It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Bill Nickel, on Jan. 24, after a lengthy illness.
Bill was born in Laird, Sask. on April 9, 1940 to Leonard and Margaret Nickel. He grew up and attended school there, where his father operated the ferry on the North Saskatchewan River.
Following high school, Bill obtained his journeyman mechanic license. He worked as a mechanic for a few years, then ran a service station. He then worked for Diebold Canada until he started his own security business in Winnipeg.
In 1993, Bill met Kay while installing security equipment in the new Fort Frances Credit Union.
He kept returning to Fort Frances to visit Jan and Larry Dolk, and Kay was usually invited too. After a few months, Bill finally asked Kay out and they got engaged at Christmas that year.
Bill and Kay were married in International Falls on Aug. 13, 1994 and continued to reside in Winnipeg until after Bill retired in 1998. They moved to Armstrong Drive in the summer of 1999, where Bill was able to spend his time doing the activities he loved, like hunting and fishing. For the first time in his life, he was able to have a dog. Koko became his constant companion for fishing and travelling. Bill was a member of the Fort Frances Sportsman's Club, where he enjoyed volunteering time and using the shooting range facilities.
Coming from a small family with only one brother, Arley, Bill was quite overwhelmed with the large Family he had married into! At their wedding, Brenda advised him that if he was moving Kay to Winnipeg, he had to install a 1-800 phone number for her family to keep in touch!
Bill was astounded at how family pitched in to help each other. He often said that life in the large family was sure never boring!
Bill and Travis shared a love of guns and hunting. Bill taught Travis about guns, ammunition and loading his own shells.
As his health failed, Bill came to rely on Travis's help in many tasks.
Bill had a great admiration for Stacy, as a single Mom, a very dedicated and professional Paramedic and a truly caring and kind hearted daughter.
Bill enjoyed being Grandpa to Ryne and John. He took John on his first hunting and fishing adventures, nicknaming him “Big John”. Sweetpea was the nickname given to Ryne, and Bill never called her anything else.
Bill and Kay enjoyed time spent on their boat on Lake of the Woods, travelling and entertaining friends, neighbours and family.
Bill was predeceased by his parents, his brother, and many of his friends.
He is survived by his wife, Kay; Stepchildren Travis MacIntyre of Fort Frances, Stacy (Gary) Schaefer of Manistee, Michigan, her children Ryne and John; his sister in law, Alice Nickel; nephew Les Nickel (Dolores) Rosthern, Sask., their daughters Chelsea, Tiffany, Christy and Ashley; his niece, Tracy Thiesen and her daughters.
Also surviving him are his brother and sister in laws, Lois and Al Mann of International Falls, Gerry and Jane Allan and Cheryl and Dan Bragg of Emo, Roger, Brian and Nancy Allan and Lucille and Mel MacDonald of Devlin, and Brenda Boettcher and Bill Galusha of Fort Frances, along with numerous nieces and nephews.
He is also survived by special friends, Harold and Marge Hinz of Laird, Jan and Larry Dolk of Steinbach, Mike and Toni Armstrong of Hanley, Sask, Jake Klassen of Cold Lake, Alberta, Dennis and Zoria Kanasevich of Etonia, Sask., Gary Smith of Holland, Man., Dr. Spencer, Wayne Wright, Dusty Sheppard, Sandy and Julie Smith of Rainy River District, special cousin Norma Paul of Vancouver Island.
Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, Jan. 29, at Northridge Funeral Home, Emo, Ontario at 1:00 p.m. Rev. Frances Flook Officiating.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the Riverside Palliative Care Units or the Fort Frances Sportsman's Club would be greatly appreciated.