Courier-Leader & Flashes

Obituary: David “Dave” Nicholas

David “Dave” Nicholas, 86, of Lawrence, passed away peacefully Thursday afternoon, Dec. 30, 2021, at White Oaks Retirement Residence, Lawton, with family at his bedside. David was born in his grandparents’ home, July 13, 1935, in Lawrence, MI to Paul & Louise (Wassman) Nicholas.
Those who ever spent time with Dave, know that he was a very special, honorable man who was a great role model to many. There are so many words that one could use to describe him: honest, caring, loving, respectful, generous, supportive, dedicated, positive, fun-loving, jolly, and humorous. David was also very social and what gave him great joy was making people smile.
Even as a youth peddling newspapers for the Kalamazoo Gazette, David loved to visit with his customers. His mother told one story about David that would not be a surprise to hear for those who knew him. It was after his paper delivery route and she was trying to find David to let him know that dinner was ready. His mother got on the phone and started calling all around town looking for him, only to find out that he was already eating dinner prepared for him by one of the elderly ladies in town. He definitely followed in his mother’s footsteps with his social skills. David developed a love for the outdoors from spending time with his father. A few of the many things that he did with his father was hunting and building wooden boats.
David graduated from Lawrence High School in 1954. His first job after school was as a teller at Home State Bank, Lawrence. His next job was working for UPS and it was during this time that he met the love of his life, Peggy Bailey. They were married June 24, 1961.
David loved to dance and it wasn’t long after that the two of them joined a dance club, with other local couples, held at the Lawrence American Legion Hall. David had numerous jobs during his years of employment, but there were three jobs where he spent the majority of his years. One job was working for his lifelong family friend at Al Kay Oil Company for approximately nine years. From there, he went into his own excavating business working with Bob Hosner for about 15 years. His retirement job was his favorite – 10 years of working for Kalamazoo Valley Intermediate School District KRESA as a driver for Regional Educational Media Center (REMC) – a delivery service of educational material. Through this job he traveled to many different schools where he was able to interact and share his joy. Following his retirement job, Dave and his wife, Peg found enjoyment with volunteering, whether it was reading with the first graders at the Lawrence Elementary School or spending time as caretakers at Big Sable Lighthouse giving tours.
David was very active in his community over the years as president of the Jaycees, member of Lawrence Lions Club, member of Lawrence Alumni Board, member of Lawrence Township Board, and member of Lawrence Public Schools Board of Education, where he was able to hand two of his granddaughters their high school diplomas. David was also a life-long member of the Lawrence United Methodist Church.
Throughout Dave’s life he loved to be on the go, spending time with family and friends. Despite multiple health issues, he rarely let them get in the way of doing the things he enjoyed. Dave and Peg enjoyed boating and took many trips up and down rivers. Often, they went with other couples, or they invited family or friends to join them on their boat. Dave loved to be outside and would always find something to do. As his body started to fail him and his physical limitations prevented him from doing many things, Dave was still able to do one of his most favorite and that was to mow the field with his tractor. David also shared his love of antique toy and real tractors with his son, Tim. Whenever Tim went to his parents’ house to work in the shop/pole barn, Dave would go outside and sit in a chair or on his walker and watch Tim work on whatever the project was at the time. Dave was always there to give advice and guidance.
David loved his family dearly and is survived by his wife and caretaker, Peggy (Bailey) Nicholas of 60 years; their only child, Tim (Sandy) Nicholas; three grandchildren, Beth Jorriy, Becky (Brian) Holmes, and Kaitlyn (Ben) Andries; four great-grandchildren – Shelby Jorriy, Tyler Leach, Kennedy Holmes, and Lincoln Andries; and only sibling, Judy (Gordie) McGowan.
David was preceded in death by his parents.
Cremation has taken place. Due to COVID-19, a private burial ceremony with immediate family will take place in the spring.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in David’s name to the Lawrence United Methodist Church, Centraca Care Navigators (formerly Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan) or Lawrence Alumni.
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