The world lost a great man on Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011. Harold “Harry” A. Nichols, 59, of La Crosse, passed away peacefully at Gundersen Lutheran Medical Center, La Crosse, from a glioblastoma brain tumor. He was not renowned or a celebrity in any way. Instead, he lived his life trying to ease everyone else’s burden. He “touched” so many by living his life in the only way he knew, with unconditional love, guidance, and acceptance of all...usually with a big smile on his face (and something sweet in his mouth!). It astonished him to know of the thousands of visits to the Caring Bridge and the many guestbook entries.
Born June 25, 1951, to Marvin and Leona (Rinn) Nichols in La Crosse, Wis., he enjoyed growing up on French Island.
A graduate of Logan High School in La Crosse, he went on to earn his Printing and Publishing degree from Wisconsin Technical College. Harry managed the print shop at La Crosse Footwear until its closing. He was then employed at La Crosse Graphics until diagnosed with his brain tumor in May 2010.
On May 27, 1972, Harry married his soul mate, Cyndy (Knutson) Nichols. They were blessed with two children, Jennifer and Adam.
Harry served the community in various ways. He was a past president and member of the board of directors for the Great River Festival of Arts, and a former member of the La Crosse Barber Shoppers. He participated in La Crosse Community Theatre productions and several Gundersen Lutheran fundraisers.
He enjoyed traveling with his wife, Cyndy, music (especially from the 60’s), the Green Bay Packers, golf, caring for many animals (especially dogs), and sweets. But his main priority was always his family.
Harry was unconditional with his love and lived his life with dignity, grace, a positive attitude, hope and acceptance. During his last nine months, Harry’s goal was to allow others open access to his journey with brain cancer and help all to recognize the blessings in their lives. Thank you to the many angels who have traveled this journey with our family.
Harry survived by his wife, Cyndy of La Crosse; children, Jennifer (Chad) Wilkinson of La Crosse and Adam (Breanna) Nichols of Minneapolis, Minn.; one grandson, Liam Harold Wilkinson; four brothers, Beauford “Butch” (Terri) of Onalaska, and Arvard “Obb” (Beryl), Kenneth (Kathy), and Roger, all of La Crosse; mother-in-law, Ruth Knutson of La Crosse; brothers-in-law, Thomas Knutson and Phan Datthagawat, both of Sacramento, Calif.; and many nieces and nephews.
He was preceded in death by his parents; and two brothers, LaVern “Jim” and Ronald.
A Celebration of Life will be held beginning at 3 p.m. and concluding with a Service of Remembrance at 6 p.m. Monday, Feb. 21, at Jandt-Fredrickson Funeral Home, (Woodruff Chapel), 4239 Mormon Coulee Road, La Crosse. Pastor Mitzi Miyamoto will officiate. A private family burial will take place in Mormon Coulee Memorial Park Cemetery, La Crosse, at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, memorials are preferred to the Sandra J. Schulze American Cancer Society Hope Lodge in Rochester, Minn. Online condolences may be sent at www.jandtfredrickson.com.