Thomas G. Whims (1934 - 2012)

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Whims, Thomas G., 78, passed away on Wednesday, October 3, 2012. Born February 11, 1934, in Atlantic City, New Jersey, Tom is the son of Grace M. and Dr. Clarence B. Whims, and brother of Clarence B. "Chuck" Whims, Jr.

On his 22d birthday, Tom married the love of his life and high school sweetheart, Laoma E. Glenn, of Margate. They raised three girls, Gigi, Chris, and Sally, enjoyed 6 grandchildren and celebrated 56 years of marriage on his 78th birthday, in February of this year.

Tom was born and raised in Ventnor. During the war, his family moved to a farm in Robesonia, PA. Tom held fond memories of his boyhood on the farm, including nighttime horseback rides and climbing out of his bedroom window onto the roof and, from there, hiking up the mountainside just behind the house. In 2010, he went back to revisit the farm he'd loved.

After the war, his family returned to the Shore, where Tom went to Atlantic City High School, played football under coach John Boyd, and graduated in 1952. For seventeen years, Tom was a lifeguard with the Ventnor City Beach Patrol, under legendary Captain John Goudy. With rowing partner, Bill Faunce, Tom won the South Jersey doubles championship in 1953.

A football scholarship carried Tom to Wake Forest, where he lettered for three years and, in his senior year, returned an interception 90 yards for a touchdown, a school record that still stands. Tom earned a Bachelors' in Business Administration from Wake Forest in 1956 and later obtained a Masters in Education Administration from Temple University.

In 1956, newly married, Tom joined the Army and served his country until 1958, stationed in West Germany. He put his football prowess to use in the army, as well, playing and coaching.

In civilian life, Tom was a teacher. He began at his alma mater, Atlantic City High, eventually rising to Assistant Principal, a position he next held at Ocean City High School. In 1968, Tom entered public service, elected as a Ventnor City Councilman and Commissioner.

In 1972, he became president and superintendent of Florida Air Academy, in Melbourne, Florida, a post he held with pride for 17 years. While at FAA, he coached football. Tom returned to the classroom, teaching at Holy Trinity School in Melbourne from 1989 until his retirement in 1997.

Tom and Laoma came home to the Shore area in 2003, moving to Mays Landing, where Tom enjoyed the company of his life-long best friend and brother-in-law, Al Glenn, rooted for his beloved VCBP each year at the Goudy's, and lavished care on his housecat, 'Smokey,' and an ever-expanding brood of outdoor cats.

He is survived by his wife, Laoma; children, Gigi and Alan Metzger, Chris and David Hunt, Sarah and Gabriel Sheets; and grandchildren, Kristen, A.J., Tommy, Andrew, Matthew and Chloe.

A memorial service will be held at 10:00 A.M., Monday, October 8, 2012, at Christ Episcopal Church, 157 Shore Road, Somers Point, New Jersey.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Atlantic County Humane Society, 1401 Absecon Boulevard, Atlantic City, NJ 08401.

Arrangements by the George H. Wimberg Funeral Home.

Published in FLORIDA TODAY on Oct. 6, 2012
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