Thomas "Tom" Alexander Niblo, 54, of Abilene, Texas, passed away on December 12, 2016 in Abilene, Texas.
Funeral Services will be held on Saturday, December 17, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at The Church of the Heavenly Rest, Episcopal at 602 Meander with The Rev. N. Luke Back, Rector, and The Right Reverend Claude E. Payne, Seventh Bishop of Texas, officiating. Inurnment will follow in the columbarium.
Tom was born in Abilene, Texas to Sydney Elmo Niblo and Francis Evelyn Thomas Niblo on March 9, 1962. He attended St. John's Episcopal School, Jefferson Middle School, Cooper High School Class of 1980, The University of Texas at Austin, and graduated from McMurry University with a BBA in Finance. He married Cheryl Kay McKissack on July 6,1985 in Abilene, Texas. Tom worked as a rancher and commercial real estate developer and broker. He held the prestigious designation of CCIM (Certified Commercial Investment Member) that only 1% of brokers hold.
Spontaneous by nature, Tom had a great sense of adventure and never shied from attempting the unknown. Tom loved life. An avid hunter, he enjoyed taking his friends, wife, and daughters to their family ranch - his happy place. Whether it was a dog or a toucan, Tom adored all animals and treasured a multitude of pets throughout his life. Tom was a naturally gifted artist whose creativity was expressed in a variety of forms, particularly through his eclectic welded sculptures. He was the gentle giant who never failed to entertain with uproarious one-liners. Tom was the ultimate confidant who was known by all for his warm heart and endless generosity. Tom was a loving husband, father and friend. In the words of his mother, Evelyn, "If you were to ever sum up the life of Tom, it was how much he loved his wife, Cheryl and their children". Tom's support was multifold, a behind the scene help for Cheryl whether as a sous chef, master griller, or creative assistant, gathering supplies for her 5th grade Christmas ornaments.
Travelling was a passion that Tom and Cheryl shared. From relaxing on Caribbean beaches to cruising the Rhine River, their thirst for adventure led them to create countless happy, enduring memories. From his perfect attendance as a Brownie overnight camp chaperon, to his masterful decorating of Christmastime gingerbread houses, Tom was always there for his daughters. He attended every school function and traversed the state for volleyball and tennis. Tom took great joy in teaching his girls his cherished values including how to ride horses, shoot skeet, hunt, and bait a hook.
Civic-minded, Tom served on boards including the Planning and Zoning Commission, Abilene Zoo Board, St. John's Board, City of Abilene Board of Adjustments (member and board chair), Abilene Board of Realtors (commercial committee chairman and served on numerous committees over thirty years), and charter member of the Community Foundation's Future Fund Board. He was a member of the Texas and National Association of Realtors.
Tom was preceded in death by his father, Sydney Elmo Niblo and grandparents, Francis and Bear Thomas. He is survived by his wife, Cheryl McKissack Niblo; his daughters Catherine Ellen Niblo and fiancé, Cole Brabham, and Elizabeth Niblo Wallace and husband, Wilson Wallace. He is survived by his mother, Evelyn Niblo; sister Ellouise Sweetser and husband, Luke, and two nephews, Hale and Rob; aunt, Kitty Bentley Thomas, and cousin, Sydney Dallas Thomas; parents-in-law, Tommy and Marty McKissack; and siblings-in-law, Cherie McKissack, Cindy McKissack, and Tommy McKissack II and wife, Darla McKissack and nephew Will Hawkins and niece Thia Lee-Buell.
Pallbearers will include beloved friends Mike Alexander, Robert Calk, Mark Davis, Robby Morris, Harry Romine, Scott Senter, Steve Strain, Troy Utz, Robert Wagstaff, Paul Williams, and Scott Yungblut. Junior pallbearer is Godson, John Miles Wagstaff.
Memorials may be given to The Church of the Heavenly Rest, Episcopal; Abilene Zoological Society; Rescue the Animals SPCA; The Community Foundation; and the United Way of Abilene.
The Family wishes to extend sincere gratitude to the Abilene Police Department.
Services are under the direction of The Hamil Family Funeral Home, 6449 Buffalo Gap Road in Abilene, with no separate scheduled visitation at the funeral home.
The family first began in the funeral business in 1933. The Hamil's legacy, beginning with the Elliott's to John and Jo Ann Hamil and now continuing with Robert and Karla Hamil, is to serve families in their time of need.