Cleland “Nick” Nichols was born on a farm near Howard City. He grew up during the depression and like many others in the farming community, his family didn’t have money but they did have food grown on the family farm. The lessons learned from that experience influenced his life forever. As a kid he worked on the farm, hunted and fished. When Nick graduated from high school; he and his buddy, Frank Korcel, hitchhiked to Minnesota looking for work. The summer of 1935 he worked for Walter Jennings on a farm in Indiana driving a mule team. Later he went to work in Shelby on a fruit farm and it was there that he met his future wife, the former Neva Purdy. They began to date, fell in love and were married on March 2, 1940 at her parent’s home in Pentwater, Michigan. He and Neva had four children. Nick worked at Roskam Bakery in Grand Rapids for a year. He attended night school and went to work at Hayes Manufacturing, building aircraft parts for the war effort. He was drafted into the US Navy during WWII. When the war ended he went back to farming and farmed for 40 years. He raised poultry and hogs. During the Korean War he worked at General Motors making aircraft parts but continued to farm. He was a humble and very generous man. His advice to others would be to believe in God and love your wife and family. One of his ministries was passing out Gideon New Testaments and he continued to do so at Metron of Cedar Springs where he lived for the past two years. He was active in the Sand Lake United Methodist church where he served as Sunday School Superintendent, Sunday School teacher, board member and lay leader. He was a friend to many pastors over the years who sometimes sought his counsel.
Arrangements by Pederson Funeral Home, Rockford