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Robert Charles Nicholas

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POWNAL -- Robert Charles Nicholas, 83, of Pownal, passed away Friday morning, Dec. 15, 2006, at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center in Bennington.

He was born in Great Barrington, Mass., on Aug. 2, 1923, the son of Everett A. and Florence Irene (Gillett) Nicholas. He was a World War II Army veteran, serving with the 744th Light Tank Battalion from Normandy through the Battle of the Bulge. They also assisted in the Liberation of Buchenwald. He earned the Bronze Star as well as the Good Conduct, American Campaign, European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign and, World War II Victory Medals and the Silver Star Attachment, Honorable Service Lapel Button Expert badge and Machine Gun Bar and the marksman badge and Rifle Bar.

He was the founder and owner of West End Sheetmetal in Richmond, Mass. He also founded and ran the Richmond Oil Co. and was a co-owner of the Indian Motorcycle shop in West Pittsfield, Mass. He was a deacon in the Richmond Congregational Church and a member of the Richmond Consolidated School Committee. He was one of the founding members of the Richmond Fire Department and founded the Richmond Little League. He was a Cub Scout leader and a member of the Masonic Lodge in Pittsfield, the West Stockbridge American Legion and West Stockbridge Kiwanis. He was also the proud owner of the Southwestern Vermont Medical Center ICU mascot “Judy,” his beloved dog who passed away on Oct. 27, 2006. He had been a resident of Pownal since his move there from Pittsfield in 1973.

He is survived by his wife, Deborah (Nolan) Nicholas of Pownal; two sons, Harold Nicholas of Petersburg, N.Y., and John Nicholas of Stephentown, N.Y.; two daughters, Sharon Jones of West Stockbridge and Nancy McAlear of Austin, Texas; 16 grandchildren, 10 great-grandchildren and one great-great-grandchild. He was predeceased by two brothers, Donald and Francis Nicholas and a sister, Ann Paris.

Funeral services will be held on Sunday, Dec. 17, 2006, at 1 p.m. at the Pownal Methodist Church with the Rev. Gary Dickson officiating. Friends may call at the church on Sunday from 12 to 1 p.m., when the family will be in attendance. Hanson-Walbridge Funeral Home, 213 W. Main St., Bennington, is in charge of arrangements. E-mail condolences may be sent to the family by visiting http://www.sheafuneralhomes.com.
Published in Bennington Banner on Dec. 16, 2006
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