Passing of past IPA director Eugene Thoms

With great sadness, we inform you of the passing of Eugene Thoms, a past director of the IPA.

Eugene Walter Thoms

September 14, 1938 – December 5, 2022

If you knew Gene, you were better for it and perhaps bemused for it. Gene could read, write, and speak tirelessly on his five favorite topics: food, railroads, polkas, geography, and ethnicities. Spend enough time with him, and you were bound to learn something about cuttlefish, steam engines, obereks, the population of Taos, or the origin of your last name.

Gene was a walking mail carrier for “39 and a half years…41, if you count the army.” He befriended his patrons, their pets, and every server at his favorite coffee house. In the post office, he got 12 miles of daily exercise, made lifelong friends, and learned how to swear better than any sailor.

His commitment to his job had a great deal to do with providing for his family. He and his wife, Lynn, raised three children: David, Billy, and Julie. When the kids were knuckleheads, he provided excellent backup for Lynn on the lecture circuit. He ended generational traumas, loved fiercely, and drove his daughter crazy.

Gene loved animals, humming over his wife’s whistling, and new experiences. We are certain that he will be greeted by dozens of shelter cats and adopted dogs, reunited with his “beloved,” whom he has waited nearly 23 years to see again, and ready for a train ride, a waltz, and a good meal.

Our deepest condolences and sympathies to the entire Thoms family and all of Eugene’s friend.

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