William P. Nichols, Sr.,
William P. Nichols, Sr.,of The Villages, Florida (and formerly of Indianapolis) died on Friday, January 17, 2014, after battling chronic leukemia. He will be greatly missed by his wife, Ethel, and his family and the many friends whose lives he touched with his humor and compassion.
Bill was born on May 25, 1934, in Indianapolis to Preston and Inez Nichols. He grew up in Indianapolis with nine brothers and sisters and graduated from Washington High School. In 1957, he purchased his uncle Eldridge H. Nichols jewelry store renaming it William P. Nichols Jewelers. He was also a GIA graduate gemologist and jeweler appraising instructor. His store was located on the 5th floor of the State Life Building on Washington Street downtown Indianapolis until it was destroyed in 1973 from the historic downtown fire. He relocated his store to the 2nd floor of the L. Strauss building where it operated for several years.
In 1972, he purchased Reis Company, a masonic jewelry wholesale manufacturer. After spending several years on the road selling to jewelry stores, he renamed the store to Reis- Nichols and opened to the public in 1980 at 141 South Meridian St. In 1988, Reis-Nichols moved to the 2nd floor of the Majestic building on Pennsylvania St. In 1991, the five children became owners, and his son B.J. became President and moved the store in 1998 to its present location at Keystone at the Crossing and later opened a second store in Greenwood.
Bill was also an owner and managing partner in purchasing the Dolphin Club in 1973 on the city's northwest side. Additionally, he created West Indy Racquet Club which involved converting the older 3 clay courts to 6 indoor (heated bubble) and 6 outdoor courts which are still in use today.
Bill is survived by his wife of 56 years, Ethel Normington; and five children, Cindy Nichols Rexroth (Mark) of Carmel, Linda Nichols Kenny of Carmel, Brenda Walls (Robin) of Plainfield, Karla Sudzina (Mike) of Greenwood, and B.J. Nichols (Lori) of Zionsville. He is survived by 15 grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his siblings, Regina McCarty, Johnny, Rex, Norma Morgan, and Donna Hopper. Surviving siblings, include Roland (Chicago), Jerry (Fort Wayne), Kathy (Greenwood), and Dan (Greenwood).
Bill was involved with the Rotary Club, Air National Guard, and several charitable organizations in Indianapolis and central Florida. His favorite recent charity was Wildwood School (FL) - kids in need. Bill was an avid golfer and bridge player. He was a member of Fairway Christian Church in The Villages, Florida.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Second Helpings and Wheeler Mission of Indianapolis. A memorial service has been planned for Sunday, January 26th, with visitation from 1-4 p.m. and service at 4 p.m. at Zionsville Presbyterian Church at 116th Street and Michigan Road in Zionsville (4775 W. 116th St.).
Condolences may be left at http://www.beyersfuneralhome.com
Beyers Funeral Home and Crematory , Lady Lake/The Villages, FL in charge of arrangements.
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