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In Memory

Phillip James Nichols

January 7, 2014

Phillip James Nichols passed away suddenly on Thursday, January 2, at the Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland.

He was born to B. Carl Nichols and Edwina "Winnie" F. (McDonald) Nichols on February 8th, 1940, in Joplin, Missouri.

Phillip grew up in Chillicothe, MO. He moved, with his parents and younger brother, Richard C. "Dick" Nichols, to Boulder in 1954. He graduated from Boulder High School and finished two years of college between CSU in Fort Collins and Mesa State College in Grand Junction before enlisting in the Navy where he served four years as an Aircraft Electrician.

A "jack of all trades," he took a correspondence course in locksmithing, and continued his hobby of repairing and rebuilding cars. He met the girl of his dreams, M. Elaine (Kindsfater) Nichols, in May of 1967, proposed under the fireworks at Boulder Stadium on the 4th of July, and married her on November 25th of the same year in a beautiful evening ceremony. Two years later their first son, Jeffrey C. Nichols, was born and after another two years their second son, Chad P. Nichols, was born.

Phil joined the Electrical Union and was sent on jobs all over Colorado. He earned his master electrician's license during this time. They lived in Boulder, Delta, Longmont, and Grand Junction where he applied his woodworking skills improving each house they owned. He and Elaine enjoyed buying, improving and selling homes so much that they lived in three different houses on the same street in Longmont! During two of the years they lived on the Western Slope he owned his own electrical business. When his sons were in the 7th and 5th grades, they moved to Loveland to stay. Phil worked for the University of Colorado in Boulder, then transferred to CSU in Fort Collins where he stayed for 23 years before retiring in 2001. At that time they became "snowbirds," wintering in Lake Havasu City, Arizona, with their youngest son, Chad, and spending summers in Loveland with their oldest son, Jeff. He and his close-knit family enjoyed classic cars and traveling and they went on many trips to visit family, attend car shows and explore. Phil enjoyed going to Speed Week at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.

He was gregarious, ornery and handy. He was a strong, dedicated family man whose wife and sons meant everything to him. He is survived by his wife, Elaine, two sons, Jeff and Chad, and also by his only brother, Dick (and Karen) Nichols. He also is survived by his two nieces, Jennifer (and Justin) Wendel, and Pamela (and Kevin) White, great-nephew, Parker, and great-niece, Harper.

An intimate service will be held for immediate family and planning is underway for a celebration of Phil's life in May. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite charity.


Contact: Dell Rae Ciaravola
E-mail: DellRae.Ciaravola@colostate.edu