Thomas (Tom) Nash died July 30, 2019, in Louisville, CO, from complications following open heart surgery. Tom was a good communicator, and to honor him I have tried to use his own words where possible.

Tom loved geology, and on a drive to watch Amherst athletes engage those at Williams during our senior year he happily regaled his fellow passengers with the mysteries and glories of the rocks, hills, and fields we traveled past.  The summer following graduation found this self-described “Eastern flatlander” in mining country deep in Wyoming’s Snowy Mountains, fully immersed in the geology fieldwork under “crisp skies” in the “rugged peaks” and “challenging” landscape which became central to the next four decades of his life.

Tom also loved Marti, whom he met and married early in his graduate studies at Columbia.  Doctorate in hand, Tom did work in France, Spain, Canada, and Australia as the Nashes with a growing family home-based first in California’s too-crowded Bay area, then in Evergreen and Denver, CO.  An artist by profession who has written and illustrated a children’s book, Marti became a soccer player and coach for their two girls, and took one high school team to the state championship.  Tom performed geochemical studies on uranium, copper, cobalt, and gold ore deposits, and wrote many papers.

With daughter Katie having completed “world-class research on plant ecology” and gaining tenure at Berkeley, and daughter Laura parlaying a doctorate in classics and English literature into a college teaching career also, Tom retired from the U.S. Geological Survey and the Nashes spent several fulfilling years living in small cities they first carefully and lovingly researched.  They initially settled on Burlington, VT, just across Lake Champlain from the Adirondack Mountains where Tom had spent 15 summers as a kid.  They enjoyed “the gardens, lakes, and snow of the Green Mountain State” as well as Burlington’s progressive people, programs, and atmosphere.

Grandchildren began to arrive in 2005, and Tom and Marti yearned to be nearby, so they pulled up stakes again for life in Las Vegas, NM, within driving distance of their progeny “but also a starting place for us to pursue our own activities.”  In the high desert they found “a New England feel with deciduous trees and Victorian homes,” and they lovingly refurbished a “neoclassical cottage,” doing much of the work themselves.  Marti helped to start a cooperative art gallery, while Tom engaged in civic and church-related activities.

Similar research preceded their final two moves, to Petaluma, CA, because travel to visit their offspring had become too complicated, then finally to Louisville, CO, after Tom recovered from his first open heart surgery, a quadruple bypass.  He relished that he could still enjoy hiking, biking, and home projects, imagining that he had “a second chance that not many get.”

Tom was happy and upbeat, a firm friend and a good companion, a person who filled life with good hard work and quiet joy.  He always wished one “peace, light, and love.”

He is survived by Marti, by Katie and Laura and their husbands Paul Suding and Eric Ekborg, by grandchildren Madeleine and Thomas Suding, by brother-in-law H. Keith Johnson, by cousin Susan Nash Rice, and by other relatives.

Wythe Holt ’63