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  1. My heart is breaking for you all…we are here if you need anything. Sending love and prayers for comfort and peace,
    The McNamara family

  2. On behalf of the First Flight High School Athletic Booster Club, please accept our sincere and heartfelt condolences on the loss of Tom. He was so dedicated to the Athletic Program at First Flight and was always willing to help in any way. You could find him cooking burgers and hot dogs on the grill at all the soccer games … he was a member of our Board and a friend … If you need anything at all, please let us know and we will be there. Again, we are so sorry … he was a great man!

  3. The community will certainly miss Thom and his generous spirit. We are saddened by his passing and pray for comfort for the family.

  4. So sorry to read about Thom’s passing. He was one of the very first people we got to know in1991 when we moved to Duck. We are grateful for his unique design perspective and his befriending us. Prayers of peace for his sweet wife and children.

  5. To Tom &Family Tom we go back to the beginning of Carolina Designs me and my 2 brothers and Sister I painted so many of your houses you were my best boss I ever had. You will always have a big part of my Heart ♥️ Go to Heaven and Relax now Love you! 💔😢

  6. I’m so very sorry to hear of Thom’s sudden passing. It was so great to have known him and be a part of the Carolina Designs family. He will be deeply missed. Sending my prayers and condolences to his family.

  7. This guy has been such a big part of my life and my family’s life for longer than I can remember. In one way or another, he touched every one of our lives. He was a brilliant architect and devoted father. Always on the cutting edge when it came to design. He was always loyal to the ones that were loyal to him. I will miss his larger than life presence and so will the OBX. He may be gone from this earthy life but he will never be forgotten! RIP my friend.

  8. To Yong & all in Thom’s family – my deepest condolences. Thom was one of the most interesting people I have met here in my 37 years living on the beach. In his obituary the mention of Mary brought to mind the many times I talked with Mary when I walked into Carolina Designs. And I remember always having interesting conversations whenever I bumped into Thom. I remember that he once told me that he had a BS in Theology and then we had a conversation about it. I did not know he was multi-lingual. Pretty amazing accomplishments. Thom left a very strong life imprint on the community of Duck & the Outer Banks. I will always remember him. Blessings to all in the family.

  9. Lexi ,I am so ,so sorry to hear of your loss.He seemed like he lived his life to the fullest extent.sad for you and your family,loving you grandma carol

  10. I’d say Thom was one-of-a-kind. I remember him as a client of our CPA firm back in the late eighties, early nineties as someone a bit more philosophical than most, and almost always with a smile on his face. For some reason I don’t remember his cars, but I do remember his beloved mother Mary drove a dream of a car. When I think of Thom, I think of Mary in a red Ferrari. To all who love and miss him, treasure your good memories, share them, and find your peace there together.
    Sandra Allen

  11. My deepest condolences to all who knew Mr. Holian. While not having ever met, I have been proud to be an employee at Carolina Designs and have enjoyed working with Pierce and Conell. My heart goes out to you guys and the all of your family and friends.

  12. So sorry to see this… Tom touched so many people with his caring love for everyone he encountered…he treated everyone with equal respect . This world could use a billion more just like him…my heart felt sympathy for Yong and the children and family…there are no words 😘

  13. I’m so sorry to hear of Thom’s passing. He was a wonderful, generous, and thoughtful man. I was lucky enough to know him through being Suki’s and Conell’s teacher. He was a great supporter of education and will be missed. Sending love to Yong, Suki, Conell and the rest of Thom’s family.

  14. I am heart broken to hear of Thom’s passing even though I have not seen him since 1987. He literally saved my life then. I know I am not the only one whose life he impacted. He was an incredible man whose generosity will never be forgotten. Heartfelt condolences to all of his family.

  15. Thom was so kind to me when Conell was in my fifth grade class. He and his wife encouraged me in my cancer fight and also donated books and other materials to the students in my classroom. His kindness and generosity have not been forgotten. My condolences to the family, especially Conell and Suki who I remember so well from fifth grade.

  16. Thom Holian, the handsome young man with the New Jersey accent and Irish smile on his face designed and built our house in Duck 37 years ago. It was one of Thom and John’s first ventures and ours. We spent many hours going over blueprints. The Snow Goose still stands with every single cedar shake in place despite decades of salt spray, hurricanes and pounding nor’easters.
    Thom built his personality into the Snow Goose: warm, friendly and able to withstand whatever comes its way with, we believe, a smile.
    He will be missed.
    Our deepest sympathies to his family.

