ForeverMissed
This memorial website was created in memory of our loved one, Thomas Fawole.
We will remember him forever.


I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying.
Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die.
John 11:25-26
Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will hardship, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
Romans 8:35, 37- 39 
Posted by Tunde Oyekanmi on April 3, 2021
Brother Gbenga, when I spoke with you a little over two years ago when we lost my friend and brother,I thought we were going to see soon but that wasn't meant to be.
You were an extremely patient, compassionate and down to earth individual. I recall your kindness to us all,your gentle smile,kindness and love for all. You will forever be remembered for your good deeds.
I pray almighty God will keep your wife,the children,your brothers and sisters and the entire Fawole family.
May the lord grant the repose of your soul Good night sir,EMPEE
Posted by Funlola Fawole on April 2, 2021
By Funke Fawole

Tears can not describe the deep sorrow in my heart, but I continue to remember and cherish the love, care, dedication, understanding , kindness and encouragement that he showed me. He was never discouraged. He lived a disciplined and exemplary life. He was a transparent man with a big heart. Adieu my beloved Gbenga, my friend and loving husband. Despite the distance we.remained one. I will miss you dearly. However, I am comforted by the grace of God on your life, which enabled you to live the Christian values you professed. Philippians 4:8 'whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praise worthy, think about such things.." I also give glory to God that you have left for your children a legacy to be happy and proud of ‐not measured in material wealth but rather in sterling qualities of character. A name without blemish throughout your life. It is my prayer that God grants us the grace to keep the fire of such life filled with love and light aglow in your sweet and cherished memory. Continue to enjoy your rest in the blossom of the Lord until we meet to part no more. Sun re o Iyanda. 
Posted by Funlola Fawole on April 2, 2021
By Seun Fawole


My dad was a great dad. He was a very good and responsible man. He always wanted the best for his family members. He was intelligent, a caring and careful dad, always wanted things to be done the right way. He was very content and satisfied with whatever he had. He was very courageous even at critical periods and he loved helping people if it is within his power. He gave good advice on different issues. A great and wonderful mentor to me. His death is a big blow. I miss him but I know God will see us through. Rest in perfect peace daddy.
Posted by Toye Fawole on April 1, 2021
Great Loss

By Bisi Tijjani

This is a great loss as life is supposed to begin at 60 for the children of GOD.
But issues about life and living do defy our personal wishes and expectations in so many circumstances.

We therefore pray that THE GREAT LORD JEHOVAH BLESS our late brother with eternal space of heavenly rest in The Bosom of Our Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN
Please accept my condolences.
May THE GOOD LORD GRANT you and all members of the family the fortitude to bear the loss, InThis is a great loss as life is supposed to begin at 60 for the children of GOD
But issues about life and living do defy our personal wishes and expectations in so many circumstances.
We therefore pray that THE GREAT LORD JEHOVAH BLESS our late brother with eternal space of heavenly rest in the bosom of our Lord Jesus Christ, AMEN

Please accept my condolences.
May THE GOOD LORD GRANT all members of the family the fortitude to bear the loss in the name of Jesus Christ. AMEN

Bisi Tijjani
Posted by Akinola Fawole on March 31, 2021
May the Almighty God, through our LORD Jesus Christ console the entire family  at this time of bereavement. God bless you all . Amen
Matthew 6:33. Be comforted

New Jersey
Posted by Anthony Olorunnisola on March 31, 2021
Bros Gbenga, I met you only once in your lifetime, at your home in Ibadan. I visited in the company of your brother Toye Fawole (Cosmos). Ahead of our arrival, your brother shared stories of growing up with you. It was abundantly clear to me that he respected and adored you. You were his prince in shining armor.

You received me into your home with kindness. You sat with us for several minutes to converse with us about a project that you were working on at the time. The light in your face as you shared was as bright as that of pride that adorned Toye's.

Because I know how much you meant to my dear friend Toye and to the family, I pray that God should receive you to His bossom and grant you eternal rest. May He grant the family the fortitude with which to bear your departure.

May He bless and keep every member of your immediate and extended family ... be gracious unto them ... and in your absence make provisions for all ... grant them that divine peace that surpasses all human understanding.

