploring career tracks he
said, “find something you love to do then find someone that will pay you to do it.” He helped me build
the steel frame structure for a huge mosaic tile piece of artwork during my senior year – the project
where I got good a MIG welding. When he was “interviewing” my future husband, Dad made sure Keith
knew the difference between fine and coarse thread bolts. He was correct in thinking that only someone
who was mechanically inclined could marry his daughter that knew how to weld. Once the Grand kids
came along, we began a tradition of a yearly “Family Camp” every spring break at Lake Pleasant. This
occurred usually around his first Grandson Arthur’s birthday, so he and MiMi would have the camping
trailer decorated with the boys favorite Disney characters and PaPu always participated in the festivities.
Naps with the Grand kids sprawled across his lap were his favorite way to recoup from all those
festivities! The little quads, dirt bikes, golf carts, and tractors were always well maintained and ready
when the Grand kids would visit. He even fabricated a custom oil drum “barrel train” to pull his
Grandsons, and any other young’ins in the neighborhood, around in. Each barrel cart would bounce up
and down and turn sharply as he pulled them. He gave the best bumpy rides till the very end, when he
just couldn’t take any more bumps in his own road.
Dearest Tom, my Husband of forty-four years … I miss you.
I miss waking up beside you, your warm kiss, your smile, “good morning my Honey”.
I miss feeding the birds while enjoying our Coffee, banana & dark chocolate together, side by side.
I miss our days together, side by side as a team, loving and supporting each other.
I miss our happy times together and even the sad times … knowing you were by my side.
I miss the easy times and even the hard times knowing you were still there by my side.
I miss you taking care of me and me taking care of you. I even miss our arguments.
I miss our walks hand in hand, your family stories, your sense of humor and your wisdom
I miss your loving smile, your voice, your laugh, your kisses, your hug, your strong arms around me
I miss you telling me “I love you”, “you smell good”, “I love your hand in mine”, “I love our life together”
I miss planning our day, our future, sharing our hopes, our dreams, even our worries and even regrets.
I miss our evenings together side by side in the swing, feeding the bunnies while enjoying a cold Corona
I miss you next to me in our double recliner, watching Romantic Comedies at the end of our day
I miss watching our favorite Christmas movie, Love Actually every year … our TRADITION
I miss ending my day next to you, kissing you good night, hearing you tell me “I love you, goodnight”
I miss so many things about you, special things that made you, You. Made me, Me. And made us, Us.
I will always miss you Tom, always remember you and always love you … actually. Your Mitzi