Tyler couple creates opportunities for TJC nursing students to succeed

Feb 07, 2017 by
The Gollobs

The Gollobs.

The facilities and programs of Tyler Junior College reflect the legacy of the many benefactors who have contributed to the institution since its founding.

Inside the new Robert M. Rogers Nursing & Health Sciences Center, a skills lab has been named in remembrance of community pillar Michael D. Gollob. The naming plate reads, “Generously gifted by LaVerne Gollob and family in memory and love of Michael D. Gollob.” The lab serves students pursuing an associate degree in nursing at TJC.

The lab drew the attention of a current nursing student recently. Jessica Hess worked as a therapist and had Gollob as a patient prior to the opening of the building. “I got a call from her last year,” said LaVerne Gollob. “She said, ’Oh, Mrs. Gollob, I was walking down the hall and I came to this lab and the sign on the outside said ‘In memory and love of Michael Gollob.’ You all did that in honor of our Mr. Mike?’ she asked. She was overcome. She had been his therapist for two years and now she is studying to be a nurse and utilizing the lab that was named in honor of ‘Mr. Mike.’”

Jessica would meet with patients participating in the Fit Steps program at Tyler’s First Christian Church. Most of the clients are cancer patients, but some – like Michael Gollob, suffering from Parkinson’s – are referred by doctors who feel their patients could be eased with physical therapy.

LaVerne Gollob has many fond memories of her late husband, and shares his joy in having established opportunities for others – such as a new scholarship for TJC nursing students, thanks to the Gollob Charitable Trust established in 1996.

“Scholarships are something that Mike wanted to do and felt were important. In 1996, he told me he wanted to set aside so much in his Will for several entities and his church,” Mrs. Gollob said. “He had a plan, something he wanted to do, so I knew he would be very proud of the TJC scholarship.”

The Gollobs met at the accounting firm where they both worked in 1975. “I was a widow of four years, raising three children. I was really busy with family and church, and Mike was a bachelor. In February, during the busy tax period, he called me in his office and wanted me to take some dictation,” Mrs. Gollob recalled. “After we got through, he said ‘I would like to take you out to dinner some night – but not until after April 15. I said ‘okay,’ but I didn’t really take him very seriously because Mike was really shy.” The couple dated until early July and married soon thereafter.

“The children (Lana, Teresa, Jeff and Aaron) and I thought Mike was ‘perfect’ and we have a saying: ‘Jesus first and Mike second.’ The kids adored him. We had a wonderful marriage.”

Not long after they married, Michael Gollob and two partners established what has become one of the most successful certified public accountant firms in East Texas, Gollob Morgan Peddy.

“He started the firm with seven staff members, and we had our first Christmas party at our home. This past December I went to the company Christmas party and we had probably 125 people there,” she said.

LaVerne Gollob is glad that her husband included TJC amongst entities to be served by the Gollob Charitable Trust, and she is thankful that the college continues to be guided by great leaders. “Dr. Metke and Donna are community leaders, and that says a lot about TJC. Michael admired the leadership at the college and the administration and staff there.”

She says that ongoing giving has brought blessings to her life and the lives of her family members. “Michael was very generous and gave to many non-profits, to the church, to anybody in need. We just felt like God had truly blessed us. And, you know, we never really missed it. Looking back over 36-plus years, you just don’t miss what you give.”

For information on planned giving opportunities for Tyler Junior College, please contact Mitch Andrews with the TJC Foundation at mand@tjc.edu or (903) 510-2034.

gollob room

A skills lab in the Robert M. Rogers Nursing & Health Sciences Center, named in memory of Michael D. Gollob.


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Community, On Campus, Winter 2017

About the author

Barbara King is the Director for Major Gifts and Special Incentives at Tyler Junior College.