April 26, 1933 ~ January 30, 2014
LAURENCE W. ('NICK') NICHOLS
Nick was born April 26, 1933, to Cletis and Juanita Nichols. He grew up in the Pacific Northwest, the eldest of four children. He served in the Air Force during the Korean War. While stationed in Washington State he met, wooed, and married the love of his life, Eileen Whelan, in Bellingham, Washington on August 21, 1954. The couple relocated to California, eventually settling in Fremont in 1960. Nick and Eileen reared six children and one grandson.
In 1959, Nick joined the California Highway Patrol. He proudly served until he suffered a career-ending injury when his motorcycle crashed while in pursuit of a criminal. He worked in a variety of jobs and eventually ended up at the United States Postal Service as a Postal Inspector. After more than 20 years, he retired from the USPS, receiving a special commendation recognizing his hard work on and invaluable contribution to the Unibomber case.
Nick enjoyed traveling with Eileen, golfing, meeting new people, and spending as much time as he possibly could with his family. A devout Catholic, Nick was an involved member of Our Lady of Guadalupe parish for over 50 years. He gave generously of his time to the Society of St. Vincent de Paul.
On January 30, 2014, died peacefully in Fremont, California. Nick is now reunited with his parents, his wife of 58 years Eileen, his daughter and son-in-law Linda and Steve Riley, and a number of wonderful friends and relatives who passed before him. Nick is survived by five of his six children: Greg (Fremont, CA), Larry (Fremont, CA), Leonard (Guangzhou, China and Henderson, Nevada), Angela Amundson (Willard, MO), and Tim (Niles, CA); his sisters Judy Wilson (Mountain View, CA) and Janice Green (Oroville, CA); his brother Jerry (Citrus Heights, CA); nine grandchildren; ten great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews and in-laws.
Nick was a dedicated family man and a steadfast friend. His strength, compassion, and humor will be sorely missed. There will be a vigil held for Nick at Berge Pappas Smith Chapel of the Angels, 40842 Fremont Boulevard, Fremont, CA on Friday, February 7, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. His funeral will be held at Our Lady of Guadalupe, 3600 St. Leonard's Way, Fremont, California on Saturday, February 8, 2014, at 2:00 p.m.
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I always remember the dry humor of both Larry and Eileen. I think I loved that most about them. They were great to travel with as you had to keep laughing even when things went wrong, as they did on our trip to Ireland. Indeed both were steadfast, but more than friends, they were family to us. Both will be missed.
Mr. Nichols. Our lifetime family friend. Always a pleasure – strong prescence – calmy and quietly doin’ the good lookin’ out! We love you – always will. Thanks for being our family friend. The Melech Family