Michael Damian Golla

Published 5:30 am Thursday, September 7, 2023

Michael Damian Golla, age 62, passed away on the evening of September 3, surrounded by his beloved family. Michael fought a valiant battle against cancer over the past 10 years, participating in numerous clinical trials at MD Anderson until his death. 

Michael is survived by his wife of 36 years, Julie Nester Golla, his four loving children, Andrew (24), William (22), Benjamin (19), and Samuel (17), his parents Chell Ann and Damian Golla, and his siblings Mary Miller, Julie Reinhart, Dan Golla, and their spouses. He also leaves behind aunts, uncles, and a host of extended family members.

Michael was born on August 6, 1961, in Corpus Christi, Texas. He was the first-born son of Damian Francis Golla and Chell Ann Montz Golla. Michael’s family relocated to New Martinsville, West Virginia when he started 9 th grade. He discovered his love for distance running while at Magnolia High School and went on to become a state qualifier during his senior year in 1979. He then attended West Virginia University, where he ran cross-country and graduated with honors in Mechanical Engineering. Michael went on to receive an MBA at The University of Tulsa.

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In 1985, Michael accepted a job with PPG Chemical in Lake Charles, La. It was chance meeting at a crab boil in Big Lake that Michael met Julie Nester, the Southern, Catholic girl he had always dreamed of! She was an outgoing spirit, countered by Michael’s steady demeanor. He was the anchor to her kite. Michael and Julie were married in 1987, at which point they quickly began building their professional careers. Michael’s job with Ucisco (now Praxair Services, Inc) took them to Baton Rouge, La. then to Tulsa, Ok. where they settled for 6 years. In 1996, Julie’s job brought them to Little Rock, Ar., before they relocated to Danbury, CT in 1997 where Michael put his newly earned MBA to work in Strategic Marketing at Praxair headquarters.

After 11 years of marriage, Michael and Julie were blessed with their first child, Andrew, followed by William, Benjamin, and Samuel. Over the next 5 years, Michael’s many professional pursuits took the growing family to Neenah, WI, Kingwood, Texas, Tulsa, Ok., and finally to Clear Lake in 2005, where they currently reside.

His philosophy as a father was nurturing each of his boys’ God-given talents and identifying which interests brought them the most joy, meaning, they tried every sport and activity under the sun! Ultimately, Michael’s passion for distance running prevailed among the brothers and kicked off a 10-year legacy of Golla runners at Clear Lake High School.

In his free time, Michael enjoyed playing golf, a pastime he shared with his own father since the age of 8. Additionally, he was a lifetime fan of the Dallas Cowboys, Houston Astros, and all things West Virginia University. Above all, he cherished time spent traveling with his family. He aimed to instill in his kids a greater appreciation for all our beautiful country has to offer. He especially enjoyed spending time outdoors, making it a point to go on a family hike at each destination.

Michael was the anchorman to his family, and will be remembered for his leadership, bravery, ambition, and dedication to his faith and community.

A funeral service will be held on Friday, September 8 th at St. Clare of Assisi Catholic Church, 3131 El Dorado Boulevard, Houston, Texas. A rosary will precede the Mass at 10 a.m., and the service will begin at 10:30 a.m. A reception will follow in the church hall.

In memory of Michael, contributions may be made to MD Anderson Cancer Center, P.O. Box 4486, Houston, Texas 77210-4486 or http://www.mdanderson.org/gifts with a notation that the donations are to be applied to Dr. Sumit Subudhi’s prostate cancer research in the Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology.