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John W. Nichols
Commander, United States Coast Guard
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From a contemporary press report:

John W. (Jack) Nichols, Commander, United States Coast Guard, retired, passed away at age 86 in Napa, California on October 12, 1999. He was the son of Fred A. Nichols (Rear Admiral, USCG Academy 1907). He will be interred with his wife of 52 years, Margaret Roach Nichols, deceased November 15, 1998; daughter of Henry C. Roach (CAPT, USCG Academy 1909).

Jack was a graduate of the American Institute of Banking and employed  by Banker's Trust in New York for 10 years prior to World War II. Assigned as an officer on the USS Chambers (DE-391), he made more than forty crossings of the North Atlantic escorting convoys, often under heavy fire in the heat of the war. At one point, the Chambers remained at sea for 340 consecutive days. 

Upon his discharge from active duty, he briefly returned to Banker's Trust, then quit his job and relocated to San Francisco with his wife and two small children. In later years, when asked  how he could pick up and move across the country, he would mention that after the four years he had slept on top of 150 tons of explosives on a moving target in the open sea, he was not concerned with the uncertainty of his future. In San Francisco, Jack was a long-time employee of Burgermeister Brewing Company, retiring as plant manager. 

He supported  the various activities of his five children and was recipient of the Silver Beaver award from the Boy Scouts of America for his tireless efforts. He was also a member of the Knights of Columbus and the Western Businessmen's Golf Association. His proudest achievement was the education of his children, who have all received Bachelor as well as advanced degrees.

Loving father of John, Bill, Jim, Nancy and Katherine Nichols; father-in-law of Lynn Smith; grandfather of Jeremy, James and Theresa Nichols, Stephanie and Kate Nichols-Smith and Kristin Wynkoop; brother of Mrs. Edward McCabe of Merion Station, PA, Edward A. Nichols of Devon, PA, Fred F. Nichols (CAPT, USCG) deceased, Rae F. Nichols, deceased; brother-in-law of Evelyn Nichols of Williamsburg, VA, Peg Nichols of Staten Island, NY, Dr. Edward McCabe of Merion Station, PA and Charles and Joan Roach of Napa, CA; loving uncle and great-uncle to many nieces and nephews.

Friends and family are invited to attend the funeral service at the Fort Myer Post Chapel followed by burial at Arlington National Cemetery on Friday, November 5, at 9 a.m. The family has requested that charitable donations be made in lieu of flowers.


Posted: 12 August 2000 Updated: 16 July 2001 Updated: 25 May 2003 Updated: 23 April 2006