James Collins Nichols

Published 1:31pm Wednesday, July 10, 2013

While growing up in Perry County, Alabama, he was known by his middle name Collins or “Cos”. During those years, he worked alongside his four brothers and two sisters picking vegetables and cotton in the fields to help support the family. He graduated from Suttle High School in Suttle, Alabama in 1947; “Collins” was determined to go to college, often walking many miles to and from Marion Military Institute in Marion, Alabama. He completed his studies there in 1949 going on to join the United States Air Force in 1950 where he served our county for 20 years.

During these years he married May Frances Wolfe and they were blessed with three children. Throughout his military career, he was known as a great golfer and was highly sought after by high ranking officers to assist their endeavors in prestigious golf tournaments. Always competitive, he was hugely successful and won many of these tournaments. It was during these years that he also indulged in his passion for hunting, especially quail, pheasant, and deer.

After retiring from the Air Force at the highest NCO rank of Chief Master Sargent in September 1970, Nick’s work experience qualified him for employment at the NOAA which provides global environmental data from satellites. He spent most of his twenty-two years in this career as a supervisor. The responsibilities were varied and interesting, even being called upon to give weather clearance for Space Shuttle launches.

Over the years, Jim was heavily involved in church wherever he lived. He met his wife through a young adult group in Bellville, IL. Mentored and tutored youth, served on many committees such as finance and personnel, and was always eager to encourage those around him with a hug and his warm smile. Jim is a Deacon Emeritus at Clinton Baptist Church in Clinton, Maryland, where he was a very active member from 1972 until 2004. Jim loved to sing in the choir and attend Bible study classes.

Whether you called him Collins, Cos, Nick, or Jim, he touched countless lives and leaves a legacy of strong faith and family values. His advice, laughter and sweet tenor singing voice will be greatly missed by those who knew him well. His family’s greatest consolation is that he ran the race until its finish and is now in the presence of our Lord and Savior in peace. Funeral services were held on Friday, July 12, 2013 at 2:30PM from McConnell Memorial Baptist Church with Rev. Jimmy McAdams officiating. Interment was in Arlington Cemetery. Banister Funeral Home of Hiawassee, GA in charge of arrangements.

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