Robert J. “Bob” Nichols, age 82, of Watertown, SD, passed away on Monday, September 9, 2019, at the local hospital. Funeral services will be at 10:00 a.m. on Monday, September 16, 2019, at Crawford-Osthus Funeral Chapel. Pastor Steve Biswell and Jo Vitek will officiate. The family is requested to meet at the chapel by 9:30 a.m. for a family prayer service.
Visitation will be at the chapel on Sunday from 2-4 p.m. and prior to the service on Monday.
Burial will be at Mt. Hope Cemetery. Military graveside honors will be conducted by Codington County Post #17 of the American Legion, Watertown, and the Military Funeral Honors Team of the S.D. Army National Guard. Honorary pallbearers will be Bob’s granddaughters, his coffee buddies at Stockman’s and his racing buddies. Active pallbearers will be: Brandon Nichols, Brandon Kriese, RJ Nichols, Jacob Milliron, Chase Varpness, Nathaniel Rasmussen, Gavin Nichols and Riley Nichols.
Bob was born on December 27, 1936, in Codington County, to Robert L. and Gathel (Leighty) Nichols. He attended school at Victor District 70 country school until the 8th grade and then went to work on the family farm. In 1957, Bob enlisted in the Army. He was stationed in Alaska when it was granted statehood in January of 1959.
He married Shirley Hanson and to this union five children were born. On July 12, 1969, Bob married Bonnie Olson in Watertown. They had two children. He was a farmer, worked at Gamble’s in Clark, worked construction and later retired from Terex Utilities in Watertown. He was a member of the Eagles Lodge. In his spare time, Bob enjoyed ice fishing and hunting. He was an avid sports fan, cheering on the Denver Broncos and the Minnesota Twins. Bob also enjoyed attending dirt track races. He always looked forward to going back to work in the spring mowing at city park.
Bob is survived by his wife, Bonnie of Watertown, SD; his children: Ron (Loretta) Nichols of Luverne, MN, Doug Nichols of Denver, CO, Bill Nichols of Bradenton, FL, Dave (Shawn) Nichols of Redfield, SD, Mike (Amy) Nichols of Bradenton, FL, Bobby (Kim) Nichols of Watertown, SD, and Tami (Dana) Varpness of Brookings, SD; 19 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren; his brother, Don (Eileen) Nichols of Belle Fourche, SD; his sister, Margie Johnson of Clark, SD; his father-in-law and mother-in-law, Robert and Ruth Olson; and his sisters-in-law: Barb (Joe) West of Watertown, SD, Karla (Myron) West of Thomas, SD, Kim (Mark) Marotz of Watertown, SD, and Robin Hall of Watertown, SD.
Bob was preceded in death by his parents, Robert and Gathel; one brother, Ray; four sisters: Esther, Ethel, Cleo and Annamae; his brother-in-law, Russell Olson; and his sister-in-law, Lorrie Stricherz.
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