Norman R. Nickels

Sept. 24, 1938-Jan. 8, 2021

Norman Richard Nickels, 82, of McClure, Ohio, passed away peacefully Jan. 8, 2021, at home surrounded by his loving family.

He was born Sept. 24, 1938, in rural Hamler, Ohio, to the late Richard and Meta Nickels (Basselman). On Nov. 14, 1959, he married Ruth Ann Badenhop, who preceded him in death on Nov. 23, 2014.

Norman served in the U.S. Army from 1957-63. He spent his lifetime farming in the summer and repairing the lake freighters at the Toledo Lake Erie Shipyard.

In earlier years, Norm and Ruth enjoyed visiting all the local polka festivals and spending vacations in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, watching the freighters go through the Soo Locks.

He enjoyed fishing, boating,and camping alongside the Maumee River with his family for many years. One of the fondest memories of his grandchildren is sitting on Grandpa Norm’s lap and looking at farm magazines and the Auto Trader. He had a knack for magically finding “bugs” in the kids’ hair and ears.

Norman was a loving husband, father, grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a member of the Peace Evangelical Lutheran Church, Deshler, Ohio.

He is survived by sons, Douglas (Sandra) Nickels of Ravenel, South Carolina, and Dean (Amy) Nickels of Malinta, Ohio; daughter, Sandra (Chuck) Kuhlman of McClure, Ohio; 10 grandchildren; eight great-grandchildren; two step great-grandchildren; and brothers, Melvin (Lavina) Nickels, Deshler, Ohio, and Eldon Nickels, McClure, Ohio.

He was also preceded in death by a son, Jerry Lee Nickels; and granddaughter, Jocelyn Suzanne Nickels.

Funeral services will be held at 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12 at Peace Lutheran Church, Deshler. A private interment with military honors will be held at a later date. Visitation will be held Monday, Jan. 11 from 4-8 p.m. at Rodenberger-Gray Funeral Home, Napoleon, and Tuesday from noon–1 p.m. at the church.

In lieu of flowers, memorials are suggested to Peace Lutheran Church.

Online condolences can be made at

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic masks and social distancing will be required at all times.

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