Douglas "Nic" Ray Nichol
January 8, 1945 - November 1, 2020
Douglas Ray "Nic" Nichol, age 75, passed peacefully, Sunday, November 1, 2020 at home with his wife, his girls, and his dog, Riley by his side.
How do you condense the life of our hero into a few short paragraphs? You simply can't. And yet, here we are.
Known as Papa to his immediate and extended family, Nic loved spending time with family, whether it was watching his grandsons in marching band, sharing dinners at local eateries, or playing the guitar and singing with the grandkids. As both a talented and creative musician, Nic often expressed his love through songs he wrote and recorded just for his daughters and grandchildren. What a treasure these recordings are today.
Nic, a graduate of the University of Iowa, spent 42 years in both teaching and administrative positions at all levels of education from elementary through university. He retired from Longfellow Elementary in Toledo Public Schools where countless students have recalled what an inspiration he was. Many shared his "Nickel Story": On each student's birthday, Nic would say, "Here's a nickel from Mr. Nichol. Don't ever spend it. That way, you'll never go broke!" Many students today still have that prized nickel. Nic is the author of a series of children's books and accompanying recordings, A Nichol's Worth, which are still used in many elementary classrooms today. Of the many original songs he wrote, "I'd like to Roller-skate on the Moon," was perhaps his favorite as it mirrored his own philosophy of life. Nic received many accolades through-out his teaching career including being named Educator of the Year.
Nic's talent and music abilities opened a world of opportunities for him. He was the lead singer in The Ritz quartet, which won the International Barbershop Quartet Competition in 1991. The Ritz' 20 year journey together took them to 46 states, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, England and Russia. The quartet was also the featured performers aboard cruise ships to the Caribbean, Hawaii, and Alaska.
On most Wednesdays for 21 years, Nic could also be found recording jingles for Ken R. Inc. His singing also afforded him the opportunity to sing in operas, perform with the Toledo Symphony, and solo with a jazz ensemble. More recently, Nic sang with Teutonia Maennerchor German Men's chorus, where the camaraderie with fellow singers meant the world to him.
Nic's parents, Ray and Mary Lou Nichol, preceded him in death as did his sister, Dixie Bonte. Those left to cherish Nic's memory include his wife, Suzy; daughters: Vonni Nicholson (Mike), Gayle Guiher (Norm), Leigh Cash (Jason), Lisa Goebel, and Jill Puk (Kevin); special extended family member, Lynsey Uitenbroek (Aaron); 11 grandchildren: Kara Nicholson, CJ Nicholson, Gavin Guiher, Gunnar Guiher, Mitchell Cash, Lucas Cash, Ali Goebel, Max Goebel, Abby Caracci (Jeremy), Tyler Puk and J.T. Puk; brothers in song, Jim Shisler, D.J. Hiner (Barb), and Ben Ayling and his wife Mary Ann (who were traveling partners and remain friends for life); nephew Steffan Paul (Angie); brother-in-law Rick Bonte; and his 4 legged friend, Riley.
Nic leaves behind countless friends around the world who will remember him for his warmth, inclusive nature, and humor. We lost one of the good guys.
Due to COVID restrictions, there will be no funeral service at this time. A Celebration of Life will occur at a later date.
The family wishes to express their thanks to Heartland Hospice for their gentle, loving care of Nic. In keeping with Nic's wishes to support music for youth, the family requests that memorial contributions be made to Harmony Foundation, Association of International Champions (AIC), Outreach Fund, PO Box 24030, Nashville, TN 37202 or Heartland Hospice., 28555 Starbright Blvd, Ste. E, Perrysburg, OH 43551. Condolences and memories may be shared with the family by visitingwalkerfuneralhomes.com