More importantly, may God grant our prayer for the cessation of early departures among members of the Fawole family. May each of your survivors live long enough to fulfill their God assigned days in the land of the living, aaaamen.
Posted by Toye Fawole on March 31, 2021
TRIBUTES TO THOMAS ADEOYE OLUGBEMIGA FAWOLE

By Haroun O. Yussuff

Our late brother and friend, late Thomas Adeoye Olugbemiga Fawole, lived a fulfilled life because he impacted positively, not only on his immediate family/siblings' lives but on those of Nigerians in general, irrespective of where they came from.

As a genre in his chosen career, he manifested the attributes to our admiration. Besides, he became one of the best egg-heads in our clime, Nigeria.

May Allah Subha'ana Wata' ala (SWT) accept him in His Bosom. Amen. May He give us the fortitude to bear this monumental and irreplaceable loss. Amen.

Adieu! Farewell !! Sun re oo!!!

Haroun Opotu Yussuff (a.k.a Harry Hopkins),
Okene, Kogi State.
Posted by Folake Adegbola on March 30, 2021
From reading all above tributes I am rest assured that his Spirit will arise unto joyful activities in the gardens of the blessed eternal ones in Paradise.
I did not meet him but was very moved by the tribute of his brother Toye Fawole, my classmate.
It is well and it will always be well with the whole family. May the Lord in his infinite mercy guide and protect you all Always.
Posted by Toye Oladele on March 30, 2021
Good nite uncle my mum first son , on behalf of Oladele family where your Sister marry from on behalf of my family I say Good nite on behalf of My name sake your direct brother the mourner who I am named after I say Good nite on behalf of my immediate family uncle good nie
Posted by Abidemi Kola-suarau on March 30, 2021
Though I didn't know him, his brother, Toye Fawole's account of their growing up years and his big brother roles he played makes me to understand and feel the deep loss of his loved ones. The knowledge that this separation is only for a while is a comfort I hope all of you embrace. Sleep well Empee as you're fondly known.
Posted by Kayode Oyebola Christiana on March 30, 2021
ADIEU, TOYE'S BIG BROTHER AND MENTOR

Oh! What a testimony that made tears dropped from my eyes each time I read it. You will be ever missed by many. You lived a life worthy of emulation. You helped the helpless ,you gave hope to the hopeless and you made life meaningful to others . May the good Lord grant you eternal rest. May He keep safe your family, siblings, extended family and friends in Jesus' name.I pray that the people that you left behind will live much more enviable life than you lived.
Adieu Toye's big brother and mentor.
Adieu! Adieu!! Adieu!!!
Posted by Toye Fawole on March 30, 2021
Already in Love with Him!

By Michael Adande

Indeed, I have fallen in love with him because of the accounts about him. May God's Light shine on him and grant him the joy of the Lord in all eternity.

Sunre o, Empee
Posted by Toye Fawole on March 30, 2021
Touching Account

By Akpo Esajere

The account of his life is touching. Please accept my condolences. It
is well with the entire family
Posted by Toye Fawole on March 30, 2021
His Gentle and Solemn Mien

By Segun Adeleke

I sincerely commiserate with the family on demise of your eldest brother that I have known over the years.

Your testimony of his gentle and solemn mien is not contestible. May his gentle soul rest in the perfect peace of our Lord Jesus the Christ . Amen .
Posted by Toye Fawole on March 30, 2021
Noble Nigerian

Rest on dear Noble Nigerian.
Up ICY (Igbobi College, Yaba)

Mark Akinkugbe Benson
Posted by Toye Fawole on March 30, 2021
Rest on, my Senior at Igbobi

By Oye Aderemi

Waoh.!!!.May his soul rest well in the everlasting arms of our Lord Jesus Christ in peace. My Senior at Aggrey house, Igbobi College. A very reserved and good natured individual. My condolences to friends, and family members. !!!

