Thomas J. Nigbor, age 89, passed away peacefully with his family at his side on Feb. 19, 2020, in Woodstock, Ill.
He was born in Whitefish Bay, Wis. After completing his education with help from the G.I. Bill at University of Wisconsin-Stout, he moved to Illinois to become an industrial arts teacher at Burlington Central High School and Hampshire High School before settling in at Woodstock High School for a long tenure as the auto mechanics instructor. He launched the auto shop program that led to automotive-related careers for many of his students.
After retirement from teaching, he began his second career at Consumer Credit Counseling Services in Woodstock. For 25 years he worked there, serving the public. Outside of work he filled his constant need to tinker and build by working on lawn mower engines and cars. He enjoyed time on the golf course and cherished time spent at his beloved lot in Eagle, Wis. There he gardened, listened to his Sandhill Cranes, and smoked cigars. He took pride in his 65-year marriage and the accomplishments of his four children and six grandchildren.
He is survived by his wife, Jean; children, Michael (Debbie) Nigbor, Brian (JP) Nigbor, Mary (Perry) Paliga, and Susan (John) Stassen; grandchildren, Joann Nigbor, Cathrine (Landon) Savino, Jonathan Stassen, Paul Paliga, Maryann Stassen, and Stephen Stassen.
He was preceded in death by his father, Thomas; mother, Helen; brother, Robert; and an infant sister.
A memorial gathering of friends and relatives will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 26, at the Schneider Leucht Merwin Cooney Funeral Home, 1211 N. Seminary Ave., Woodstock, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. A memorial service will be at 6:30 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the International Crane Society, E11376 Shady Lane Road, Baraboo, WI 53913, or P.O. Box 447, Baraboo, WI 53913; savingcranes.org
For more information, contact the Schneider, Leucht, Merwin & Cooney funeral home, Woodstock, at 815-338-1710, or visit slmcfh.com.