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Robert Nichols


1945 - 2018 Obituary Condolences
Robert Nichols Obituary
Robert Nichols
September 27, 1945 to July 10, 2018
San Jose, CA
EDUCATOR, MENTOR, BELOVED FAMILY MEMBER
Robert Nichols passed away on July 10, 2018 from complications of Mesothelioma. He was born on September 27, 1945 in Trenton New Jersey to Parker C Nichols and Mary (Hardie) Nichols. Both of Bob's parents served in the RCAF and his father also in the USAF during WWII. Shortly after his birth, Bob moved with his parents to Vancouver British Columbia where his family grew to include his twin sisters Penny and Vicki and later his younger brother Ken. Bob excelled in high school as a National Honor Society Student and he spent four college summers working at the Certainteed Asbestos Factory in San Jose.
He was a master of all things historical, including many trivia facts which he routinely used to challenge his friends and family to the end. Quite simply, Bob loved to teach. He graduated from San Jose State with a degree in history and spent nearly 40 years working for the Campbell Union High Scholl District. He was a department chair, soccer coach, student advisor and served in many different capacities as an educator, where he encouraged many of his students (and family members) to become teachers.
Later in his career, he became active in both national and local teachers' organizations, including serving on the Boards of Directors of The National Education Association and the California Teachers Association. He received many accolades from local, State and National elected political figures including governors and presidents.
In addition to providing loving support to his mother, nieces, nephews and friends, he also became an extended member to a refugee Vietnamese family. For more than 30 years, he helped them understand American culture, guide them through school, and counseled them through life. He had a major impact on the lives of Son, Hong, Kim, and Annie Hue Nguyen.
Bob loved to travel and often knew more about the historical facts of distant cities and cultures than the guides giving the tours. He and his longtime friend, Martha Wallace, were active members of the San Francisco Opera and travelled extensively together throughout Europe. He never stopped wanting to learn or teach. He was a devoted reader and audiophile with a library of books and music that covered his entire home. His annual Christmas gifts to his family included hard-to find music and books that he sourced from all over the world so as to never disappoint their requests.
After retiring as an active High School teacher, Bob continued to find ways to help students as a Founding Member of the Silicon Valley Educational Foundation where he was responsible for many programs, including special grants and programs to ensure teachers had the resources they needed to provide the best education possible.
Bob was also known for his thoughtful treats which he would serve to family and friends and never missed an opportunity to provide cupcakes to celebrate the newborns, blue for the boys, pink for the girls.
Bob is survived by his loving family, including his sisters Penny (Ralph) Marotta of Phoenix AZ, Vicki (Jim) Duffy of Truckee, CA, brother Ken of San Jose, nieces Maureen Duffy, Elizabeth (Alan) Millar, nephews Thomas (Emily) Duffy, Ryan (Brandy) Duffy, Christopher (Kerri) Marotta, numerous great grand nieces and nephews and many relatives in Canada. He rarely missed an opportunity to attend family events in Canada and all over the US and was always present with a proud smile at family graduations.
He will be deeply missed by all. At his request, there will not be a memorial service and the family requests that in lieu of flowers by making a donation in his honor to the Silicon Valley Education Foundation at svefoundation.org/donate.


View the online memorial for Robert Nichols
Published in San Jose Mercury News/San Mateo County Times from July 14 to July 15, 2018
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