    Jordan and Mary Therese Clark
    Rockville MD and Duck.

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Thomas Gerard Holian

May 17, 2022

The family of Thomas Gerard Holian is saddened to announce his sudden passing on May 17, 2022 at his home in Duck. He was 70 years old.

Those who knew Thom will tell you that he was larger than life, a giant of a man who shaped the world around him with his vision, generosity, and humor.

Born in Jersey City, New Jersey, Thom had a lifelong love of learning. He received a Bachelor’s degree in Theology and Religion from Saint Peter’s University and a second Bachelor’s degree in Architecture from Pratt Institute. He grew up surfing at Rockaway Beach and later moved to Hawaii, where he could often be found catching waves at Waimea Bay and Sunset Beach.

An accomplished architect, Thom designed and built hundreds of homes on the Outer Banks after moving to the area in his 20s. He started Carolina Designs with the Thibodeau family, and he was devoted to making the business more than a vacation rental company but a wonderful place for families to work and visit. His mother Mary was the first face anyone saw when walking through the front door.

Thom’s free time during his early years on the Outer Banks was spent sailing his catamaran and driving beloved sports cars like his ‘81 Porsche 911 Targa and ‘63 Corvette convertible. He pored through books on ancient history and art and loved to travel to places such as Egypt, France, and Tahiti. He spoke five languages, including Korean, which he learned just to impress his future wife Un Yong.

Thom was a cancer survivor who defied the odds time and time again. During his first bout with kidney cancer in 2004, he was told by doctors that he had just years to live. His reaction wasn’t acceptance but an outright refusal to die. With five children to think of, he began biking up to 60 miles per day to save his health, and connected himself with the most talented doctors and specialists in the country.

Just months after an experimental surgery, he was in remission, and he would go on to battle and defeat cancer four more times. He took a similar approach with any health problem over the years ¬– to the point where his family started to think he was invincible because his will was so strong.

Thom’s magnificent home in Duck was years in the making. He saw it in its entirety in his mind’s eye and brought it to life with his own hands, greatly influenced by Greek, Roman, and Egyptian architecture. A glass bridge, two sphinx statues framing an underground pool, and a suspended dining room table were just a few of features he conceived for the one-of-a-kind home.

He loved to tell family and friends about the environmentally conscious design that considered the sun and the wind and everything that made the Outer Banks the place he called home.

Later in life, Thom devoted himself to his family and the community. He was a dedicated member of the First Flight High School Athletic Booster Club and went above and beyond to help friends in need. He treasured time with his children and was always looking to make them smile with a gift or a well-conceived prank.

Thom celebrated each day with a glass of cava. He would often sit on the back porch after cooking with his family and watch his three dogs play in the golden light, framed by towering columns and beautiful greenery in the place he loved most.

Thom is survived by his wife Un Yong; his five children Marshall, Alexi, Pierce, Conell, and Suki; his sister Peggy; his brother John; and many nieces, cousins, and loving family members.

A celebration of Thom’s life will be held at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head at 3 pm on Friday, June 3. Flowers can be delivered directly to the venue. Please visit www.gallopfuneralservices.com to share sympathies with the family and check for service details. Gallop Funeral Services, Inc. was entrusted with arrangements.

Condolences

Lynn McNamara

My heart is breaking for you all...we are here if you need anything. Sending love and prayers for comfort and peace, The McNamara family

Jean Freeman

On behalf of the First Flight High School Athletic Booster Club, please accept our sincere and heartfelt condolences on the loss of Tom. He was so dedicated to the Athletic Program at First Flight and was always willing to help in any way. You could find him cooking burgers and hot dogs on the grill at all the soccer games ... he was a member of our Board and a friend ... If you need anything at all, please let us know and we will be there. Again, we are so sorry ... he was a great man!

Amy, George and Trent Powell

The community will certainly miss Thom and his generous spirit. We are saddened by his passing and pray for comfort for the family.

Kay-Butler Barefoot

So sorry to read about Thom's passing. He was one of the very first people we got to know in1991 when we moved to Duck. We are grateful for his unique design perspective and his befriending us. Prayers of peace for his sweet wife and children.

