William E. Nickel, 75, of North Dartmouth, MA and formerly of Glastonbury, CT died Friday evening, January 5, 2018 surrounded by his loving family. Born on October 17, 1942 in Minneapolis, MN, he was the son of Harry R. Nickel and Shirley A. Nickel and spent his early years in Hartford, CT before his family relocated to Glastonbury in 1952. He played baseball and varsity soccer at Glastonbury High School, graduating in 1960, and briefly attended University of Connecticut. He enlisted in the Army in 1964 and attended Officer Candidate School in Fort Benning, GA. He served in the Vietnam War from August 1966- 1967 as a 1st Lieutenant in the 1st Infantry Division and earned the Bronze Star with First Oak Leaf Cluster, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry with Gold Star, and Purple Heart for injuries received in combat.
Returning home, he joined his father at Nickel Insurance Associates eventually assuming ownership and running the business until his retirement in 2012. Always engaged with community, he gave years of service to the Glastonbury Volunteer Ambulance Association, the GHS reunion committee, the Glastonbury Land Heritage Coalition, and the Service Club of Glastonbury, supporting the production of the local phone book and the annual Nayaug Canoe Race fundraisers. He was married to Susan Howard Nickel of Wareham, MA from 1965-1990 with whom he had his daughters, Kristen and Deborah.
His diverse and passionate interests included carpentry and remodeling, airplanes and engineering, jazz and live music, boating, and cigars and whiskey with his friends and family. A lifelong Red Sox and NY Giants fan, he also followed the UCONN Huskies and came to appreciate and root for the New England Patriots after retiring to Massachusetts to be near his daughters and grandson. Bill joined the Unitarian Memorial Church in Fairhaven, volunteered with the Buzzards Bay Coalition, and enjoyed many relaxed and happy days in retirement.
Bill was a good man – kind, loving, and generous, with a great sense of humor. We will miss his smiles and laughter. He leaves behind his wife, Cynthia A. Nickel of North Dartmouth, daughter Kristen Nickel and her fiancé Scott Briggs of Marion, grandson William Michael Balser of Marion, daughter Deborah Hood and son-in-law Michael Hood of Wareham and Mansfield, and sister Sara Anne Steere and brother-in-law Myron Steere of Greenfield, NH.
A celebration of life will be held Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Unitarian Memorial Church,102 Green Street, Fairhaven, MA at 1pm with receiving line between 2-3pm. Interment with military honors will be at the Glastonbury Town Green cemetery in the Spring. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the Buzzards Bay Coalition, 114 Front Street, New Bedford, MA 02740 or AMVETS National Service Foundation, 4647 Forbes Boulevard, Lanham, MD 20706.