Oye Aderemi
Posted by Toye Fawole on March 30, 2021
*Ọmọ Yorùbá - Sún rere ò.*

By Rev'd Prebendary Dr. Bunmi Fagbemi (Empee's Bestman)

Death is ever such an awkward business.
It becomes doubly so when you have to talk about someone with whom you have shared a good chunk of your formative years.
Along with some 90 other boys, Thomas Olúgbémiga Fáwọlé was admitted to Igbóbì College, Yába, Lagos, in 1969.
It was my good fortune, as one of those other boys, to get to know the gentle icon we mourn today.
He talked quietly and walked quietly - not as an affectation. Emperor, as we got to call him, was a genuine cast of the meek of the earth.
He was genuinely content with who he was. He could have been brash about all his natural gifts and talents, but he was not. He could have affected and been pretentious about others that suited his natural grace and charm with people, but he did not.

Gbẹ́nga was content with just who he was - no more, no less. He was the proud owner of everything that can't be bought.

Gbẹ́nga was Library Prefect when we were in Upper Six at School. It was, undeniably, one of the great offices of Igbóbì College. A position of trust that came with its room.
I dare say, it was a space that suited his quiet and welcoming disposition. His office and room could have been platforms to display a regal personality, to hold court. But that was not Emperor. He did not hold court.
Instead, in the spirit of actual librarians, he used them to assist people in getting along in our everyday learning tasks. It allowed Emperor to earn a place of respect in the school community.

I was one of those he helped with their studies. A debt, which, alas, I could never repay. Not that he needed or wanted to be compensated. He was naturally generous and a font of wisdom about life.
Because we both lived in Ibadan, which in the 1970s was some 3-4 hours drive from School, where we were boarders, we naturally spent time together during the holidays. We got to know each other's families pretty well. I will always recall the affection with which my family held him. Their joyful ring of 'Empee!' when he was about was repaid with the ease with which he engaged with them. Gbẹ́nga taught me much about caring for my siblings. He was precious about his siblings. (I trust Toye will ever remind the wider family of that excellent quality that Emperor showed to all of us).
He knew how to bring people together.
It didn't take my family long to rank Emperor as 'one of us' - a fact my parents made clear when they decided to attend his wedding in Oyo, against medical advice not to drive.
Well, the moniker 'ọmọ wa ni' was to turn to 'Ọmọ Yorùbá ' when we responded to the call to serve in the National Youth Service.
That was in 1979, and Nigeria was a much more immense space than it is now. It was not an easy terrain to travel across. And it was a time much closer to the traumas of the civil war.
I was in Owerri, one of the major theatres of that conflict. Emperor was assigned to Calabar - the sheltered port city of gunboats, smartly dressed naval officers, fine women and good food. Not that those allurements mattered to him. Or to another classmate of ours with whom they shared a deployment at the Ministry of Justice - but I digress. It was a joy to visit Gbẹ́nga at his post. Life in Calabar, not I hasten to add Calabar women, domesticated the pair of them.
However, what was more defining of that year-long stint beyond the river Niger was that the three of us experienced what it was to be the 'other.' We learnt to remind ourselves that we were 'Ọmọ Yorùbás' - that we were 'abroad.'
For Emperor and I, that experience was to be deepened by life in the diaspora.
Over the last ten years, we got more opportunities to catch up with each other - across the pond, as the Brits call it.
It was a thrill to become reacquainted with his blindingly brilliant mind. It was a joy to be reminded of his intellect. He had an excellent grasp of the law and mastery of the English language. He was cautious with words and blessed with admirable writing skills.
As a law lecturer, you could count on Emperor to get to the heart of complex legal issues with startling clarity. His essays were always crisp and clear. I still rejoice at the excellence of his dissertation for the Master of Laws from the University of Ifè. I hope it is published, in his memory, someday.
Our last communication, days before his death, will always remind me of lines in Amos Tútùọ́lá's *The Palm-Wine Drinkard* (_PS: Emperor was one of those non-infuriating teetotalers_). It was a conversation in which we reflected on the fragility of life. However, whatever fear Emperor had, was not a fear that could steal away his heart, his true self.
Emperor had long discovered himself. He had owned his true self a long time ago.
He was the meek owner of everything that couldn't be bought.
Sùn re ò - Ọmọ Yorùbá.
A ó pàdé l'ẹ́sẹ̀ Jésù.

