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Nick Thomm, former producer at Ave Maria Radio, dies at 41


John Burger - published on 11/26/20

Brain cancer silences voice from Al Kresta show.
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Nicholas Alexander Thomm, former executive producer at Ave Maria Radio in Ann Arbor, Michigan, died November 24 after a 14-year battle with brain cancer. He was 41.

Thomm worked for Kresta in the Afternoon, a long-running show hosted by Al Kresta on Ave Maria Radio. Thomm’s voice was familiar to many listeners from his daily presentation of the news.

Born January 10, 1979, in Peoria, Illinois, he attended Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio, where was a member of the Ahim Adonai household. He double-majored in communications and theology and graduated magna cum laude in 2001.

It was at Steubenville that Thomm met his future wife, Jennifer Simpson. They married in 2001. 

“Nick was an extremely driven individual even at a young age and earned the rank of Eagle Scout during his high school years,” Mrs. Thomm said this week. “Nick won the local, state, and national Right to Life speech contest as a high school senior sharing his experience of the gift of adoption.”

Thomm was a reporter for the local Steubenville newspaper, The Sun Times, and later for Credo, a Catholic newspaper. In 2002, he joined the staff at Ave Maria Radio.

When Al Kresta hired him, he was impressed with Thomm’s strong sense of mission. Thomm served as executive producer, news director and movie critic. He introduced a segment to the end of each newscast called Fascinating Fact. 

“The program was much richer because of his service over the years,” Kresta said on-air this week.

Thomm was diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2006, just after his 27th birthday. It was the beginning of years of surgeries, radiation and chemotherapy.

“He handled suffering with unbelievable grace,” said longtime friend from Steubenville Luke Condit. “He rarely complained.”

Mrs. Thomm attested that her husband “intentionally and joyfully offered his suffering for others, and he and his family adopted the motto Jesus, I trust in You. Nick endured his deteriorating health with great patience and great faith. His purification through suffering was very apparent to those around him and he didn’t waste a second. His mission was to suffer well.”

Condit said Thomm had a “great ability to think on the fly” and to interview a wide variety of people, from young children to cardinals. “He just had a gift to relate with everybody.”

Thomm also had an “enduring love for his family,” he added.

In addition to his wife, Thomm is survived by three children, Sarah, David, and Andrew; his parents, Elizabeth (Martin) and Ralph Thomm; and a sister, Maureen (Marty) Crawford.

A funeral Mass will be held at on Saturday, December 5, at 11 a.m., with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. All services will be held at Christ the King Catholic Church, 4000 Ave Maria Drive, Ann Arbor, Michigan. Interment will follow at St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Ypsilanti, Michigan. 

The family asks that donations in lieu of flowers can be made at

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