Mass of Christian Burial honoring Thomas Louis Elias will be held 12 PM Tuesday, June 28 at the St. Bernard of Clairvaux Catholic Church. Interment will follow at Ft. Gibson National Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 4-6 PM Monday in the Rivercrest Chapel of Bixby-South Tulsa Funeral Service. The rosary will begin at 6 PM. Tom passed away Monday morning, June 20, 2022 at his Tulsa residence. He was 85 years old.
Following the committal at Ft. Gibson National Cemetery, the Elias family would like to extend everyone a warm welcome to their residence in south Tulsa for a reception.
Born December 3, 1936 in Detroit, Michigan, Tom was the son of Louis and Margaret (Fitzgerald) Elias. He was a “movie buff” from an early age, always riding his bicycle or taking the bus to the theatres to see the latest films. While in high school, Tom was employed by the Fox Theatre as an usher. He was also a star fullback for Western High School, graduating with the Class of 1954. Tom played at the collegiate level for Michigan State University.
Following high school and college, Tom enlisted with the United States Marine Corps. He completed his training at Camp Pendleton and served as a radio operator, primarily stationed in the Philippines. Tom pursued a very successful career with American National Life Insurance Company. He served as an agent and staff manager while living in Whittier, California. Tom was eventually promoted to Regional Director, which moved his family to Tulsa in 1976. He traveled the world to Lucerne, Hong Kong, Rio De Janeiro, Sydney, Paris, Copenhagen, Madrid, Banff, Acapulco, as well as numerous cruises to the Caribbean and Alaska. Tom retired December 28, 1992 following a 33-year tenure with the company.
A wonderful father to his eight children, they would describe Tom as easy going, fun to be around, and always caring for his family. Tom met Paulette while visiting the pool at the Wimbledon Place Apartments. They had lunch together the very next day and discovered it to be love at first sight. Tom and Paulette were married August 7, 1999.
Tom enjoyed working out at the gym and jogging in the park everyday throughout his entire lifetime. Always in impeccable physical shape, he won his class in the weight-lifting division of the Senior Olympics at the age of 59. Tom was kind-hearted towards all people and had a special place in his heart for all the animals in the world as well. He will be forever remembered in the hearts of all who loved him.
Surviving family members include his wife, Paulette; his children, Tom Elias (Susan), Jeff Elias (Donna), John Elias (Kristy), Steve Elias (Courtney), Robert Elias (Kim), Nicole Forsberg, Brian Elias (Lee), and Jennifer Secrest (David); 20 grandchildren, and 10 great grandchildren; one brother, Louis Elias Jr. (Dena) and his sister, Ginny Seneski (Joe).
Tom was preceded in death by his parents; and one brother, George Elias.