Col. Robert Nikolewski, a decorated medical science officer for the United States Air Force
, died Thursday, one month shy of his 79th birthday. Surrounded by his family, his was a peaceful and grace-filled passing. Col. Nikolewski is survived by his wife of 56 years, Irene, who accompanied him throughout his military and medical career that included his long tenure as the Chief of Cytopathology at Wilford Hall Medical Center, Lackland AFB, San Antonio. Col. Nikolewski is also survived by his five children - Laurie Fisher, Robert Nikolewski Jr., Dana McGrath, John Patrick Nikolewski and Mark Andrew Nikolewski - and their families, including eight grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. A board-certified cytopathologist and microbiologist, Col. Nikolewski served for 30 years in the Air Force, including stints on the USAF Inspector General's team and the Armed Forces Epidemiological Board. Col. Nikolewski also served as President of the Society of Armed Forces Medical Laboratory Scientists and was a founding member of the Texas Society of Cytology and the Biomedical Science Corps, USAF. Born on May 20, 1934, Col. Nikolewski was the son of Adam Nikolewski, a World War I veteran
, and Marguerite Weir Nikolewski, one of the few licensed female pharmacists in the country at that time. As a U.S. Army
corporal, Adam Nikolewski took part in the Meuse-Argonne Offensive in 1918 and was injured in a mustard gas attack. Adam Nikolewski died in 1950 when Col. Nikolewski was 16 years old. Marguerite Nikolewski died in 1955 when Col. Nikolewski was 21. Col. Nikolewski's only sibling, Edward Terrence Nikolewski, preceded him in death. A graduate of St. Anthony's High School in Long Beach, Calif., Col. Nikolewski received a bachelor's degree in biology from Loyola of Los Angeles (now Loyola Marymount University) and was a proud holder of a master's degree in clinical pathology from The Ohio State University
and served as an officer for the San Antonio chapter of the OSU Alumni Association.
APRIL 29, 2013
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APRIL 30, 2013
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Followed by graveside services with full military honors at 2:30 p.m. at Fort Sam Houston National Cemetery in San Antonio, Texas. Col. Nikolewski was an avid fisherman and in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Coastal Conservation Association - Texas, P. O. Box 127, Corpus Christi, TX 78403.
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