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Nikolai, Thomas Joseph, age 56, Tom departed this life much too soon on May 7, 2017, leaving behind a huge hole in the Dayton business community, the University of Dayton, Alter High School, and Incarnation Parish communities as well as in the lives of the many people who were privileged to call Tom a friend. But the largest hole he leaves is in his beloved and adoring family: high school sweetheart, loving wife of 33 years, and closest, dearest friend, Carol and their children: Grace, 25; Alex, 22; Joe, 20; and Claire, 18. Tom was a disciplined but fun-loving father who always put family first and, despite his many commitments and love for the game of golf, was either coaching or cheering at nearly every golf match, tennis match, baseball game, or other activity his kids were in. For years, the Nikolai family could often be seen at twilight walking Moraine Country Club, playing together as a six-some. Tom was born in 1960 in San Jose, California to Jerome and Mary Ann (Schmitz) Nikolai. He graduated Alter High School in 1978 and University of Dayton in 1982. For 30 years, he was a proud partner in Mark Fornes Realty. Tom served on many boards, including Alter High School, Dayton Development Coalition, County Corp, The Dayton Foundation, and Womanline. Tom was past President of the Dayton Chapter of NAIOP, a member of the National Association of Realtors, and the Dayton Area Board of Realtors. Tom gave the gift of life through tissue donation. In addition to his immediate family, Tom is survived by three siblings and their spouses: Teri and Jack Wilson, Tim and Kathryn Nikolai, and Ted and Michele Nikolai; sister-in-law Wendy Nikolai and sisters- and brothers-in-law Susan and Mike Fitzgerald, Marilyn and Ted Thieman, Ed Hoying and Linda Grossl, Chris and Doug Sieg, and Vicki and Karl Kroger and numerous nieces and nephews. Tom was preceded in death by his parents and younger brother, Todd Nikolai. Visitation will be on Thursday, May 11, 2017 from 4 to 8 p.m. at Tobias Funeral Home, Far Hills Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Church of the Incarnation, 7415 Far Hills Avenue, Centerville, Ohio 45459 on Friday, May 12, 2017 at 11 a.m. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to The Tom Nikolai Memorial Scholarship Fund in care of Archbishop Alter High School, 940 E. David Road, Kettering, Ohio 45429. Condolences may be made at