The Rev'd Prebendary Dr Bùnmi Fágbèmí
London,
Tuesday 23rd March 2021
Posted by Funlola Fawole on March 29, 2021
Daddy was always in good spirit in spite of all. A man full of wisdom and integrity, very courageous, humble and responsible. Thank you for living an exemplary life worthy of emulation.
Posted by Tajudeen Fawole on March 27, 2021
A perfect gentleman has departed this sinful world. Thomas Adeoye Olugbenga Fawole, an illustrious son of the Fawole clan of Odeomu, has gone to be with his Maker. May my big brother and mentor rest in peace. Brother Gbenga, as I affectionately called him, has been a role model ever since I was old enough to know him in 1967. At the time, I thought he and, of course, his younger brothers (Toye and Bukky) were my siblings because of the special affection my father, Late Alhaji Yesufu Fawole, and my mother, Alhaja Moriamo Fawole, had for him when we were both growing up in Odeomu and Ogudu village in the 1960s. It was only in late 1967 when my uncle, his father, late Honorable Justice Jones Fawole, returned home from England, and Thomas relocated to Lagos with him that I realized he was my first cousin. Even after relocating to Lagos, he remained very involved in my life because he was such a great role model that my parents constantly reminded me to behave like him. He was brilliant and quiet. I still remember his visits back to Odeomu for holidays to visit my father and his cousins. He was always neat, well dressed, soft- spoken, and articulate. His progress through Igbobi College and later the University of Ife where he eventually graduated with LLB in 1979 was very smooth. This would be attested to by his peers. Growing up, I looked up to him and wanted to do everything his way. I even considered pursuing law just because he was a lawyer, although I ended up with medicine. I had the opportunity of being close to him again back in Ife. He was in the final months of his LLM degree in 1981 when I got to the University of Ife to begin my medical education. I remember his wise counsel about university life was an immense help when it came to navigating University. We both relocated to the US in the late nineties and became very close again. Living together in the same apartment in Brooklyn while we were still expecting our respective families was a time I will forever cherish. He was a big brother and confidant during those cold and lonely months. Even after I relocated to Minnesota, we remained very close until his death. The entire Fawole family will miss him dearly. We are comforted knowing that he lived a fulfilled and impactful life. I pray that the Almighty Father will uphold his wife, auntie Funke, and the children – Funmilola, Adetola, and Seun.
Posted by Tunde Olagbaiye on March 27, 2021
A special tribute to my friend and brother, the ever smiling Gbenga Fawole (a.k.a. "Empee" derived from "Emperor"). In a few words, he was a complete unassuming and amiable gentleman. Never a dull moment wherever he was. His smile knocked the bite out of terrible situations for us his friends. He was a soothing gift to all who knew him. Up until 2 weeks before his passing we were still chatting jokes via whatsapp and laughing together after he survived a sudden illness. I thought the worst was over, but little did i know he was bidding me farewell. It hurts deeply, but we submit to the will of God. May God rest his beautiful soul and comfort his wife, children and larger family. Adieu brother.
Posted by Olufunke Abejide Fawole on March 26, 2021
Uncle Gbenga, Your death came as a rude shock to me. It is difficult to assimilate the fact that you are no more. You were a wonderful human being who would not hurt anyone. You never bothered anyone, and you never made anyone uncomfortable. We spoke few days before you passed on to Glory. You told me you would be seeing your Primary Physician that week. You even encouraged me as I was also challenged. Uncle Gbenga I will personally miss you. I will miss our periodic long phone conversations. I will miss your best wishes on Christmas day, on Thanksgiving, New Year, Mother's day and Father's day. I will miss your calls on my birthday also. It is really hard to say good bye, but God giveth, and God taketh. May your beautiful soul continue to rest in perfect peace.
Dr (Mrs) Olufunke Abejide Fawole
Posted by Adelupo Aderemi on March 26, 2021
I met Gbenga Fawole in 1974 or 1975 at the University of Ife. I am not quite sure now whether we started together in September 1974 or he joined us in 1975 as a direct entry student after his "A' levels" at Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos.

