Thomas Simms Raley | Obituary
Retired Lt. Col. Thomas Simms Raley, (81), of Fulshear, Texas, passed away peacefully on September 20, 2021 from a stroke.
Tom was born on May 12, 1940 to his parents Cullen T. and Elna (Peggy) Raley in Tulsa, Oklahoma. After his father’s placement in Lawton, Oklahoma as the Oklahoma Highway Patroller, Tom graduated from Lawton High School in 1958, where he set the state record for the long jump. He placed first in the final of the United States National Amateur Athletic Union Junior Olympics. In addition, he won the Outstanding Athletics and Academics Award, as well as his Eagle Scout Award in the same year. Although he was given a date at West Point, Tom decided to follow his father’s wishes and accepted a full athletic scholarship in track and field and football at the University of Oklahoma. There, he received his bachelor’s degree in business administration in 1962, then received his master’s degree in business administration from the University of Colorado in 1972.
After graduating from the OU, he commanded in the military where he made two tours of Vietnam, a tour of Korea and a tour of Germany. His tours have earned him several awards, including three Bronze Stars for his heroic actions and commandments in a combat environment and the Legion of Merit for his subsequent accomplishments in the Pentagon, which equates to a saving of eight billion dollars of taxpayers in 1982. After 20 years of service, Tom’s military career came to an honorable end, retiring as lieutenant colonel in October 1982.
Upon retirement from the military, he entered the corporate world as vice president of marketing for a tactical night vision company, giving him the opportunity to travel the world. He then worked for Merrill Lynch as a financial advisor and retired in 2006. Tom’s love of life and competitive nature were seen in everything he set out to accomplish, including the fishing, training and golf. Winning several golf tournaments in Oklahoma, Texas, Arizona, Florida and Washington DC, one of those accomplishments was a 130 yard hole in one in 2010. His hobbies included watching / trading daily on the stock market, teaching math and dance to her granddaughter and dancing with her greatest dance partner and beloved wife, Linda.
Tom got married in December 1962 and has a child. He then met the love of his life, Linda R. Raley at his 45th high school reunion and married in June 2006. Soon after he became known as “TaTom” by his family. acquired, in particular his granddaughter, Karsen.
He is survived by his wife, Linda (LaLa), his sister, Patricia Raley Welch, his sister-in-law, Delora Sanford, his brothers-in-law Ron Yoder (Sherrill), Darwin Yoder, bonus children Kristi R Council and Chip Rice (Stephanie), grandchildren, Radd Rotello (Tawny), Karsen Council, Dillon Rice, Griffin Rice (Kelli), Will Rice and great grandchildren Liam and Ava Rotello. He is also survived by his nieces Kim Hudson Brown, Laural Bodin (Tyler), Ginger Welch and several other nieces, great-nieces, nephews and close friends who will be dearly missed. Tom is predeceased by his father, Cullen Raley, his mother, Peggy Raley, his brothers-in-law, George Sanford and Dale Welch, and his sister-in-law, Marsha Mattson.
Although Tom is a highly decorated officer, he often said, “I am just a private soldier who loves my country and my family. Tom, you will be missed beyond measure.
A memorial service, with full military honors, will be held at 11:00 am on October 16, 2021 at the Davis-Greenlawn Chapel and Funeral Home, 3900 BF Terry Blvd, Rosenberg, Texas 77471. A Celebration of Life will follow at the Italian Restaurant Lomonte, 815 Plantation Drive # 180, Richmond, Texas 77406.
In lieu of flowers, please consider donating on behalf of Thomas S. Raley to the Gary Sinise Foundation, in honor of our advocates, veterans, first responders and their families, garysinisefoundation.org.
We would like to express special gratitude to Loretta, Delora (Babe) Sanford, Kim Hudson Brown and Adriana Otalora-Acosta for their tireless, caring and endless support throughout this difficult time. We would also like to thank Susan Wells and Tom and Emily Wells for their advice, support and patience over the past few months. A very special place in our hearts for Loretta, for introducing Tom and Linda, and especially Sharon and Bill Stamps for Oklahoma’s many OU games, golf tournaments and weekends, we will always cherish these fond memories. You all helped make it bearable by allowing Tom’s family and Tom to prepare for his transition to Heaven.
Tributes and words of condolence can be left for the family at www.davisgreenlawnfh.com.
Arrangements are under the direction of Davis-Greenlawn Funeral Home, 3900 BF Terry Blvd., Rosenberg, Texas 77471, Phone: 281-341-8800.