Thomas M. Dolan, Sr. of West Boylston and Harwichport, passed away peacefully in his sleep in the comfort of his Cape Cod home on June 28, 2023 at the age of 87. His beloved wife of 61 years, Joan (McMenemy) Dolan, predeceased him in 2019. Those who knew Tom will fondly remember his dedication to the family dogs, Conrad, Max, and Chauncey, who often accompanied him on his travels.
Tom leaves his two devoted sons and their wives, Thomas, Jr. and his wife Cheryl (D’Amelio) of Shrewsbury, MA and Brian and his wife Elizabeth (Michael) of Wilton, CT,; five treasured grandchildren, Thomas III and his wife Caitlen of Mansfield, MA, Michael and his wife Ellen of Winthrop, MA, and Emily, Molly and Jack Dolan of Wilton, CT; and two cherished great-grandchildren, Delaney and Cameron Dolan. He also leaves behind his much-loved sister, Carol Connerty of Wenham, MA and many nieces, nephews and extended family. He was predeceased by his parents Thomas and Mary (Sullivan) Dolan and a brother Paul Dolan.
Tom was born in Worcester, MA and graduated from Classical High School. He matriculated to the College of the Holy Cross but interrupted his studies to serve in the US Army and was stationed in California and Germany as a Russian interpreter. Upon his return, he enrolled at Clark University and graduated with the great class of ’62 and then pursued his Master’s degree. He received his Juris Doctor from Suffolk University Law School and was a member of the Massachusetts and Worcester County Bar Associations.
Tom worked for Clark University for 42 years in several different capacities throughout his career eventually retiring in 2004 as Senior Vice President. He holds the distinction of serving under seven different college presidents. To hundreds of Clark alumni, he was known as “Mr. Clark” because of his warm and engaging personality. He received numerous honors from Clark, being the first administrator elected as an Honorary Member of the Faculty and receiving the first Lifetime Achievement Award in 2012. The Clark University Athletic Field House was named in honor of him and his wife Joan. He was also a charter member of the Jonas Clark Fellows and the Clark Legacy Society and received the Alumni Association’s Distinguished Service Award.
He received an Outstanding Young Man Award from the Greater Worcester Jaycees and served on the Auburn School Committee. He was a consultant to several educational, historical and religious institutions. A passionate lover of libraries, he supported many in Massachusetts and in Florida. He was a longtime member of Tatnuck Country Club, The Worcester Club, The Worcester Art Museum and several tennis and golf clubs.
A staunch proponent of a quality education, Tom constantly preached the mantra of “Academics first, athletics second” to his sons and grandchildren. Tom also encouraged many young Clark men and women to make a serious commitment to their college education and to view it as a door to future success. To this day, many of them continue to express their gratitude for his guidance and support.
An avid athlete, Tom was Captain of the 1961-1962 winning Clark basketball team, receiving the squad’s Most Valuable Player award, and earned varsity letters in tennis and baseball. In his senior year at Clark, he was awarded the athletic department’s prestigious Hebert Prize which recognized the outstanding senior student-athlete. In 2009 he was inducted into the Clark Athletics Hall of Fame for basketball.
Tom was a former President of the Worcester Tennis Club and passionate about the sport of tennis. He participated in several tournaments throughout New England, including USTA tournaments with his sons and grandsons which were a highlight of his athletic pursuits. Tom always brought his fierce, competitive spirit to the court, but will be most remembered for his sportsmanship, gentlemanly demeanor, and humility.
He was loved by many for his Irish humor and wit, his smiling, always upbeat demeanor, and his sense of fair play. He was a three-time survivor of cancer, and his encouraging watchwords were the old “Four F’s” – Family, Friends, Faith & Fortitude. His other lifelong trademark was “When the going gets tough, the tough get going”. Tom inspired many with his determination to battle through adversity and to “never give up the ship”.
The family would like to personally thank Tom’s long-time administrative assistant, Laurie Kennedy Yvanauskas, for her unwavering dedication and friendship to Tom and to the wonderful team of caregivers who assisted him when he needed their support and companionship.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Tom’s memory can be made to The Dolan Scholarship Fund at Clark University, 950 Main Street, Worcester, MA 01610. The Thomas M. Dolan ‘62 Awards are given annually to the male and female junior students who have demonstrated exemplary service and commitment to Clark and who have outstanding potential to become future leaders of the University and the Alumni Association.
Family and friends are invited to gather with the family for a funeral Mass of Christian Burial at 11am on Friday, July 7th at Our Lady of Good Counsel Church, 111 Worcester Street, West Boylston. Visiting hours will be held on Thursday, July 6th from 4pm to 7pm at Fay Brothers Funeral Home of 1 West Boylston Street, West Boylston. Burial will follow in Mt. Vernon Cemetery.