Saturday, February 6, 2016

Tom Nice

Tom Nice, with grandson Benjamin on his lap, Christmas 2015

The Robertson/Sherwood/Architects family was deeply saddened by the news that our very good friend, Tom Nice, passed away this past Thursday morning. We’d been aware of his valiant struggle with throat cancer—Tom was in the middle of an aggressive radiation and chemotherapy regimen to combat the disease—but we were all staggered by the news nevertheless. 
Tom was husband to Rosie, our longtime office manager who retired from RSA a little more than a year ago. The two of them shared an incredible joie de vivre, always determined to live life to the fullest. Tom was likewise retired, following a lengthy and rewarding tenure with 2G Construction, during which he acquired the affection and respect of everyone he worked with. In his retirement, he enjoyed busying himself with numerous projects, which provided him with a joyous outlet for his creativity. 
Tom had been in considerable pain as a result of the radiation treatments. He’d lost weight and strength because he was unable to swallow without discomfort. He’d turned down his last two radiation appointments because of the pain. Regardless, Rosie was encouraged by the fact Tom did eat some food as late as Wednesday, so his abrupt passing early Thursday morning came as a complete surprise. In the end, Rosie believes Tom was ready and is hopeful he moved on without suffering. 
Rosie, daughter Lindsay, son Matthew, and the rest of Tom’s family and closest friends are in shock right now. Understandably, Rosie has asked for some space and time, and prefers to not have visitors for a while. She is not alone as her family and Tom’s are with her; they’re all together to support each other. If you do feel the immediate need to extend your condolences, please send those in an email message or a card to the family (let me know if you need an address to send to). 
Rosie did ask those of us at RSA to let folks in the architecture and construction communities who were friends of and/or worked with Tom know about his untimely passing. I’m happy to do my small part with this message on my blog. The family will be hosting a celebration of life for Tom at Tom and Rosie's house on April 9, 2016 (read the obituary below).
Tom & Rosie at Crater Lake
We’re all going to miss Tom tremendously. We grieve with Rosie and everyone in the family. Tom was always gracious, kind, and possessed of the best humor. In a nutshell—and please pardon the pun—Tom was the nicest guy you could ever hope to know, truly one-of-a-kind. 
Rest in peace Tom. We love you and will miss you. We’re all certainly better people for having known you.
*     *     *     *     *

Here is Tom’s obituary as published in the The Register-Guard on February 14, 2016, which would have been his 70th birthday: 
Thomas Anthony Nice
Thomas Anthony Nice was born in San Francisco on February 14, 1946. He was the fifth child born to Irma and William Nice, whose brood came to number ten children—all reared in San Mateo, CA.
Tom joined the US Air Force at the age of 17 and served one tour of duty in the Vietnam War. He returned from the war as a confirmed pacifist, and began his studies at San Francisco State University where he received a BA in Literature.
An adventurer and seeker, he traveled the country and the world by motorcycle, car, plane, and hopping trains, making friends, gathering experiences, and escaping near death encounters. Tom spent many years working and living in Alaska and eventually made his way to Oregon.
He met his future wife and soul mate, Rosie, at the Eugene Celebration and they married one year later in 1986. Tom had a bright, curious mind, the spirit of an artist, and a miraculous green thumb. A talented stained glass artist, writer, and carpenter—to name just a few of his talents—he spent much of his time (when not working, parenting his two children, or being a husband) reading, writing, building, making, and cultivating his garden. 
In the years following his retirement, he volunteered with Habit for Humanity and the Willamette Valley Cancer Institute. Tom was endlessly generous and kind. He had a wonderful sense of humor, a strong sense of right and wrong, and great compassion for all beings. He will be deeply missed by his family and many friends. 
Tom is survived by his wife Rosie; daughter, Lindsay; son, Matthew; daughter-in-law, Kayla; and grandson, Benjamin. He was preceded in death by his brother, Bill, but is survived by his four sisters, Anne, Edna, Irma, and Rose; and four brothers, Bob, Ed, Ralph, and Jim. 
The family will host a celebration of Tom’s life on April 9th at Tom and Rosie’s home in Eugene. In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you support one of Tom’s causes: Vietnam Veterans of America, Willamette Cancer Institute, American Diabetes Association.

1 comment:

Ron Unger said...

Thanks for the article and photos. It's sad to see such a great guy go, but it's nice to remember all the reasons we had to appreciate him.