Frank Hayward Nichols
November 16, 1946 – January 8, 2020
Frank Hayward Nichols, 73, passed away peacefully on Wednesday, January 8, 2020. He lived a life full of love and laughter, UK Basketball and golf, sharing it all with a loving group of family and friends. His quick wit was legendary and matched only by his kind spirit and generous soul. If you ever met him, you never forgot him and more than likely became a good friend along the way. He was cherished by all who knew and loved him, and his loss will be felt every day.
Frank was born in Louisville, Kentucky on November 16, 1946, the son of Frank and Dorothy Nichols. Raised in Louisville, he graduated from Pleasure Ridge Park High School (Class of 1964) before arriving on the hallow grounds of the University of Kentucky.
While in high school, Frank was a standout point guard for the PRP basketball team, making the All-City team his senior year. At UK, he was a member and Grand Master of the Beta Nu Chapter of Kappa Sigma Fraternity while perfecting his attendance skills for Cats basketball games and after parties.
After graduating from UK, Frank began his railroad career with the L&N Railroad in Louisville in 1970. He would transfer to Jacksonville in 1980 as part of the L&N/Seaboard Coastline merger. In 1989, he would move to Philadelphia to join Conrail and after nine successful years, he returned to Jacksonville in 1998 to rejoin CSX. He retired from CSX in 2006 as Senior Vice President Employee Relations.
Frank earned his undergraduate degree in Finance/Accounting at UK in 1969 and went on to receive his master’s degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University in 1988. He was proud of the Little League baseball team that he coached in the mid-1970s to a league championship and of his streak of attending 93 consecutive NCAA post season UK Basketball games all over the USA. He always had a smile on his face and kind words for everyone he met. He loved to play golf and hang out with his boys, Tressie and army of friends, while always offering unconditional support however it was needed to family and loved ones. He was a devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother, uncle and a loyal friend to all.
A life well lived indeed…
He is survived by his wife of 38 years, Tress Fountain Nichols; sons, Casey Nichols and Mitchell Nichols (Drayton); grandchildren, Emma and Brooks Nichols; sisters-in-law, Janis Fountain, Lynda Averack (Richard) and Jacqueline Nichols; nieces, Kathy Gunter, Taylor Gunter & Kendall McCurley (Jamie); nephew, Andy Nichols (Danielle); and numerous other nieces and nephews, family members and lifelong friends.
Frank was predeceased by his parents, sister, Betty Nichols O’Bryant; his beloved brother, Gerald Nichols (The Chief); and In-laws, Charles and Adele Fountain
A Memorial celebration will be held on Saturday, January 25 from 5pm to 8pm at Timuquana Country Club, 4028 Timuquana Rd, Jacksonville, FL. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts to: The Mayo Clinic, Department of Development, 4500 San Pablo Rd, Jacksonville, FL 32224; please designate “For Brain Cancer Research”
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Frank Hayward Nichols
Ike and Sue Weatherholtz
January 16, 2020
Frank was one of a kind! We first knew him in the beginning with the L&N, and with many years of friendship there after. Shared great times with Frank and Tress. Our thoughts, love and prayers are with Tress, Casey, Mitch and their family.
Ike and Sue Weatherholtz
January 15, 2020
The great times we had together over the last 40 years are too numerous to list. Frank was like a brother to me and will be missed as such. He will forever live in my heart. Tress, Casey and Mitch know Victoria and I are here for them and we will get through this difficult time together and celebrate a life well lived. Until we all meet on the other side my friend, rest in peace.
January 12, 2020
Frank was an amazing man: insightful, warm, brave and a true friend. He came up to Conrail with Mr. Sanborn and was too soon left alone upon Mr. Sanborn’s tragic passing. That situation would have defeated most men, but not Frank. In no time, he became the power behind the throne. That happened because he was a talented executive and a friend to so many. Thank you, Frank, and rest in peace.
Tim and Pat O’Toole
January 11, 2020
Frank was a positive impact on me personally when I first came to Jacksonville. A true friend. Once in a while a great love story comes along. That was Frank and Tress. May God bless you and be with your family.
January 9, 2020
My heart is broken for Tress, Casey, Mitch and his family. Frank was taken from them too soon and his loss is felt by all of us who knew and loved his humor, friendship, and generosity. Special memories surround me with Frank sharing his wife, his home, his beautiful beach with a group of crazy but grateful women who deeply appreciated his hospitality. Hit the ball long and straight, Frank. You are headed for your perfect round. Love you all,
Patti and Dick