NICHOLS, Neil Calvert
Neil Calvert Nichols, 74, of Essex, died on July 29, 2013. Neil was the beloved husband and best friend of Alison Nichols whom he met when he was 14 and she was 13. Neil and Ali were married for 53 years. Neil was the father of three devoted sons, Neil Calvert Junior, Frederic Austin, and William Brett, six cherished grandchildren, Graziella, David, Lilly, Austin, Nicole and Riley and three loving daughters-in-law, Tina, Sarah, and Mary. Neil was the son of Marjorie and Julian Nichols. He and his five siblings, John, Marjorie, Julian, Mark and Mary grew up in West Hartford. He was a graduate of Saint Thomas Seminary and Trinity College and earned his wings at Williams Air Force Base in Arizona. After pilot training, Neil became an instructor pilot. Following the Air Force, Neil became a pilot with Pan American World Airways. During his tenure at Pan Am, Neil was elected chair of the union negotiating team and moved to management for a short stint; he was a key player in opening tourism and business travel to the Peoples Republic of China. After Pan Am failed in 1991, Neil became Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing and part owner of T.O. Richardson. At the time of his death, he was a self-employed consultant for Efficient Market Advisors, LLC. Neil was an ardent believer in giving back to the community. While living in Wilton, Neil became a cook and server at the Norwalk Soup Kitchen. He was an Americares Homefront Project volunteer and board member. He also served on the board of Save the Children, Camp Hazen YMCA and was a volunteer ambulance driver. After moving to Essex in 1995, Neil became the Americares District Coordinator for Hartford, a driver for Friends in Service Here (FISH), and served on the board of New Life Prison Ministry. Neil has been a faithful Roman Catholic since his days as an altar boy. His faith always informed and animated his decisions about his life choices. Neil was a Knight of Malta and a proud member of the Knights of Columbus, Our Lady of Sorrows Council 12113. Neil has been active in Republican politics since college. He has worked on countless campaigns, ran for public office, and was a member of CT State Central and the Essex Republican Town Committee. Neil also had a remarkable passion for collecting early American antique tools. He participated in many shows and loved sharing his extensive knowledge with others; every tool had a story. Many infected by his enthusiasm, subsequently also became collectors. Neil had a full and joyful life and touched so many with his cheerful optimism.
There will be a Mass of Christian Burial on August 10, 2013 at 10:30 at Our Lady of Sorrows in Essex. Military Honors will be rendered at the Church. A reception at the Essex Yacht Club will follow. If memorial contributions in Neil's name are desired, please consider FISH, the Shoreline Soup Kitchens and Pantries or the Wounded Warrior Project. Arrangements are with the Robinson, Wright & Weymer Funeral Home, Centerbrook, CT. www.rwwfh.com