I got to know through the other Igbobi boys that Gbenga's nickname in school was "Empy" shortened Form of EMPEROR. So I called him "Empy"

'Gbenga was very humorous. He spoke in such a low voice, a whisper. You have to listen intently or are close enough to hear Gbenga speak. He was very quiet, easygoing and unobstructive. He always had this wry smile on his face. He would drop a humorous statement and keep a straight face so no one would know the source of the joke.

I remembered him also as an outstanding scholar. He was very serious and not into our rowdy social circle of those says at Ife. You will not find Empy at the Ife loud parties or the cinema. Yes, the Law Library and the Common Room to watch occasional TV.

We lost touch after our call to the Bar in 1979 and I was only able to keep in touch again through his younger brother, Timothy Fawole who worked with me at the defunct First Interstate Bank. I had the opportunity to speak with Gbenga on phone couple of times through his brother before I left First Interstate Bank in 2004.

I pray for comfort for the widow and children of our departed friend and brother. I also pray for the entire family that God will grant them the fortitude to bear the loss of their brother.

Goodnight "Empy"
Posted by Timothy Fawole on March 26, 2021
An ‘Omoluabi’ gone to rest!!!

To know brother Gbenga is to understand what civility implies. His disposition fully resonates with the coveted Yoruba persona - Omoluabi. Everyone often attests to his calm and gentle mien, which does not in any way belie his firmness and forthrightness on affairs that catches his fancy. Indeed, his word was always his bond!

Brother Gbenga, I already miss our frank and noble discussions on diverse topics, which I often crave without minding the time difference between our locations. Be rest assured that we will always have fond memories of you, even as we keep the flag flying as you would have expected.

We are convinced that you have only gone to rest at the Master’s feet, as such we will not mourn like those with little or no faith. Sleep well, my dear 'egbon', till we meet to part no more.
Posted by Dele (Fawole) Airen on be... on March 22, 2021
In loving memory of a dearest husband, father, grandfather and brother. So calm, so peaceful and humble.
Your life was a blessing,
Your memory a treasure,
You are loved beyond words
And missed beyond measure.
I am so blessed to have a brother like you.

Leave a Tribute

 
Recent Tributes
Posted by Tunde Oyekanmi on April 3, 2021
Brother Gbenga, when I spoke with you a little over two years ago when we lost my friend and brother,I thought we were going to see soon but that wasn't meant to be.
You were an extremely patient, compassionate and down to earth individual. I recall your kindness to us all,your gentle smile,kindness and love for all. You will forever be remembered for your good deeds.
I pray almighty God will keep your wife,the children,your brothers and sisters and the entire Fawole family.
May the lord grant the repose of your soul Good night sir,EMPEE
Posted by Funlola Fawole on April 2, 2021
By Funke Fawole

Tears can not describe the deep sorrow in my heart, but I continue to remember and cherish the love, care, dedication, understanding , kindness and encouragement that he showed me. He was never discouraged. He lived a disciplined and exemplary life. He was a transparent man with a big heart. Adieu my beloved Gbenga, my friend and loving husband. Despite the distance we.remained one. I will miss you dearly. However, I am comforted by the grace of God on your life, which enabled you to live the Christian values you professed. Philippians 4:8 'whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praise worthy, think about such things.." I also give glory to God that you have left for your children a legacy to be happy and proud of ‐not measured in material wealth but rather in sterling qualities of character. A name without blemish throughout your life. It is my prayer that God grants us the grace to keep the fire of such life filled with love and light aglow in your sweet and cherished memory. Continue to enjoy your rest in the blossom of the Lord until we meet to part no more. Sun re o Iyanda. 
Posted by Funlola Fawole on April 2, 2021
By Seun Fawole


My dad was a great dad. He was a very good and responsible man. He always wanted the best for his family members. He was intelligent, a caring and careful dad, always wanted things to be done the right way. He was very content and satisfied with whatever he had. He was very courageous even at critical periods and he loved helping people if it is within his power. He gave good advice on different issues. A great and wonderful mentor to me. His death is a big blow. I miss him but I know God will see us through. Rest in perfect peace daddy.
his Life

A BIOGRAPHY OF THOMAS ADEOYE OLUGBEMIGA FAWOLE

The first seed into the young loving family of Justice Jones Oyesomi Fawole and Mrs. Gladys Monisola Olapade Fawole, both of blessed memory, Thomas Adeoye Olugbemiga Fawole was born in Ibadan on Sunday, October 16, 1955.

