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Griggs-Schooler-Gordon Funeral Directors

5400 Bell Avenue, Amarillo, TX

OBITUARY

Steve Nicholson

September 13, 1963July 9, 2020
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Stephen “Steve” Nicholson was born on September 13, 1963, to Sally and Thomas Nicholson in Duncan, Oklahoma. During his childhood, Steve was regarded as friendly and athletic in his hometown of Stillwater. Diagnosed at age 13 with Type I diabetes and told he could not participate in sports, Steve’s determination (and stubborn personality) served him well. Steve participated in multiple sports in high school including football, track, and basketball. Steve was selected for the defensive team of the Oklahoma all-state high school football team. His talent and passion for football led to a football scholarship at Tabor College. During high school, Steve also took up boxing at Stillwater Boxing Club and developed a strong bond with Coach Ralph Friend. After playing football at Tabor, he transferred to Oklahoma State University, where he had always intended to attend school.

Steve was known for his exceptional work ethic that led to his many accomplishments. In 1989, Steve started with Sonic, where he worked as a managing partner and later as director of operations. Steve was committed to the success of his stores; he partnered primarily with Roger and David Castleberry, who were more like brothers than work associates. Sonic was more than a job; it provided him the opportunity to mentor many people. Steve knew his employees, their kids, and their grandkids...it showed how much he invested in people.

In 1992, Steve met the greatest love of his life - his son, Dylan. During Dylan’s childhood, if you stopped by Steve’s house unexpectedly it might sound like a party with him and Dylan chasing each other, wrestling, and engaging in general shenanigans. You might also hear them hastily looking for lost snakes in the house. Together, they enjoyed hunting, traveling, fishing, and camping. Steve loved teaching Dylan in many ways and started grilling him at an early age on sports trivia. As Dylan got older, they could be found arguing on the golf course. When they weren’t arguing, Steve was educating Dylan on the value of golf and its connection to business and communication.

Steve was always passionate about health and fitness. Steve regularly developed workouts for himself and workout partners. He began inviting friends to come work out in his garage. When that space was outgrown, a storage area was used to provide more workout space…. And thus, the Nick’s Fight Club legacy was born. With Steve still working a full-time job, he opened the gym for people to work out in the evenings. That small gym hosted Christmas parties, summer cookouts, and other events far off the beaten path of the standard gym. This, too, demonstrates his investment in people. That gym also connected Steve to individuals wanting to learn more about boxing or polish their boxing skills. He trained and cornered for several boxing and MMA fighters, including his son, Dylan.

When people were shoulder to shoulder at his gym, he found a new space that allowed more people to join the Nick’s family. Steve’s passion for fitness helped countless people in many ways - weight loss, improved mental health, motivation, self-esteem, connection, and so much more. His gym had a unique vibe that made it stand out from others. Members recognize the “Nick’s family” concept - you can feel it when you walk in the doors. That exists because Steve wasn’t invested in a gym; he was invested in people. One minute you might find him in the ring with pro fighters, the next you might find him holding mitts for a toddler. People that came to his gym were varied, but they all came because the climate at Nick’s was inviting and friendly. His leadership trickled to the trainers that helped him with his mission to make fitness real for any person.

Steve’s hometown of Stillwater always held a special place in his heart, but Amarillo easily became his second home in 1991when he moved to the yellow city. He was active for many years with the March of Dimes and once served as spokesperson for the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation; he also donated to many charitable organizations. For several years, he was an active member of Tascosa Road Fellowship Church, where Pastor Jay Roberson took him under his wing, serving as a father figure to Steve.

Steve’s greatest attribute was his strong faith in the Lord. His bible was worn and well-read. He was unapologetic of his love for his Savior. Employee paychecks included a handwritten scripture. Some merchandise of his clothing line included the scripture he regularly referenced: Psalm 144:1 - Praise be to the Lord my Rock, who trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle. He was a living testament to the grace and mercy of Christ, offering compassion and empathy to anyone he encountered. Steve had a natural talent for reaching kids. He conducted demonstrations at schools, supported an anti-bullying pilot program, held a kids’ boxing class, and had a kids’ program that required good grades for continued participation. Steve loved the movie Hands of Stone, based on Roberto Duran’s life and boxing career. On a trip to Panama, Steve and good friend Kenny Falk visited the gym where Duran had trained. While there, he saw the need for boxing gloves and apparel. On his next trip to Panama, included in his luggage was gloves and apparel for that gym.

Steve was preceded in death by his parents, Sally and Thomas Nicholson, his beloved grandmother, Lelah Nicholson, who helped raise Steve, Grandfather Bonnie Nicholson, grandparents Elsie and Harold Edmond, and his beloved Aunt Bonnie. He is survived by his son and boxing trainee, Dylan Nicholson of Lubbock, his brother, Jim Nicholson and wife, Patti, of Lubbock, and the nephews he was so fond of, Jason and Ryan. Though not blood-related, he considered his friends and gym members to be family.

