Date of BirthOctober 22, 1920

Preston Nicholes Obituary

Date of BirthOctober 22, 1920

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Date of DeathJune 23, 2016

Preston Nicholes Obituary

from Boise, Idaho, United States

Preston Robert NicholesOctober 22, 1920 - June 23, 1014Bob Nicholes, long time Canyon County resident and founder of Bob Nicholes Oil Company, died on June 23rd. He was 93. Bob was born on October 22, 1920 in Huston, Idaho. Bob described his birthplace as a "tiny town in a different time with no electricity, no paved roads, no indoor plumbing, a blacksmith shop, two grocery stores and a feed mill." Bob attended grade school at the corner red brick Huston Community School in an era when children rode horses to school and classroom lighting was provided by gasoline lanterns. Seven-year-old Bobby learned to drive a Model T Ford at speeds strictly limited to five-miles-per-hour so the little boy could help deliver groceries within a three-mile radius of his family's Deer Flat Mercantile store. He recalled his uncontainable excitement in 1928 when Huston finally got electricity. "We were out of the dark ages!"Bob graduated from Caldwell High School in 1938 and subsequently attended the College of Idaho. At the dawn of WW II, he joined the Army Air Corps. Due to the fact that he had already acquired what was then a rare pilot's license, the Army Air Corps immediately accepted him for cadet training - in spite of his less-than-perfect vision. He subsequently served for several years as a Second Lieutenant and B-25 instructor in San Antonio, Texas where he married his college sweetheart, Mary Morgan, in March 1944. Bob was actually at his overseas embarkation point in 1945 when the War ended. He was honorably discharged in October of that year.After leaving the service, Bob migrated back to Huston with Mary and took over a little one-pump gas station next door to the Deer Flat Merc. Soon he was employed by Phillips Petroleum to run the Town Pump in Caldwell. He began expanding and took over distributorship for Idaho Gas. Ever the entrepreneur, he purchased another Phillips Station, Tots 66, and went on to build the highly successful North Caldwell Station on the corner of 10th and Chicago. Before retirement he built the Interstate 66 Truck Stop at the corner of Franklin Road and Interstate 84. During his career he actually had ownership or interest in 13 gas stations in Caldwell, Nampa and Boise, including his own Fleetway private brand stations as well as the Air Comfort Store in downtown Caldwell. His widespread success led to the rather apt description of the Bob Nicholes Oil Company or BONICO oil dynasty.Despite his many business responsibilities, over the years Bob was also President of the Caldwell Chamber of Commerce, President of the Caldwell Rotary Club, Chairman of the Caldwell Zoning Board, Vice President of the Oil Heat Institute, Chairman and Life Member of the Caldwell Salvation Army and Co-chairman of Advanced Gifts for the United Fund. He was deeply involved in College of Idaho fundraising campaigns as well as a benefactor to both the College of Idaho and the Caldwell YMCA.Along with his many business and civic duties, Bob miraculously found time to become skilled at stock market investing, photography, motorcycle and bike riding. He reserved his most serious life-long passion, however, for flying. Aside from his own personal airtime enjoyment, he sometimes helped search for downed planes in mountainous areas as part of informal search and rescue efforts. Over his lifetime, he accrued hundreds of thousands of hours in the air, many of them in his prized Beechcraft Bonanza. The Bonanza acted as an air ambulance of sorts as Bob occasionally flew critically ill children and their doctors to hospitals in larger metropolitan areas during the '50s and '60s.Bob was preceded in death by one grandson, Martin Robert Huff. In addition to his wife Mary Nicholes, Bob is survived by his brother Bruce Nicholes, sister Veda Rickets and two daughters, Robbye Clements and Linda Nicholes. He also leaves behind four grandchildren: Michael Clements, Robin Lieberman, Nick Clements and Timothy Clements along with one great grandson, Arthur Robert Bailey. Services will be held at Caldwell Boone Memorial Presbyterian Church on July 2nd at 11:00 a.m. with a follow-up gathering at the Caldwell Elks Lodge.Services are under the direction of Dakan Funeral Chapel, Caldwell.In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to the Caldwell Rotary Foundation, PO Box 24, Caldwell, Id 83606.Memories and condolences may be shared with Bob's family in his online tribute at www.dakanfuneralchapel.com