Thomas Jay Nissley

26 June, 194810 January, 2021

Thomas “Tom” Jay Nissley, 72, died in his Reiffton home on January 10th, a few weeks after falling from a ladder and sustaining a traumatic brain injury. He was a kind, loving, and funny man who would’ve chuckled at the fact his house really did kill him in the end. Tom, a lifelong Pennsylvanian, was born in Lancaster on June 26, 1948. In his teens, he began working on a local farm. Despite being allergic to wheat and hay, and thereby suffering from an eternal post-nasal drip, it was worth it for that daily glimpse of the farmer’s daughter. After graduating from Penn Manor High School in 1966, serving as a sergeant in the Army, and getting on some allergy meds, he returned home and married her in 1972. He and Linda soon moved into a modest blue house in Reiffton; they’ve remained there ever since. In the late ‘80s, Tom began doing circuit board design for Gai-Tronics, eventually moving to AT&T, which eventually became Lucent, which eventually became Agere (who can keep track of it all?). He returned to his studies as well, receiving a bachelor’s from Albright College in 1991 and a master’s in engineering from Penn State in 1995. Before retiring, he spent his working days as an IT Coordinator for Utilities Employees Credit Union. Tom’s starring role, however, was as the ultimate dad: the dad you wished were yours, the dad you hoped you’d someday become. When his boys were young, he filled storytime with silly voices and made-up words; when they grew older, he let them have a drum set — in the house. He was patient and supportive, helping his sons grow into (semi) responsible adults who somehow made careers out of music. Once Tom retired in 2012, his house took over as his full-time job; although he and Linda may have lived at the same address for decades, their home was in a constant state of transformation. Tom was extraordinarily handy, with the ability to fix anything — and a seemingly endless appetite for updates and improvements. As with everything else in life, if Tom didn’t know how to do it, he’d look it up, and would soon become an expert. He was curious and smart; a lifelong learner who excelled at finding the solution to any problem. He was also stubborn, a man who didn’t want anyone telling him how to do anything (probably because he’d already researched it in depth and knew more than you anyway). Tom was kind and friendly, funny and goofy, with a dad-joke sense of humor that was embodied by the movie “Airplane!” But Tom never talked just to talk; there was nary a phone call with him that lasted more than eight minutes. When he spoke, you listened. Because whatever he said was astute and intelligent, layered with humility and humor — just like him. Tom, though far from touchy-feely, was deeply loving. He conveyed his love through acts of service: through selflessly showing up, day in and day out, without complaint. Through giving his time and attention, and making everyone feel like they were his best friend. His commitment to his family was never more apparent than in his relationship with Linda. After she began suffering from Alzheimer’s, he cared for her tirelessly, helpling her remain at home much longer than anyone expected. When she eventually moved to assisted living, he visited her every single day. Now that he is gone, Tom’s presence will be missed by many. By The Breakfast Club, the guys with whom he’d enjoyed weekly bacon-and-eggs dates for nearly 30 years. By the parishioners of the Calvary Bible Fellowship Church, who are literally going to be in the dark without his A/V skills. By the recipients of his Christmas letter, whose puns put others to shame. Most of all, he will be missed by his children, who were his pride and joy, and who couldn’t have asked for a better person to guide them on this roller coaster called life. Tom is predeceased by his parents Russel and Mary (McMullen) Nissley. He is survived by his wife of 48 years, Linda (Porter) Nissley; his brothers David Nissley (Suzanne) of Columbia, P.A. and Richard Nissley (Suzy) of Washington Boro, P.A.; his sons Andrew Nissley (Laci) of West Lawn, P.A. and Patrick Nissley (Sarah) of Macungie, P.A.; and a host of loving in-laws and friends. Services will be private. Auman's In Funeral Home, Reiffton is honored to be serving the family. In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes in-memoriam donations to the Alzheimer’s Association:


  • Linda K Nissley, Wife
  • Russell Nissley, Father (deceased)
  • Mary Nissley, Mother (deceased)
  • Andrew Nissley, Son
  • Laci Nissley, Daughter-in-law
  • Patrick Nissley, Son
  • Sarah Valentine, Patrick's fiancee
  • David Nissley, Brother
  • Suzanne Nissley, Sister-in-law
  • Richard Nissley, Brother
  • Suzy Nissley, Sister-in-law


No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Thomas Jay Nissley

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Jana Conrad

18 January 2021

I am so saddened to hear of Tom's passing. His daily visits to Linda were a bright light in the various challenges that I faced in my time at the Assisted Living. His love for Linda, and for his entire family, was so evident. May we all be lucky enough to know such dedication and caring in our own relationships. Sending all of you love and healing and hope that you are able to find comfort in the many wonderful memories that you all share. Tom was taken entirely too soon, but this glimpse into his life brought a smile to my face. What an incredible man. I feel so lucky to have been witness to his beautiful smile, his sense of humor, and his love of his family.

Sandy Porter

14 January 2021

This was the most amazing obituary I have ever read. Glenn and I said that it was like the old Christmas letters that Tom used to send out. It was as if he was saying some of these things. I loved his laugh, and sense of humor. I deeply respected the way he went to see Linda every day, I think for several hours. Glenn and I went to see her with Tom last Dec. 2019. While I was sitting in the lobby downstairs I started to cry when I saw her walk down the hall with her brother Glenn. Tom came over to me and said something like this "don't cry Sandy," "Linda is okay, she is healthy, and happy in her way." Oh, that was so very kind, and I knew that he was a very dedicated, and loving husband. He is in Heaven now and we will all be together again.

Mike Messner

12 January 2021

Debbie and I will never forget the time both our
Families rented a houseboat on the St Lawrence river. Our families were on the water for a full week. It was a blast.
After one day on the water our sewage tank was over flowing. Evidently Andy kept stepping
On flush petal. We all had a good laugh.
Thank God we know Tom is home in glory.
Our deepest condolences to the family.