May 17, 2024

Tom Whyte (1952-2024)

Posted May 17, 2024 2:30 PM
Tom Whyte
Tom Whyte

Thomas Gene Whyte passed away at his home in North Platte on May 15, 2024, at the age of 71.

Tom was born November 23, 1952, to John and Rose Whyte in Grand Island where he grew up.  After graduating from high school, Tom hired on with the Union Pacific Railroad as a Carman, thus beginning his career with the railroad.  In 1992 he transferred to Pocatello, ID, then to North Platte in 1998 where he worked as an Engineer.  Tom eventually retired from the UP Railroad.  While working in Idaho Tom met Helen "Nickie" Nickelson and they married on March 31, 1997.

Tom enjoyed working on cars and was a good mechanic.  He had a passion for music and loved spicy food, computers, his pets, and living in the country.  But most important to him was his wife and his grandchildren, he loved being Grandpa.  Tom leaves behind great memories for his family to cherish.

He was preceded in death by his beloved wife, Nickie; his daughter, Cassandra Hedglin; his parents, John and Rose; and brother, Michael Whyte.

  Tom is survived by his children, James Shafer (Marie) of Lincoln, Jonathan Shafer (Nicole) of Salina, KS, Patricia "Angel" Cantu (Lisa) of Corpus Christi, TX, and Amber Mergele of North Platte; sisters, Mary Hescock of Grand Island, Deb Jess (Randy) of Tobias and Midge Pollack(Jack) of Fairbury; 17 grandchildren, 5 great-grandchildren, and many other family.

Services will be 4 p.m., Saturday, June 1, at Odean Colonial Chapel. The guest book may be signed online at or prior to services at Odean Colonial Chapel at C & Sycamore which is in charge of arrangements.  Memorials are to the donor's choice.