Goodbye, Dolley: 46-year Incline resident dead at 71
INCLINE VILLAGE, Nev. and#8212; Ask friends and family of Thomas F. Dolley about the man, and you’ll hear the same two things.
He was big, but his heart was bigger.
and#8220;He was a big man, physically, but he was a bigger man emotionally in terms of charity and contribution,and#8221; said Incline resident and friend Geno Menchetti. and#8220;He was more generous than anyone you could ever imagine.and#8221;
Dolley died Tuesday. He was 71.
Known by many in Incline Village and Crystal Bay as a devout volunteer, Dolley was born July 1, 1938, in Reno, to N.F. and Gladys Dolley. He was raised in Truckee and#8212; a town his father helped found and#8212; before moving to Incline in 1963.
Dolley was also an outdoors enthusiast, taking great pride in hunting, fishing, camping and snowmobiling, mainly at Webber Lake in Sierra County.
His heart stretched far, even to the lake he loved, said daughter Cyndie Williams.
and#8220;It didn’t matter if it was family or someone on the street who needed help and#8212; he’d be there to give him a ride,and#8221; she said. and#8220;Even when we were out at Webber Lake, he’d see someone stuck in the mud or someone injured, he’d be on the radio, trying to get a Care Flight or someone out to help him.and#8221;
and#8220;And whenever he volunteered, he never took a dollar for any of it because it was his donation back to the community,and#8221; Williams said.
Dolley’s list of community service in Incline and around the Lake Tahoe Basin went arguably unmatched.
He volunteered with the Truckee Fire District and with the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office as a deputy, auxiliary and search and rescue member and deputy coroner. He also served for 12 years as a director for the North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District and was a member of the Incline Village/Crystal Bay Citizen’s Advisory Board.
Dolley also was involved with Lion’s, Rotary and Moose clubs for many years, and he was the voice many years ago behind the Tahoe-Incline Rotary Club’s Christmas tree sale, which takes place every year in front of Raley’s.
and#8220;He came up with the idea; we even used Tom’s trucks to move the trees and#8212; he was the guy who made that happen,and#8221; Menchetti said.
Dolley was an established local businessman, running Lake Tahoe Security and Dolley Enterprises and#8212; which specialized in snow removal, street sweeping and earth moving business and#8212; for more than 30 years.
and#8220;Tom was always there for anybody who needed help,and#8221; said his wife of 50 years, Ella Mae Dolley. and#8220;He had all this equipment, the boats, the Snowcats, the trucks, the back hoes and#8212; and it didn’t matter what needed to be done, he’d do it for you.and#8221;
Dolley and wife also ran the family’s Bed and Breakfast with Joani and Ken Bretthauer.
and#8220;He was a very respected man, a very proud man,and#8221; said son Fred Dolley. and#8220;Incline was important to him, and he did do a lot.”
That respect was shown Wednesday night at the Incline Village General Improvement District Board of Trustees meeting, as board chair Ted Fuller followed the Pledge of Allegiance with a 5-second moment of silence in Dolley’s memory.
Dolley is survived by his wife, Ella Mae; daughters Cyndie, Debi and Sandie; his son, Fred; and grandchildren Jason, Jennifer, Chelsea, Becka, Britnee, Nick; and sister-in-law, Betty.
Services will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, July 11, 2009, at the Fire Station on Tanager Street in Incline Village. In lieu of flowers, an account will be set up for charitable contributions. Further information will be available in the memorial service program.
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