Stacey Blake

Heartbreaking to hear!! Thinking of you all…. Sending love & prayers ❤️

Clarissa Vance

To Tom &Family Tom we go back to the beginning of Carolina Designs me and my 2 brothers and Sister I painted so many of your houses you were my best boss I ever had. You will always have a big part of my Heart ♥️ Go to Heaven and Relax now Love you! 💔😢

Heather Stough

I’m so very sorry to hear of Thom’s sudden passing. It was so great to have known him and be a part of the Carolina Designs family. He will be deeply missed. Sending my prayers and condolences to his family.

Susan McClanahan

This guy has been such a big part of my life and my family's life for longer than I can remember. In one way or another, he touched every one of our lives. He was a brilliant architect and devoted father. Always on the cutting edge when it came to design. He was always loyal to the ones that were loyal to him. I will miss his larger than life presence and so will the OBX. He may be gone from this earthy life but he will never be forgotten! RIP my friend.

John Leatherwood

To Yong & all in Thom's family - my deepest condolences. Thom was one of the most interesting people I have met here in my 37 years living on the beach. In his obituary the mention of Mary brought to mind the many times I talked with Mary when I walked into Carolina Designs. And I remember always having interesting conversations whenever I bumped into Thom. I remember that he once told me that he had a BS in Theology and then we had a conversation about it. I did not know he was multi-lingual. Pretty amazing accomplishments. Thom left a very strong life imprint on the community of Duck & the Outer Banks. I will always remember him. Blessings to all in the family.

Carol schlaker

Lexi ,I am so ,so sorry to hear of your loss.He seemed like he lived his life to the fullest extent.sad for you and your family,loving you grandma carol

Sandra Allen

I’d say Thom was one-of-a-kind. I remember him as a client of our CPA firm back in the late eighties, early nineties as someone a bit more philosophical than most, and almost always with a smile on his face. For some reason I don’t remember his cars, but I do remember his beloved mother Mary drove a dream of a car. When I think of Thom, I think of Mary in a red Ferrari. To all who love and miss him, treasure your good memories, share them, and find your peace there together. Sandra Allen

desiree sinclair

May you Rest In Peace.

Matt Koenig

My deepest condolences to all who knew Mr. Holian. While not having ever met, I have been proud to be an employee at Carolina Designs and have enjoyed working with Pierce and Conell. My heart goes out to you guys and the all of your family and friends.

Rose Grandy

So sorry to see this… Tom touched so many people with his caring love for everyone he encountered…he treated everyone with equal respect . This world could use a billion more just like him…my heart felt sympathy for Yong and the children and family…there are no words 😘

Chuck and Pat Heath

Our thoughts and prayers are with you. We were honored to have known Tom!

Kathy Robinson

I'm so sorry to hear of Thom's passing. He was a wonderful, generous, and thoughtful man. I was lucky enough to know him through being Suki's and Conell's teacher. He was a great supporter of education and will be missed. Sending love to Yong, Suki, Conell and the rest of Thom's family.

Gina Wiggins

I am heart broken to hear of Thom's passing even though I have not seen him since 1987. He literally saved my life then. I know I am not the only one whose life he impacted. He was an incredible man whose generosity will never be forgotten. Heartfelt condolences to all of his family.

Sharon Davis

Thom was so kind to me when Conell was in my fifth grade class. He and his wife encouraged me in my cancer fight and also donated books and other materials to the students in my classroom. His kindness and generosity have not been forgotten. My condolences to the family, especially Conell and Suki who I remember so well from fifth grade.

Ray McCullen

Prayers for family.Thom was one of a kind enjoyed working for him.

Jordan and Mary Therese Clark

Thom Holian, the handsome young man with the New Jersey accent and Irish smile on his face designed and built our house in Duck 37 years ago. It was one of Thom and John's first ventures and ours. We spent many hours going over blueprints. The Snow Goose still stands with every single cedar shake in place despite decades of salt spray, hurricanes and pounding nor'easters. Thom built his personality into the Snow Goose: warm, friendly and able to withstand whatever comes its way with, we believe, a smile. He will be missed. Our deepest sympathies to his family. Jordan and Mary Therese Clark Rockville MD and Duck.

Pat Taylor

I am very sorry to hear of Thom’s passing and am keeping all of you in my prayers.