This story has been edited to reflect the following: The benefit dinner remains scheduled, and it will be at the Amherst Eagles Club.
LORAIN — Sgt. Thomas Nimon, 53, of Amherst, died Sunday of brain cancer, after his diagnosis earlier this summer.
The veteran Lorain police officer was diagnosed with stage 4 glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of brain cancer, July 31 and had surgery to remove parts of the tumor, according to a GoFundMe page for the family.
The department’s Fraternal Order of Police Lorain Lodge No. 3 President Kyle Gelenius said in a news release that losing Nimon was a sad day for the department and city.
“I am grateful for the countless contributions Sgt. Nimon made to the citizens of Lorain and to the men and women of the Lorain Police Department,” Gelenius said. “It is an honor to have been able to call Sgt. Nimon my colleague and I am even more proud to have been able to call him my brother in blue. I am deeply saddened by the tremendous loss of one of our department’s great leaders. Godspeed, Sgt. Nimon! We will take the watch from here.”
Nimon had been with Lorain police for almost 26 years, Police Chief Cel Rivera said. Before that, he served with the Lorain County Sheriff’s Office. He was a narcotics officer for almost his entire time with Lorain police, Rivera said — short of his probation — as he came to the department from the county’s Drug Task Force.
“He’s been in charge of the unit for probably the last seven, eight years, something like that,” Rivera said. “Not only is he just a great officer and a great supervisor and leader, but more important than that, he was a great husband and a great dad and a great friend. We’re going to miss him terribly and he’s just a very difficult time for us.
He leaves behind a wife, Dianne, and two adult children. Rivera said both of Nimon’s children were scheduled to be married next year, but moved their ceremonies up to the past week so Nimon could see them.
In the midst of promoting Officer Tabitha Angello to sergeant Monday afternoon, Rivera took a moment to honor Nimon. The department donned black mourning bands across their shields following Nimon’s death.
“It’s just a heart-breaking time,” Rivera said. “It’s a real painful time for us right now.”
The community had rallied around the Nimon family following his diagnosis, with a 5K held Sept. 22 at Marion L. Steele High School and a GoFundMe surpassing its goal in two months, raising $20,450 for them. A spaghetti dinner remains scheduled at the Amherst Eagles Club for Nov. 18. Tickets are on sale at the Lorain Police Department, and donations for gift baskets are being accepted there as well.
During Monday’s City Council meeting, Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer recognized Nimon’s service to the city and the space left in his passing.
“The loss of Sgt. Nimon is one where (he was) a great officer and an even better human being,” Ritenauer said. “In my time here I got to know him pretty well and it is a void that I just don’t think will be replaced. It will be a long time to get over that one and just terrible what happened to him and to his family, so please just keep all of them in your thoughts and prayers during what is certainly going to be a very difficult time.
River said the family has asked that in lieu of donations for funeral expenses that residents consider giving to Prayers from Maria, a nonprofit supporting glioblastic multiforme treatment and research.
“We just ask that everybody join us in praying for him and his family,” Rivera said.