James M. Nichols, age 81 of Lima, died at 10:35 p.m., Monday, November 5, 2012 in Lost Creek Care Center. He was born December 6, 1930 in Allen County, Ohio to Gomer and Minnie Ruth Caldwell Nichols, who preceded him in death. On October 22, 1970 he married Carol Hoyt, who died October 2, 1995.
James was a 1948 graduate of Harrod High School. He was all-county in basketball, receiving several college scholarship offers.
After high school, James decided to continue farming the Nichols family farm. James and Gomer started Nichols Farm Equipment in the 50’s, buying and selling used farm equipment. In the 60’s James continued farming and doing custom baling and combining.
James also worked for Lloyd Few Excavating operating a bull dozer and dragline. In the late 60’s James worked for Bitler Rumer, Rumors Saw Mill in Harrod, and harvesting trees.
James last job was working at American Standard, Tagart Plumbing and Heating, and managing the warehouse.
At age 57 James retired, living in Hudson, Florida, during the winter. While in Florida James became best friends with Ralph Cooper. They spent many nights on the Gulf shrimping on Ralph’s boat the PEEWEE. James belonged to the Hudson First Baptist Church, in Hudson, Florida. James loved fishing, crabbing, and shrimping.
The Nichols family’s biggest passion was racing. They started running a roadster at the Old Ramble Inn, east of Lima. In the early 50’s James drove stock cars at Landeck and Allentown Speedways.
After his stint as a driver, James owed super-modified and sprint cars into the early 80’s. Some of the drivers who drove for James; Don Hewitt, Dick Newland, Doc Dawson, Rally Alvers, Chuck Carmen, Bob Christman, and his son Dave Nichols.
During James last few years, he enjoyed watching NASCAR and the Ohio State Basketball team. James volunteered his services to the American Red Cross, working at disaster sites for several years.
Survivors include sons – David Nichols of Harrod, Michael Nichols of Powell, Ohio; a granddaughter – long lost Lydia Nicole Nichols and his dog Jack.
James will be remembered in his neighborhood walking Jack or walking to Rite-Aid to get his Columbus Dispatch which he always said “was a real newspaper.”
He was preceded in death by four sisters – Mary Ellen Wells, Betty Mowery, Patricia Nichols, Barbara Carroll, and brothers – William Nichols and Harry Nichols.
No public visitation or service is planned at this time as requested by Mr. Nichols.
Memorial contributions may be made to the American Cancer Society or the Red Cross.