Thomas Nims obituary (2021) – Albuquerque, New Mexico
Thomas Kelly Nims of Corrales, NM died on October 4, 2021 at the age of 76. He was at peace and surrounded by his family. Astronomer, geologist, beekeeper, programmer, wanderer, historian and self-taught sailor, Tom’s brilliant mind matched his immensely good heart. He remained curious about new topics and the people around him throughout his life, developing a deep wealth of knowledge and friendships.
Tom was born in Ardmore, OK on June 5, 1945 to Bruce and Katherine Nims, the oldest of three brothers. After Tom’s father disappeared during the Korean War, the family moved to New Mexico and Tom’s mother remarried Don McKinney, with the family growing to include two more siblings. Tom graduated from Carlsbad High School in 1963, always faster on a slide rule than on the basketball court. He then attended the NMSU where he met and married Kathy O’Hara in 1968. Eventually, settling in Albuquerque, New Mexico, they had three sons, Matthew, Joshua and Gabriel Nims.
Tom was a programming genius and first cut his teeth with computer applications for missile testing on Kwajalein Atoll, Marshall Islands, and later with IBM in Boulder, Colorado. With the new surprise of expecting twins, Tom embarks on a more stable banking career in New Mexico. The allure of programming never wavered and Tom quickly teamed up with a partner to form Microsys, a company focused on custom programming for financial and business applications, and later his own company: Thomas K. Nims & Associates, who continued to provide enterprise software support to loyal customers and friends. His recall careers have been numerous: sailboat captain, beekeeper, apprentice millwright, and producer of mead and honey, but his work as owner of La Entrada Farms will always hold a special place in our hearts.
In 1977, Tom built a passive solar house in Corrales, New Mexico. An active member of the community, he helped build the Corrales Public Library and coached the young boys’ football teams. Divorced in 1980, he later came to share his home with Antoinette (Toni) DiGregorio whom he married in 1986. Together they enjoyed sailing and were founding members of the Lake Cochiti Boat Owners Association, which included adventures in Mexico and the Caribbean. Many remember the early morning Balloon Fiesta parties they had every year. Tom suffered the death of his second wife in 2004.
A true polymath, but never aloof, Tom’s frankness and humor, his unique culinary choices, his penchant for the lightest and cheapest lagers, his fierce frugality, and above all his warm and bright laughter. made it dear to all of us. His Corrales home has remained a place where one could find spectacular views, a recycled shipyard, old Volkswagen bugs, rock art, wildlife, and an amazing, welcoming host (who sometimes asked you to visit). crush a few cans with your car while backing up the player to leave).
We deeply miss this beloved brother, father, grandfather, friend, neighbor, boat captain, handyman, sage and card shark. His ashes will rest in the Vista Verde cemetery next to his late wife Toni. He is mourned by his young twin brothers and their families; Ronald (“Ronny”) and Cheryl Nims of Dallas, TX and Donald (“Donny”) and Cherry Nims of Houston, TX. He was predeceased by his step-siblings, Scotty and Tish McKinney, and his mother, father and stepfather. He is survived by his stepmother Eliane DiGregorio of Gallup, NM, Toni’s daughter, Patricia (“Tricia”) Murphy of Albuquerque, and Tricia’s son Bruce Murphy-Rehn.
Tom is survived by 3 step-sons and daughters and 7 grandchildren: Matt and Mazie (Barcus) Nims of Reston, VA (Webb, Zea, Jem), Josh and Esther (Brown) Nims of Boulder, CO (Luke, Tessa), and Gabriel and Amy Nims (Mason, Sophie) from Albuquerque, NM. They are sorely missed and will work to continue his legacy.
Even as Tom’s illnesses progressed, he never lost his love of learning. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation on his behalf to Oasis Learning Center (Albuquerque.oasisnet.org), whose classes he enjoyed until his last days.
Published by Albuquerque Journal on November 7, 2021.