Cover photo for Thomas Leslie Dolan's Obituary
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1952 Thomas 2021

Thomas Leslie Dolan

September 15, 1952 — November 14, 2021

Dr. Thomas Leslie Dolan, of Billings, MT passed away after a long battle with health issues on Sunday, November 14, 2021, in Bozeman, MT. Tom was born on September 15, 1952, in Glasgow, MT to Oscar and Florence Dolan. He grew up in Great Falls and graduated from Great Falls High in 1970. He then went to Concordia College and graduated in 1974. Tom attended graduate school at Pacific University where he received his doctorate in optometry.



Tom met the love of his life Michele “Shelly” Velure, while working as an orderly at the University of Minnesota Hospital. They married in August of 1982. After the wedding, they moved to Forest Grove, OR for Tom to attend optometry school.



In 1986, they welcomed their first child, Jacob, into their family. After finishing optometry school, they moved to Mankato, MN where Tom took a job with Pearl Vision. While there, they welcomed their second child, Jennifer. Pearl Vision then relocated Tom and the family to Bozeman where they welcomed their third child Matthew. In 1990, Tom accepted a job working for Indian Health Services where he worked for the next 29 years while living in Billings. He worked in Lame Deer with the Crow Tribe and Northern Cheyenne Tribe. For many years he also worked weekends as an optometrist at the Walmart in Miles City. He loved the work he did and was well-liked by his patients for his calm demeanor. He was well known as a compassionate and caring optometrist and was once named optometrist of the year.



He loved shopping at Costco, collecting rocks for his garden, and watching sports (especially the Griz!). He adored his two grandchildren and was a doting grandfather. He always thought of others before himself. He had a dry sense of humor and loved conversing with people. His favorite place on earth was Lake Five, spending time at a family cabin. He passed his love for the cabin and the lake to his children and grandchildren. He loved sleeping on the porch, listening to the trains go by, relaxing on the deck under the trees, and enjoying huckleberries and cherries from the Flathead area.



Tom was preceded in death by his parents, Oscar and Florence Dolan. He is survived by his wife of 39 years, Shelly; his children, Jake (Kristina) Dolan of Bozeman; Jenny Dolan of Fredonia, AZ; and Matt (Rebecca) Dolan of Missoula; his grandchildren, Anna and Beckett Dolan of Bozeman; brothers Dr. Paul (Cindy) Dolan of Great Falls and Dr. Doug (Stacy) Dolan of Whitefish; and sister Kathy (Kent) Meyer of Kalispell; and several nieces and nephews.



In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions can be sent to Dialysis Clinic, Inc. in Billings, MT www.dciinc.org . The family would like to thank the doctors and nurses at Bozeman Deaconess for their kindness during Tom’s final days. The family would also like to thank his longstanding doctors, Dr. Rudolph and Dr. Ganz, at St. Vincent’s Healthcare in Billings.

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