Shortly after his birth, his father, then an itinerant Nigerian Railway Corporation worker, was transferred to Minna in the present day Niger State and the family relocated to Northern Nigeria where he (his father) experienced more transfers before resigning his job in 1960 and travelling to the United Kingdom to pursue studies in law. The first effect of the foreign trip on the family was that his young mother, along with her three children, had to relocate to Ode-Omu in the present day Aiyedaade Local Government Area of Osun State to live with her mother-in-law, the legendary Chief (Mrs) Lalabi Fawole - a successful trader, community leader and unifying factor – while teaching at St. David’s Primary School in the town. A year later, his mother travelled out to the UK to join her husband in pursuing further studies but died two years later – on September 29, 1963 – at 26.

This was an event that had profound effect on the young Gbenga, as he was fondly called in the family. To cushion the effect on the lad, his uncle, the late Pa Omokanye Fawole, a successful cocoa farmer and trader, picked him up as a favourite child and held him so close both to his heart and his person, never allowing him to stray out of his sight or lack anything.

Gbenga started his early education in 1962 at St. David’s Primary School, Ode Omu, but moved to St. John’s Primary School, Ogudu, near Ile Ife, the following year. In in 1964, he transferred to Egbedore District Council (EDC) Primary School, Ode Omu, where he completed the first phase of his primary education in 1966. As the practice was at that time, he enrolled at Baptist Modern School, Ode Omu, in 1967 but later that year when his father returned home after being called to the English Bar, he recalled Gbenga to join him in Lagos while he was at the Nigerian Law School. He promptly enrolled the young lad at the Holy Cross Preparatory School on Lagos Island early in 1968.

From here, he gained admission to Igbobi College, Yaba. He enrolled at Igbobi College in January 1969 and maintained brilliant academic records throughout, passing the West African School Certificate Examination (WASCE) in 1973 with topnotch performance. He promptly enrolled for the two-year Higher School Certificate (HSC) programme in the same school and passed all his four papers in 1975. That same year, he gained admission to the University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), toeing the path of his father by studying law. He graduated with the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) Honours in 1978 and proceeded to the Nigerian Law School immediately.

After being called to the Nigerian Bar in 1979, he participated in the National Youth Service Corps (NYSC) scheme during the 1979/80 service year in Cross River State and did his primary assignment with Legal Aid Council in Calabar. The young attorney started legal practice with a stint at the law firm of Fawole, Babalakin and Company and enjoyed the mentorship of his father and learned friend before returning to the University of Ife in the last quarter of 1980 for a one-year Master of Laws (LL.M) programme, specializing in constitutional law.

On the completion of his postgraduate studies, he joined the Federal Ministry of Justice, with the headquarters then at Marina, as a State Counsel in January 1982 and was deployed to the Civil Litigation Department. As a litigation lawyer, he simply stood out of the crowd as he traversed the courts nationwide representing the Federal Government, such that some judges commended him, noting that he did not have the usual civil service nonchalance which was the trademark of some State Counsel.

He worked with the Federal Ministry of Justice for slightly over two years and transferred his services to the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos, as a Lecturer in 1984, teaching Constitutional Law. At a point, after lecturing at the Nigerian Law School, for about nine years, he said he could beat his chest that about 50 per cent of Nigerian lawyers had passed through him. A researcher at heart, he later transferred his services to Nigerian Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (NIALS), working very briefly here before crossing over to the Shell Petroleum Development Company (SPDC) in 1994.

However, the pull of the academia made him to emigrate to the United States in 1995 to pursue more academic fulfillment. Between 1995 and the year 2000, he was with the University of Georgia School of Law, picking another Master of Laws degree in the process. At the University of Georgia, he was a member of the prestigious Phi Beta Delta Society and the Speakers’ Bureau.

