If you have ever driven by the St. Francis Outreach building, you may have noticed its official name, “The Alice & Al Tamol Center.”  Rededicated to their honor on April 5, 2008, the building stands as a testament to the dedication and legacy of this loving couple, who was the heart and soul of Outreach for over 16 years.

The Tamols moved from Buffalo, NY, to Grapevine, TX, in the late 1970s, when Al retired. They became parishioners of St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church.

Alice grew up during the Great Depression, and she remembered very hard times as one of nine children and a blind father. “She would tell us how she didn’t even have her own tooth brush, but had to share with her family. At some point she was given her own tooth brush by the St.Vincent de Paul Society and she never forgot this experience and how grateful she was,” remembered Carol Brown, a long-time friend of the Tamols. “’People aren’t poor, they are in need,’”  Alice would say and she looked forward to the day when she could help others.”

In 1986, Alice had the opportunity to realize her dream at St. Francis with the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store (now known as St. Francis Outreach), where they generously and tirelessly served until 2002. During this time, the Tamols received many volunteerism awards for their dedication, including the “Dorothy Day Award” from the Fort Worth Diocese.

“Alice was such an angel. She was like Mother Theresa,” recalled Carol Formes, another friend of the couple. “She had a calling to this ministry and they never took money for the assistance they gave others. It was their life and their joy to help people in any way that they could.”

This story was originally published in March 2016 Edition of The St. Francis Grapevine, our parish newsletter.