The family wishes to give special thanks to Angie and Jeremy Rock, who supported and cared for Steve into his end of life, along with Sammi Murdoch, who was essential in extending

As a tribute to Steve, offer kindness to a stranger, make them feel valued, and invest in someone who may not recognize their worth. And always….Motivate. Encourage. Inspire.

  • PALLBEARERS

  • Jason Nicholson
  • Ryan Nicholson
  • John King
  • Cody Pfister
  • Roger Castleberry
  • Kenny Falk
  • Dillion Reeder
  • Shelldon Todd Brooks

Services

  • Visitation

    Tuesday, July 14, 2020

  • Funeral Service

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020

  • Interment

    Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Memories

Steve Nicholson

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A R

July 23, 2020

What you have created helped me in certain points in my life that I thought I wouldn't be able to get through and taught me very many things on what it means to have true strength in life, a place to be . Thank you Mr. Nicholson.

"It all starts with the hands"

Linda Henke

July 16, 2020

I knew Steve from Sonic. When I worked at one of the stores several of my daughters also soon followed in my foot steps to work there, The man always asked after me and my family every time I saw him. I knew that he genuinely cared about all of us. I knew him for almost 20 years. He always had a word of encouragement to give about work and life. He will be truly missed.

Vicki Brooks

July 14, 2020

Steve, what an incredible volunteer, board member and leader for The Amarillo March of Dimes.Most importantly,Steve was a member of The March of Dimes Family. Those of us who had the privilege to REALLY know him loved him, teased him and respected his “can do” attitude. Steve and his Sonic partner Roger were instrumental in the success of The March of Dimes. You will always live on in our hearts. Your legacy will continue...💜
Love you~

Christy Wilson

July 14, 2020

I met Steve at TRF. We ended up sitting near each other. My health was being challenged at the time. I had gotten a new AC unit ( Sears loaded it in my truck. )but it was so heavy I couldn't get it out of the box! I was going to return it after church. Steve hefted it into his car trunk, took me through Sonic for lunch, and off we went to Sears to exchange air conditioners! He was such a Blessing to me. He had no idea what a huge relief it was to have him handle that for me. He was a good brother in the Lord!!!

Erick Braly

July 14, 2020

Truly one of the kindness most generous people I have ever come across. Taught me so much about life and business. Always knew the right things to say. Honestly, I am at lost for words. Truly will be missed. Rest in peace sir.

Loretta Sherwood

July 13, 2020

I will never forget Steve and his genuine friendship! From the time I started working out at Nicks he would make sure to find our newly adopted baby and hold her! He will forever be a special person in our lives!

Libby Taylor

July 13, 2020

My favorite memory of Steve is when I would miss days, (sometimes weeks) of workout, and when he would see me there stretching on my first day back, he would take the time to write my name on a visitor sticker and come put in on my shirt.


He was always a warm welcome , a motivational voice you would hear in the distance of a loud, upbeat workout that would push you that much further.

He pushed me to discover a strength I had no idea was sitting quietly inside me. When he said hello to my children they thought a celebrity was speaking to them. He was a bright light of encouragement to so many, and my family will miss him dearly.

All my love to his family and friends, and to the NFC family, my prayers are that you are able to heal and rebuild around the loss you have suffered, to be stronger than ever in Steve's honor. It was a pleasure to have known him.

Rodney Amason

July 13, 2020

I met Steve through Sonic. He was also pushing me to become better and believing that there was nothing I could not accomplish. I would remember those words years later as I became a Coach/Teacher for Amarillo ISD. He was a great inspiration and a wonderful friend. You will be missed Steve.

Alex Watson

July 13, 2020

Steve was always ALWAYS in the gym with a smile on his face ready to give pointers to everyone in a way that made you want to come back and keep getting better. A great man and motivator Steve you truly will be missed brother!!!

Laurie Spear

July 13, 2020

Steve was my very first boss when I got a job as a carhop at the Sonic in Dumas when I was 16 years old. I had the privilege of working for Steve at Sonic first in Dumas and then Amarillo as he and Roger expanded the franchise.

I always admired Steve because he worked as hard, usually harder, than the rest of us. He never expected anything of us that he wouldn't do himself. It is for these reasons that 30 years later, after all the jobs I've had in life, that he is still the best manager and mentor I have ever had.

My heart is broken that he is gone, but I take comfort knowing he is with the Lord, and I am blessed to have known him in my younger years. He was such a big influence on me, and I will never forget him.

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