Nick Nickolas, aged 97, passed away Friday April 8th, 2022. He was born in Portland, Maine on March 5, 1925 to James T. Nickolas and Poppy Nickolas both of whom had individually emigrated from Greece. At seven years of age, he was diagnosed with bone tuberculosis and admitted to the New England Peabody Home for Crippled Children in Newton Centre, Massachusetts. The Peabody Home was an orthopedic hospital for children with tuberculosis of the bone and other ailments. Prior to the discovery of antibiotics during World War II, the options for treating bone tuberculosis were limited. Nick spent four years at the Peabody Home where his mother was allowed to visit him once per month. Ultimately his left hip joint was fused to treat the TB. Though this left him unable to bend at the hip for the rest of his life, it did not slow him down.
He graduated from Portland High School in 1944 and enrolled at Harvard University graduating in 1948 with a degree in Biology. He taught high school for one year in an area of northern New Hampshire that had been known as the Indian Stream Republic. He earned a Masters of Science in Business Administration from Columbia University in 1952 and began working in the marketing department at the National Biscuit Company, better known as Nabisco.
Several years later, his job took him to Chicago. On November 8, 1959, Nick married Calliope P. Castritsis and they moved to family-friendly Mt. Morris, Illinois, a small town of 3,000 people approximately 100 miles west of Chicago. Their marriage lasted 55 years until her death in 2014.
Nick has always believed in the importance of church and community service. He loved the Greek Orthodox Church and as a member of Saints Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church in Rockford, Illinois, he was active in serving and supporting others. He served many years on the Parish Council and as a church school teacher and was instrumental in organizing that community’s first Greek Festival.
After retiring he joined a local YMCA where he enjoyed swimming laps, exceeding 80 miles of swim laps annually. He passed away as he lived, a humble and content man, grateful for life’s many blessings.
He was preceded in death by his wife Calliope Pauline Nickolas.
He is survived by his children Penelope N. Broening and husband John, Catherine V. Tshilds and husband Craig, James A.J. Nickolas and wife Anastasia.
He was loved by his grandchildren Alexandra Nickolas, Emilia Tshilds, Nicolette Tshilds, Yanni Nickolas, Andreas Nickolas, Katerina Nickolas and Christo Nickolas.
Visitation will be held Thursday, April 14, 2022 at 10:00 am at St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church, 2350 E. Dempster Street, Des Plaines, IL following the Funeral Service at 10:30 a.m. Interment at Elmwood Cemetery, River Grove, Illinois.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to St. John the Baptist Greek Orthodox Church in Des Plaines. For further information visit oehlerfuneralhome.com
Published by Chicago Tribune on Apr. 12, 2022.