Thaddeus (Thad) Beam Nifong

Published 10:38 am Tuesday, April 27, 2021

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Thaddeus (Thad) Beam Nifong

April 20, 2021

TUCKER, GA – Thaddeus (Thad) Beam Nifong, Lead Instructor of Speech & Communication at Gwinnett Technical College and life-long advocate, actor, and director of community theatre, died Tuesday, April 20th. He was 58.

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Born in Lakeland, Florida, Thad’s hometown was Plant City, Florida with residency later established in Tallahassee, Florida; Bainbridge, Atlanta, and Tucker, Georgia.

Thad earned his Bachelor of Science Degree from Florida State University and his Master of Communication Arts from Valdosta State University. Ever striving to further his education, he began his post-graduate courses in Master of Leadership & Organization at Troy University. He was a member of Toastmasters International and the Golden Key International Honor Society.

Thad began his teaching career in speech and communications at Bainbridge College in Bainbridge, Georgia. He developed an immediate love for the classroom and especially enjoyed helping students who were disadvantaged or struggling. From there he took a position teaching speech and communications at Gwinnett Technical College, where he was a well-loved and inspiring instructor and the faculty lead for the school’s Toastmasters International chapter.

Throughout his life, Thad had a passion for theater and music. He was a founding board member for the Plant City Community Theatre (now called Plant City Entertainment, Inc.), he sang with the Warren Willis Singers, and he served in numerous church choirs in the cities where he has lived. Eventually, his passion for theater led him to the Bainbridge Little Theatre in Bainbridge, Georgia where he served as Theatre Manager, Director of numerous plays and musicals, and an unforgettable performer in several acclaimed productions. Most recently, his acting skills were showcased by way of several memorable character roles at the Main Street Theatre in Tucker, Georgia.

Thad was also very well known for his love of animals, and he often spoke out against the abuse and mistreatment of them. Over the years, the beloved pets fortunate enough to have been in Thad’s family, included Conrad, Spencer, Sherman, and Kiefer.

With a larger-than-life personality and a deep and caring heart, Thad left an indelible mark on the thousands he met during his short life. He is often remembered for his bright smile, his unique humor, and his appreciation of flashy attire. His ability to catch people’s attention gave him the inroads to extend to them his kindness and a few laughs. His unique charm gave him the ability to connect with people regardless of age, race, gender, or any other variables. Thad simply loved sharing his own story, while also celebrating what others had to share.

Thad is preceded in death by his parents, Wanda Beam and Dwight Moody Nifong, Jr., both of Plant City, Florida. He is survived by his sister Krysta Diehl of Auburn, Alabama and a brother Simeon Nifong of Lake Placid, Florida, as well as three nephews, two nieces, and numerous great nephews and nieces.

A Memorial Service with a Celebration of Life Gathering will be announced at a later date.