Romer Clarence "Nick" Nichols, age 83, of Forest City, NC died Sunday, December 1, 2019 at Hospice of the Carolina Foothills, Forest City. He was born on September 13, 1936 in Wilson, North Carolina and was a son of the late Eddie Richmond Nichols and Cleo Deans Nichols.
Nick was educated in the Wilson County Schools. He attended Chowan Junior College on a full basketball scholarship where he earned his AA degree, and went on to receive his bachelor's from Atlantic Christian College. He later earned his Master's Degree from Appalachian State University. He played basketball at Chowan and was an All-Conference selection for two years. Nick also played semi-pro baseball and was scouted by the New York Yankees.
As a lifelong educator and coach, his career began in the Nash County School System as a physical education teacher at Coopers Elementary School.
Coach Nichols moved on to St. Johns Country Day School in Orange Park , Florida. Coach Nichols’ accomplishments at St. Johns were legendary and well documented. His impact on those he taught and those he coached was evidenced by the love and respect of his former students. As the coach who introduced soccer to the school's athletic program, his Boys Soccer Teams of 1968, 1969, and 1970 won 61 consecutive games before losing just one game, then came back to win 44 more consecutive games. His teams claimed the Tri-State Championship three years running. These teams were made up of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. Coach Nichols was also named Florida League Coach of the Year in basketball and baseball as well as in soccer and the legendary Coach was inducted in the St. John's Country Day School Athletic Hall of Fame in 2009.
He began his career at Rutherford County Schools as a Guidance Counselor and Coach at Union Mills School and went on to become the Assistant Principal at Tri-Community which later became Chase Middle School. Being an avid soccer coach and fan, he started the first intramural soccer program in the Chase Community which introduced the soccer program at the high school level. He retired as an Assistant Principal at Chase Middle School. Nick attended Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church and Gilkey United Methodist Church.
In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by his wife, Nancy McDonald Nichols, his son, John Whitmore Nichols, a brother, Eddie Ray Nichols, and sister, Brenda Nichols Peacock.
Survivors include his daughter, Wendy Nichols Anderson and husband Todd, his granddaughter, Caroline Anderson, who was the apple of his eye, all of Wilson, North Carolina. There are also a number of nieces, nephews, and cousins, his best friends, Randy and Louanne McDaniel of Rutherfordton and faithful dog and companion, Jewel.
The family will receive friends from 10 until 11 o'clock Wednesday morning at the mortuary. The funeral service will be held at 11 o'clock on Wednesday morning, December 4, 2019 in The Padgett and King Chapel with Reverend Eric Yelton officiating. Interment will follow in the Pleasant Grove United Methodist Church Cemetery.
He was a true Southern gentleman through and through that will be missed by many. A Dad, a Pa, a friend, an athlete #13, an educator, a coach, a hero... at peace.
Memorial contributions may be made to Hospice of The Carolina Foothills, Post Office Box 336, Forest City, North Carolina 28043.
The Padgett and King Mortuary & Crematory is in charge of arrangements and an online guest registry is available at www.padgettking.com
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