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Jim Nolen, 1963-2016


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#1 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:50 PM

With extreme sadness and a huge sense of loss I have to announce the passing of Jim Nolen. He fought a brave and terrible fight against a horrible disease but finally succumbed on February 3, 2016.
 
I’ve known Jim most of his 52 years. First as a customer, then as a racer, and soon thereafter a very close friend. Some of the things we did together are stories that will be told over and over again. Over four decades of memories that all of us will never forget. Most, if not all, involving slot racing in some way.
 
Jim loved motorsports of all types. But he loved slot car racing most of all. He was fast, but never fast enough in his mind. His cars were beautiful, but never nice enough in his mind. He always wanted perfection and he got closer than he imagined. Jim was a winner in more ways than I think he realized.
 
He was the first to help anyone. Be it advice from his four plus decades of experience or the loan of spare parts up to and including a complete car. Jim always did what he could to make sure that others enjoyed the sport of slot car racing as much as he always did. The hobby, and certainly Tom Thumb Hobbies, just lost one its best friends, biggest fans, and best ambassador. The loss of Jim Nolen will hang heavy over all future events at Tom Thumb Hobbies but racing will go on. To do anything less would be to dishonor his memory and go against what Jim would want us to do – RACE and HAVE FUN.
 
Like all of you I will miss racing with Jim. Or just sitting around “BS’ing” with him. I am going to remember the good times, and there are plenty to remember. Please honor him by doing the same. And by racing as often as possible, and enjoying every second of it.
 
Jimmy… I love you like a brother. Rest easy my friend. I will NEVER forget you.
 
Funeral information will follow.

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#2 The Number of

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:53 PM

Sad news indeed. Godspeed, Jim.


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#3 Noose

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:55 PM

So very sad to hear. We have lost too many.


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#4 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 03:56 PM

RIP, Jim!


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#5 MSwiss

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:01 PM

Rest in Peace, Jim.

Condolences to his family and friends.

Mike Swiss
 
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#6 Cap Henry

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:03 PM

Very sad, Rest in Peace Jim, you will be greatly missed.

 

Thoughts and prayers to the family.


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#7 JerseyJohn

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:04 PM

My condolences, Mike. So sorry.


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#8 Tex

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:25 PM

I didn't know Jim but sorry to hear of his passing... my condolences to his family and friends.


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#9 raisin27

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:26 PM

I am at a loss for words... I will miss you, my friend.
 
Raisin

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#10 1fastdude

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:27 PM

Not knowing Jim for as long as many did, I enjoyed racing with him. A great person for this hobby and in general. I know that I will miss him. RIP.
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#11 Cheater

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 04:35 PM

Only met Jim at few times, mostly at the R4 I think, and he was the kind of guy I wished I could have known a lot better.

RIP, Jim. You made an impact on other lives, as this thread so clearly testifies.

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#12 Bill Bowers

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:03 PM

Is this the Jim Nolen that lived in Nashville, TN. Raced in the Kelly races?

#13 TG Racing

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:16 PM

RIP, Jim. It was an honor and a privilege to just be around you. I will miss racing with you. God bless you.
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#14 C. J. Bupgoo

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:16 PM

I guess we slot racers truly are "kindred spirits," for I have not personally known any of the racers who have passed in the last year...  

 

But for reasons I can't exactly explain, each passing has somehow affected me deep down within... Leaving a small "void", a drained feeling, if you will... 

It takes a few days, maybe a week, for this "void" to refill... And it does refill... but I never feel quite the same again...  :to_take_umbrage:


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#15 Cheater

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:18 PM

Is this the Jim Nolen that lived in Nashville, TN. Raced in the Kelly races?


Bill,

I think you are thinking of Bill Nolen, who lives in Lebanon, TN.

He's still around and is not the Jim Nolen who is the subject of this thread.

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#16 Gary Adams

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:39 PM

Oh my goodness, such sad news. Jim, you will be greatly missed, God bless you my friend.

 

Condolences to Jim's family and friends.


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#17 Dennis David

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 06:58 PM

In the end all we have are out memories, but it is those memories that form the fabric of our lives. Each friend we lose leaves a little bit of themselves and we are the richer to have known them, too share a laugh, maybe even a tear, they make us who we are.
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#18 John Gorski

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 10:55 PM

Condolences to Jim's family.

 

Anyone have a picture of Jim?


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#19 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 03 February 2016 - 11:53 PM

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Prepping for the R4/8.


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#20 RodneyZ

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 12:25 AM

Thoughts and prayers to family and friends. Rest in peace.
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#21 FSK

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 08:02 AM

This is sad news for us. He was and always will be a good friend.

 

When I would be down, he had the smile, laughter, and kind word to bring me up. Many a good time, we shaired at Mac's Tom Thomb Raceway. He was always there.

 

He will be missed by a lot of friends and his family. On Facebook his coworkers talk very highly of Jim.

 

He will live in all out hearts. May God bless and keep Jim.

 

SK


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#22 Matt Sheldon

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 10:25 AM

Those that are friends with Jim on Facebook are seeing overwhelming positive impact that Jim has had on many people. The comments from his coworkers are incredible.


