Mearl Albert Nichols obituary

Mearl Albert Nichols Obituary

Anchorage, Ohio, United States

December 17, 1934 - November 30, 2016

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Mearl Albert Nichols obituary

Mearl Albert Nichols Obituary

Dec 17, 1934 - Nov 30, 2016

This obituary is administered by:
Major Mearl Albert "Bert" NicholsMANSFIELD: Major Mearl Albert "Bert" Nichols, USAF, retired, 81, of Mansfield, passed away November 30, 2016 at Grant Medical Center.Bert was born on December 17, 1934 in Lucas, Ohio and was the son of Merle E. Nichols and Martha W. (Rissler) Nichols. At the age of 17 and while still in school, following the death of his father, Bert joined the Ohio Air National Guard as an air policeman. After graduating from Lucas High School in 1952, Bert went to work for Mansfield Pottery. He met Joyce N. Tryon, of Mansfield, the love of his life, and on 28 April 1956 they wed. In 1956, Bert joined the U.S. Air Force and was commissioned under the cadet program as a 2nd Lieutenant. Beginning as an underage (permitted) volunteer guardsman during the Korean War, his twenty-two year military career led Bert and his family through to the end of the Vietnam War, retiring January 1975 at Elmendorf AFB, Alaska.As a radar intercept officer, Bert was involved in the early years of developing procedures for air-to-air nuclear weapons for Air Defense Command. He then served as radar control officer at Murphy Dome, Distant Early Warning site, near Fairbanks, Alaska. He and his family then went to Otis AFB, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where Bert was navigator for airborne early warning Constellation aircraft. He then served as navigator for reconnaissance aircraft for the Air Force Security Service. Returning to Alaska in 1971, he served as navigator instructor and evaluator for the 17th Tactical Airlift Squadron, the "Firebirds", and flying ski-equipped C-130 Hercules aircraft on polar routes to Greenland, as well as remote, high-terrain radar sites along the Alaska coast. Retiring from this first career, Bert made the 5,000 mile drive to Mansfield into an educational, diverse adventure for his family. Bert resumed his dedication to law enforcement by a second career, serving as deputy sheriff for Richland County for eighteen years. He then carried on to see the completion of an outstanding third career, serving Mansfield Municipal Court as bailiff for fifteen years. Truly satisfied and ready to embrace retirement, at 76, Bert sustained his big-hearted need to volunteer through his membership and office-holding in many organizations. Bert was a 32nd Degree Mason and Shriner. He visited all but two of the Shrine Hospitals for children nationwide, Mexico and Canada. He was past-president of Air Force Associations Mansfield Lahm Chapter, and was an AFA Man of the Year for 1991. He was also a member of the Fraternal Order of Police. Bert was a member of the American Legion Post 16; AmVets Post 26; VFW; KWVA Chapter 51 and the Vietnam Veterans Association. He also spent many active years and served as Chef de Gare with Richland County Voiture #20 of "40 et 8". Bert was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Eileen Boyd; brothers, Wayne Hammett and William Hammett; and niece Candace Miaznikov. He is survived by his wife of sixty years, Joyce N. (Tryon) Nichols; three sons, Dana A. (Kristi) Nichols of Anchorage, Alaska, Matt A. Nichols of Mansfield, Ohio, and Todd F. Nichols, Fairbanks, Alaska; and nephew, Wilbur L. (Angie) Hammett of Lucas, Ohio. A memorial service will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Wednesday, December 7, 2016 at Werner-Gompf Funeral Services, ltd, 1106 Park Ave. East, Mansfield. Military honors will be performed by Richland County Joint Veterans Burial Detail; reception to follow immediately after service.Online condolences may be made at www.wernergompf.com
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