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Thomas P. Golden

July 5, 1963 ~ November 1, 2020 (age 57) 57 Years Old
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Thomas Golden Obituary

Thomas Patrick Golden, age 57, ran into the loving arms of his Savior on Sunday, November 1, 2020, in the home he built with his beloved wife, Janel Haas Golden. He was born July 5, 1963, in Lowville, New York, to Ronald and Ilona Golden. He was a 1981 graduate of Ogdensburg Free Academy. He then went on to complete his Bachelor’s degree in Psychology at Eastern Nazarene College in 1986. This is where he met the love of his life, Janel Haas Golden. He completed his Master of Science in Vocational Rehabilitation Counseling at Syracuse University in 1992 and then went on to complete his Doctorate in Human and Organizational Learning from The George Washington University in 2016. He was devoted to a lifetime of learning, had a passion for leading worship, was an incredible disability advocate, and a leading practitioner and coach in the area of Vocational Rehabilitation and Disability Policies. He served as a former Presidential and U.S. Senate appointee to the Ticket to Work and Work Incentives Advisory Panel from 1999 to 2007. He was a founding member of the National Association of Benefits and Work Incentives Specialists to promote work incentives counseling and informed choice for Americans with disabilities who receive public entitlement. Leader in and/or member of the National Academy on Social Insurance, National Council on Rehabilitation Education, National Consortium of State Rehabilitation Councils, Association for Persons in Supported Employment, Consortium of Administrators for Native American Rehabilitation, National Consortium for State Rehabilitation Councils, and other national organizations supporting employment for people with disabilities. He is recognized for international comparative policy work most recently with the Government of Ireland, the International Labor Organization, and the United Kingdom. He managed to secure, directed and managed over $270 million in international, federal and state sponsored initiatives. His favorite professional title was that of professor while also performing his duties as Executive Director at Cornell University’s Yang Tan Institute on Employment and Disability.

He furthered the Lord’s Kingdom by serving as a worship leader in many churches on the East Coast. Ultimately, his favorite personal title was that of Dad. He is survived by his wife, Janel and their three children, Sophie, Kaleb, and Josiah; his father, Ronald; his brothers; Stephen and his wife Denise, Timothy and his wife Tamara and their children, Jeremiah, Naomi, and Mikaela; his brother and sister-in-law, Dale and his wife DeAnne and their children, Emma and Wesley; his brother and sister-in-law, Stephen and Patti and their children, Samantha and Becca; along with many cousins and many, many dear friends.

A Celebration of Life is being planned for a later date.

In lieu of flowers, if you so choose, please consider donating to Cornell’s Thomas P. Golden WIP-C Scholarship Fund or the Thomas P. Golden NABWIS Distinguished Service Award to further Thomas’s passion of educating the next generation of leaders. Thomas founded and directed critical social insurance initiatives supporting excellence in benefits planning with people with disabilities.  Each distinguished award celebrates his legacy.

Thomas P. Golden WIP- C (Work Incentive Practitioner Credentialing) Scholarship Fund 

A scholarship for YTI’s work incentive practitioner credentialing training that trains counselors to assist individuals with disabilities with transitioning from public benefit dependence to work and financial independence.

Donations: Checks payable to YTI (check memo: WIP-C Scholarship) 

Mailing address: 

Thomas P. Golden WIP-C Scholarship Fund

Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability

℅ Michelle Alvord

412 Dolgen Hall

Ithaca, NY 14853

Thomas P. Golden NABWIS Distinguished Service Award

An award to be given to an innovative, benefits planning entity at the semi-annual national conference of the National Association for Benefits and Work Incentive Specialists. Thomas being a founder and first president of this national organization.

Donations: Checks payable to NABWIS

Mailing address: 

Ray Cebula, President NABWIS

21 Reno Place

Sante Fe, NM 87508


Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of the Thomas Cremation and Funeral Service, 1297 Elmira St. Sayre, Pa. Those wishing to leave a sympathy message for Thomas’s family may do so at

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Cornell's Thomas P. Golden WIP-C Scholarship Fund
Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability c/o Michelle Alvord 412 Dolgen Hall, Ithaca NY 14853

Thomas P. Golden NABWIS Distinguished Service Award
Ray Cebula President of NABWIS 21 Reno Pl., Santa Fe NM 87508


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