Two things that had tremendous influence on him were his NYSC work with the Legal Aid Council in Calabar and his experience as a Litigation Counsel with the Federal Ministry of Justice. These exposed him to the extent to which people suffer as a result of inability to hire legal services. He observed that even in the US, the story was no less different, which made him to join the New York State Coalition of Concerned Legal Professionals where he functioned for six years from 2003 as a Volunteer Advocate, assisting needy members of the community in obtaining free legal services.

A legal practitioner to the bone marrow, it is on record that he worked as Compliance Officer with the Marcus Garvey Nursing Home in the Greater New York City Area, where he established and managed the implementation of the facility’s Compliance Programme, with special emphasis on medicare/Medicaid compliance, operational issues involving compliance with state and federal regulatory and accreditation standards, and non-profit healthcare laws and regulations. In 2005, he also joined the Volunteers of America in the Greater New York City Area as Associate Programme Director.

The Volunteers of America, where he served for 10 years till December 2015, is a faith-based human services organization dedicated to helping needy individuals and families create positive and lasting change through social service programmes that support and empower them to live safe, healthy and productive lives. Then in 2014, Thomas Adeoye Olugbemiga Fawole, popularly known as Emperor (Empee) by his schoolmates and friends right from Igbobi College, founded and incorporated the Empire Housing Solutions, LLC, a real estate investment organization providing innovative win-win solutions to various real estate issues. Until he took his last breath, he was the Managing Partner of Empire Solutions.

He was known as a compassionate real estate investor and wholesaler, legal and healthcare compliance professional. Clients described him as a very intelligent and affable Client and Social Service Professional with passion to assist people in need. All through this, as he flew the flag of the family, he held his head high and the family was ever so proud of him.

Even after emigrating to the United States, he remained ever so allergic to bad manners. He was incurably humble, unassuming and would never hurt a fly. It is often said that if a man does not drink or smoke, he must womanise but he never did any of these, remaining ever sober without any record of rascality.

Thomas Adeoye Olugbenga Fawole was transparently honest, blunt, fair but firm. To many, he was a mentor and inspiration and would be missed by all. He is survived by his wife, Olufunke, and three children: Funlola, Detola and Seun, who are all doing well, to the glory of God. He also left behind a son-in-law and two grandchildren.
Recent stories

My brother, my Hero

Shared by Dele (Fawole) Airen on be... on March 26, 2021
From my secondary school days, I had often doted on the trio of God-given older brothers that I looked up to.
I particularly recall that several of my school's senior girls were brother Gbenga's secret admirers, who somehow knew his long-standing nickname 'Empee'. How they got wind of his nickname, I never could fathom but I will not deny the several benefits it often yielded in the manner those senior girls jostled to 'spoil' me with gifts from the tuck-shop.
Having him come home, in his university days, was usually delightful for me as I enjoyed hanging around him. His calmness and tender heart notwithstanding, he was firm in ensuring I toe the right path.
I was to continue enjoying the benefits of being _Empee's sister, even after I returned to UK, as some of his acquaintances and former students that I came across were often willing to bend backwards to assist me on various issues.
My brother, Gbenga, was meek in the context of the biblical Moses and never sought to take undue advantage of any situation, regardless of his prowess, an attribute he has successfully passed to his loving offspring. I am confident he is now rested in the Lord , free of the pains and miseries of this earthly world.
Adieu brother Gbenga, as I often call you.


