Robert Edward Nichols, Jr.
Maiden Name: n/a
Robert Edward Nichols Jr., 59, of Tempe, Arizona, passed away September 15, 2005, at his residence. He was born December 26, 1945, in Durango, Colorado, to Cleo Bowers Nichols and Robert Nichols. He graduated from Durango High School in 1965 where he was most remembered for drag racing his 1955 Chevy.
Robert married Ruth Haley on January 16, 1965. The couple got jobs in Denver that winter but Wolf Creek Pass was closed when it was time to move. Robert suggested they go to Phoenix to see the Winter National Drag Races instead and the couple decided to settle there.
In Tempe he created, owned and operated Nichols Precision. The business makes highly technical and precise parts for NASA and the Defense Department. There are Nichols Precision parts on the Mars Landrover, the Walkabout backpacks used by astronauts while outside the shuttle or space station and on the ejection chutes. Astronauts, congressmen and other dignitaries often visited the facility.
Robert received numerous awards for his work including one from the Navajo codetalkers from World War II. The one of which he was most proud was Businessman of the Year for which he was selected by the General Dynamics Conglomerate.
He loved his hunting, fishing, gold mining, and golf. He had a great passion for the outdoors and his ‘55 Chevy. Robert was very proud of his Choctaw heritage. He was known for his excellent cooking and his great personality. Many will miss him.
His beloved mother, grandparents and nephew, Robert Mason, preceded him in death.
Survivors include his wife of Tempe; father of Mancos, Colorado; sons, Rick and Ron of Tempe; daughter, Robyn Garside of Cottonwood, Arizona; brother, James Nichols; sister and brother-in-law, Ann and Gary Mason; sisters, Pat Palmer of Durango and Carla Nichols of Grand Junction, Colorado; four grandchildren, Robert, Krystal, Brandon and Timothy Garside; and many aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, cousins, co-workers and a host of friends.