Nov. 21, 1944 - April 16, 2013
ELKHART — Forrest A. “Woody” Nicholas, born in Hammond on Nov. 21, 1944, to Helen Herlezk and Forrest A. Nicholas Sr., passed away Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at Elkhart General Hospital, after being stricken with a sudden-onset, incurable autoimmune disease, Hamman-Rich Syndrome. He was ill three weeks.
Mr. Nicholas was fortunate to give a gift of tissue via the Indiana Organ Procurment Organ donation.
Mr. Nicholas married Nancy Lou C. Vaughn on Nov. 6, 1982, at the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.
He is survived by his spouse; his children, Sarah (Scott) Amos, Sally (fiancée Matt Geiger) Vaughn of Elkhart and Susan (Eli Ybarra) Vaughn of Indianapolis, who adopted him on Dec. 24, 1986. He is also survived by grandchildren, Chelsea and Hannah Amos, Emily and Nicholas Kauffman and Grace and Gabrielle Ybarra; as well as his treasured sister-in-law, Jimmie Sue Queener; and nieces and nephews. Mr. Nicholas was an advocate of, “you do not have to share blood to be family.”
He is also survived by Scott Nicholas of Michigan, Jennifer Nicholas of Munster, Elizabeth (Derek Chalfant) Elmira of New York and several grandchildren.
Mr. Nicholas was preceded in death by his parents, Helen Herlezk and Forrest A. Nicholas Sr., and an infant sister Nicole.
Mr. Nicholas, a chemistry major, earned a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University in 1967.
Mr. Nicholas took early retirement from Bayer (Miles) in 2002 after 24 years of service. He was a member of Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. In retirement, he and his soulmate traveled extensively for several years.
Mr. Nicholas was past master of Tyrian Masonic Loge, past president of Elkhart Shrine Club, past president of Elkhart Scottish Rite Club, past deputy port captain of the Great Lake’s Cruising Club, St. Joseph, Mich., Harbor and past president of the Riverview Marina Condo Association, St. Joseph. He was a member of Lakes Dunes Miata Club.
In recent years, Mr. Nicholas focused on giving back to the community by reaching out to students struggling with algebra; he was adjunct faculty at Ivy Tech Community College, Elkhart.
Referring to his home along the Elkhart River as “The River’s Edge,” he cherished his family, wild life, fishing, his two cats and even his family of squirrels, who all have names. Mr. Nicholas embraced the outdoors and catch-and-release fishing. His flyfishing skills have been described as “watching poetry in motion.”
Friends may call from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, April 19, 2013, with a Masonic service at 7 p.m. at Hartzler-Gutermuth-Inman Funeral Home, and one hour prior to the 1 p.m. funeral Saturday, April 20, 2013, at the funeral home. Burial will take place at a later date.
Online condolences may be sent at www.hartzlergutermuthinman.com.
Memorial contributions may be given in his name to the Immune Deficiency Foundation, 40 West Chesapeake Ave., Suite 308, Towson, MD 21204 or www.primaryimmune.org/give; or to the local group Christmas Commandos, Mutual Bank 4100 East Edison Lakes Parkway, Suite 300, Mishawaka, IN 46545.