ADIEU, EMPEE, MY ELDER BROTHER AND MENTOR

Shared by Toye Fawole on March 26, 2021
Each time I listen to the jazz number, Take Five (Take Another Five) by Grover Washington, Dave Brubeck, George Benson or any other version of that vintage tune, I get a nostalgic feeling that takes me back to my pre-school days at Ode Omu (Odeom City), the sleepy town in the present day Aiyedaade Local Government Area of Osun State. Each day then as my immediate elder brother went to school, the seven-hour period of separation between us was like eternity, which shows how much I missed him.
But as soon as Radio Nigeria started blasting the cool instrumental music, which I later got to know as jazz music, I always knew my brother would soon return home. It was the landmark radio programme by which I “knew” time.
Thomas Adeoye Olugbemiga Fawole was my first playmate – that I knew. He was my compass and my pathfinder. He had the joker with which he navigated me out of trouble. I didn’t know God, so he was not just everything to me; he meant everything to me. He was indeed the world to me. There were no toys to play around with but he improvised, using cartons of sugar and every available thing to make jeeps and cars for me. He improvised tyres, so I could push those things around. He was my mentor, and remained one – till Thursday 11 February 2021.
He simply would not see me hurt, and this I reciprocated. So when our mum passed on at age 26 in far-away UK and there was so much weeping and gnashing of teeth all over the place, I was so young that I didn’t know what was happening but the tears in my brother’s eyes brought me to tears as well.
To me, he was an inspiration. When I got into West African School Certificate (WASCE) class at Olivet Baptist High School, Olivet Heights, Oyo, his words of encouragement, his pep talk, saw me passing in flying colours. In my final year in the university, having scored low in my previous session and heading for a let-my-people-go class, his wise counsel propelled me unbelievably to Second Class Upper Division (2.1) Honours. Searching for a job after NYSC in 1984, each time we both drove around in Lagos and saw the prominent billboards that announced the coming of THE GUARDIAN a year earlier – “Sooner or Later, You’ll Read THE GUARDIAN” – Empee used to whisper to me prophetically and reassuringly, “Sooner or later, you’ll join THE GUARDIAN.” My joining the flagship of the Nigerian print media – as he prophesied - within two months after NYSC was through him. It has never been lost on me therefore that, as they say, he brought me to Lagos. And I remain eternally grateful to him for this.
Empee – I took that name from the lips of his classmates at Igbobi College, Yaba, Lagos, where his nickname was Emperor – never hurt a fly. He had no record of rascality. He was simply as cool as potted water.
He made good of interceding for me with Dad. In recent years, I came across a letter of 4th January 1978 which he wrote to Dad from his Room 213, Awolowo Hall, University of Ife (now Obafemi Awolowo University), from where he graduated in law later that year. The School Cert result of Bukky and I, having been withheld along with those of 38 others among the over 100 of us who wrote the exam at Olivet in June 1977, were released during the Yuletide season in 1977. With both of us passing in flying colours, Empee seized the opportunity to put in a word for me. It was a one-page, three-paragraph letter in which Empee wrote, among others, “Please let me congratulate you again for their (Bukky and I) brilliant success in the school certificate exams.”
As a State Counsel in the Civil Litigation Department of the Federal Ministry of Justice in the early 80s, he simply stood out of the crowd as he traversed the courts nationwide representing the Federal Government, such that some judges commended him, noting that he did not have the usual civil service nonchalance which was the trademark of some State Counsel.
At a point, after lecturing at the Nigerian Law School, Victoria Island, Lagos, for about 10 years, he said he could beat his chest that about 50 per cent of Nigerian lawyers had passed through him. All through this, as he flew the flag of the family as Dad’s learned friend, he held his head high and we are ever so proud of him. Even after emigrating to the United States, he remained ever so allergic to bad manners.
As we held a family meeting by Zoom across three continents last week, I was reminded that it was my responsibility to do a formal announcement of Empee’s status, which I did in three paragraphs:
“With heavy hearts but with total submission to the will of God, the family of the late Justice Jones O. Fawole hereby announces the passage of the late jurist’s eldest son, Mr. Thomas Adeoye Olugbemiga Fawole. He took his last breath on Thursday 11 February 2021 in New Jersey, United States, his last country of abode, after a brief illness. He was 65.
“He is survived by his wife and three children, as well as a community of siblings, cousins and other relations.
“Funeral arrangements will be announced shortly.”
Coming exactly two years after Bukky passed on in January 2019, Empee’s home call is unbearable. But it is well with us in Jesus’ name! It is well with his wife whom we fondly call Madam Funke. It is well with Empee’s children – Funlola, ’Detola and Seun. Indeed, it is well with all of us too numerous to mention.