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#23 Howie Ursaner

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 12:22 PM

So sorry to hear this news. My condolences to Jim's family. 


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#24 Tom Thumb Hobbies

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 08:35 PM

James R. "Jim" Nolen
Born: April 30, 1963
Died: February 3, 2016

James R. "Jim" Nolen, age 52 of Grove City, passed away Wednesday, February 3, 2016, at Mt. Carmel Medical Center. Jim was a Glass Technician with Safelite AutoGlass for 31 years. Jims passion was Slot Car Racing through Tom Thumb Hobby Shop. Preceded in death by his father James Nolen. Survivors include his mother Irene Nolen; sons Rob and Matt Nolen; sister Lisa Morris; nephew Chris Morris; and dear friends and many extended family members.

Friends may visit on Sunday from 2-5 PM at the Spence-Miller Funeral Home, 2697 Columbus St., Grove City, OH, where funeral will be held at 11 AM. Interment will follow at St. Joseph Cemetery. Online guestbook at www.spencemillerfuneralhome.com.


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#25 Mike Patterson

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Posted 04 February 2016 - 09:38 PM

I'm so sorry to hear this.
 
I remember meeting and racing with Jim back in the MORA and Tri-State series in the late '70s-early '80s. It was nice to see him getting back into racing with Retro cars. I wish I could have attended more races, and talked to him more. Dammit!
 
May God rest his soul. He fought the good fight.

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#26 Phil Donaldson

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Posted 05 February 2016 - 01:31 AM

Mere words cannot describe the anguish that those of us that were lucky enough to be close to Jim are feeling. Thank you everybody for your kind words they really do help. Jim was my friend, teammate, brothe,r and my best man at my wedding and I will miss him so much.
 
Love ya, dude!


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#27 Cheater

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 08:24 AM

Mike McMasters was asked to delivery the eulogy at Jim Nolen's service and he has kindly granted my request allow me to post it to this thread.

 
When Jimmy and I met we were both kids. My parents owned this cool place known as a slot car raceway and, with Jimmy’s love of motorsport and anything fast, he was drawn to it like a moth to a flame. It wasn’t long before he became a fixture at Tom Thumb Hobbies. So much so that my parents considered him my “other little brother.” And so did I.
 
I was recently thinking back, trying to remember when Jimmy went from being a customer to one of my closet friends. Frankly I don’t remember when we weren’t close. I think everyone in this room can relate. Because just to meet Jimmy was to love him and become a close friend. It just happened. It was the effect he had on us all.
 
I should mention that to us at the race track Jim was known as Jimmy. I don’t exactly remember why we started calling him Jimmy. I think it sometimes irritated him a little so that was probably part of the reason. You know how brothers can be.
 
So, it wasn’t long before this “blond, never a hair out of place, brother from a different mother” was traveling to races with us, winning some and losing some. But one thing we always did was have fun. Together we created so many indelible memories that some will be told over and over again as long as we live. The other stories... well let’s just say that “what happens at the race track – stays at the race track.”
 
When most people think of a slot car they picture a small little electric-powered toy. And you would be partially correct. But the type of slot cars Jimmy raced are extremely sophisticated, incredibly intricate vehicles that require split second timing to drive successfully. In fact, they are the fastest wheeled vehicles in the world of any size. And Jimmy mastered them.
 
His passion for racing was so strong that he was always the first to freely offer his hard earned knowledge to anyone, even complete strangers. Everything he owned was yours for the asking if it would help you enjoy the sport he loved as much as he did. In four decades of traveling to races I  think there were only a handful of racers that Jimmy didn’t help at least once.
 
His cars were always fast, but he always wanted faster. His bodies were always works of art, but he always tried to paint better. He always wanted more. I think that is a character trait everyone here will recognize. He didn’t want to be a good slot car racer, he wanted to be the best slot car racer. He didn’t want to be a good glass installer, he wanted to be the best glass installer. He didn’t want to just be a good son, father, brother, uncle, or friend – he wanted to be the best.
 
Jimmy’s love and devotion for his mom, sons, sister, nephew, and his faith was evident in everything he did or said. And, somehow, he had enough left over for all of us. I’ve never known anyone who touched so many lives without asking for anything in return. The lessons we learned from Jimmy will be with us forever.
 
So Jimmy, while we all mourn your passing, I must say I’m also relieved. Relieved that you are no longer in pain and suffering from that horrible disease. Although you never let it take the smile from your face or the laugh from your voice we could see the toll it was taking.
 
Rest easy now and know that you achieved what you always wanted... to be the best. You have been the best for quite some time. Everyone here today will testify to that.
 

May God hold you now in His arms. And rest assured that we will always hold you in our hearts.


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Gregory Wells

Never forget that first place goes to the racer with the MOST laps, not the racer with the FASTEST lap


#28 1fastdude

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 08:39 AM

Very admirable and true as far as my short time knowing Jim.

 

Thanks for posting


Eli E. Ezrow

#29 Zippity

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Posted 16 February 2016 - 02:55 PM

Beautiful.  :)

 

Thanks, Mike and Greg.



#30 Scott Hall

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Posted 19 February 2016 - 09:06 AM

RIP Jim







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