George Edward Nichols

1927 - 2012 Obituary Condolences
George Edward Nichols Obituary
George Edward Nichols May 6, 1927 - November 5, 2012 George Edward Nichols passed away peacefully in his sleep on Monday, November 5, 2012. George had lived 85 years, having been born prior the Crash of 1929, and lived through the Great Depression, served in the United States Navy during World War Two and the Korean War, and witnessed all of the changes and innovations from the 1960's through the present. However, George recognized that the most important accomplishments in his life were his 59-year marriage with the love of his life, Julia Smith, raising his daughter, Penny, and seeing her become a successful pharmacist and even more successful wife and mother, and showering his grandchildren, Alexandria and Andrew, with love and affection. George was born in Atmore, Alabama, on May 6, 1927. George had two brothers and a sister, with only a brother, Ralph Nichols in Uriah, Alabama, still surviving. After his mother passed away when he was very young, George was raised by various relatives. While growing up, he loved baseball and had the classic Southern nickname, possibly bestowed by Ralph, of "Bubba," i.e., "brother." Despite being only 17 years old, George wanted to get into the fight and joined the United States Navy in 1944 and then was honorably discharged in 1952. During World War Two, he served in the Asiatic-Pacific Theater, including as a member of a Construction Battalion (CB) of the United States Navy, the famous "Seabees." During the Korean War, he served in the Korea Theater, during which his Landing Ship, Tank, an "LST," ferried communist prisoners to the POW Camp on Koje-do, an island off the south coast of the Korean peninsula. George achieved the rank of Boatswain's Mate, Second Class. While waiting for discharge in Mobile, Alabama, George played baseball for the United States Navy. Years later, George gave his Navy "letterman's" sweater to his granddaughter, Alexandria, which she treasures. 1953 was a momentous year for George. George and Julia were married that year. George also was hired by the Pacific Gas and Electric Company, better known as "PG&E." Prior to 1974, George worked at the Moss Landing Power Plant near Watsonville. While living in Watsonville, George returned to one of his loves, coaching little league baseball. After 1974, George worked at the Kern Power Plant in Bakersfield, California, which is now in the process of being demolished. In 1986 and after having seen his daughter Penny graduate from the University of the Pacific's School of Pharmacy, George retired from PG&E after 33 years of service. George was a member of The Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry. In 1973, he became a 32?, Master of the Royal Secret/ Sublime Prince of the Royal Secret. After retiring, George and his wife Julia travelled all over the Pacific West and visited family and friends in Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Florida. George loved to talk to people and to "people watch." A total stranger could become one of George's friends after just a few minutes of conversing. Everyone loved the affable, easygoing character of this truly gentle and kind man. Travelling just gave George an excuse to make more friends! George was a fantastic father. He was an even better grandfather. George relished both roles, and enjoyed nothing more than spoiling all of them. He called his grandson, Andrew, his "little buddy." George is survived by his wife, Julia, his daughter, Penny Nichols-Melton, her husband, Charles Melton, and their two children, Alexandria (who is currently a sophomore at University of California, Berkeley) and Andrew (who is a junior at Liberty High School). George also is loved by his extended family in Alabama, California, Florida and Washington. There will be no public services, only a private family service at the grave site at Greenlawn Southwest. In lieu of flowers, the Nichols Family requests that donations be made to the Navy and Marine Corps Relief Society in his honor. www.bakersfield.com/obits
Published in Bakersfield Californian on Nov. 8, 2012
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