Roy G. Nikkel
November 10, 1928 – July 25, 2019
Roy G. (Gerald) Nikkel, loving husband, father, grandfather, father-In Law, and cousin, passed away on July 25, 2019 at the age of 90, from vascular dementia.
He went to join his beloved Jackie, his wife of over 62 years, and their 4 German Shepherds. He had been living at the Fountains at Canterbury, in his hometown of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He went extremely quickly at the end, and his daughter, Sheryl, and daughter-in-law Barbara, were with him in his last hours on this earth. The fact he still knew his family on that last day, was a great blessing to us all. Roy was born on November 10, 1928 in Weatherford, Oklahoma to George and Sarabel Nikkel as their only child.
Roy went by many names to his friends and family (Nick, Little Nick, Roy, Roy Gerald,), which was a testament to the variety of his life and the many people that he touched.
Among many things, he was a military man, a devoted husband, a caring and providing father, a businessman, a whiz with numbers, and a life-long and passionate sports fan (OU, Boston Red Sox, and the OKC Thunder).
He served his country as a paratrooper and field artillery officer, retiring with the rank of Major after a distinguished career of over 22 years. He went to battle twice – first in the Korean War and later in Vietnam. In between, he spent many years on foreign soil in Germany, Korea, and Japan, with many domestic stops in between.
He was a true embodiment of what many call the “greatest generation” – where honor, duty and country were common attributes, where things got done with no complaints and people lived by the credo of “a job worth doing was a job worth doing well”.
He was raised in a military background, moving to many states before settling back in his native Oklahoma, and his favorite place, Oklahoma City. He graduated early from Central High School in December, 1945, and was a proud Cardinal and center on the football team. He matriculated to the University of Oklahoma and graduated with a degree in Business Administration in 1951. In between, he took a fantastic sabbatical to live with his parents in Japan, a sign of his love of adventure and trying new things.
With the military draft looming, he joined the Army and soon completed Officer’s Candidate School in 1952, with a commission as a Second Lieutenant at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. During his OCS training, he would often travel to OKC with his friends. It was there he met the love of his life in Jacquelin "Jackie" Long, who would soon be his bride of over 62 years and the mother of their two children. They too journeyed the world from Georgia to Japan to California to Oklahoma to Germany, and to Alabama, before returning to their roots in Oklahoma.
While stationed at The Presidio near San Francisco, Nick and Jackie began their decades long love affair of German Shepherds, with the first of four Woodys entering their lives. More importantly, they gave birth to their daughter and first child, Sheryl Lynn Nikkel. They were then stationed at Fort Sill, OK, where two years later they gave birth to their son, Gregory Gordon Nikkel. Nick moved from being a devoted husband and military man to a caring and responsible father. He blended those duties as well as anyone could imagine.
He continued to serve his country until 1973, literally moving around the world, before retiring from his military career and beginning his second career in business.
He was the Business Manager at Mead’s Fine Bread in Lawton, Oklahoma until both kids were out of high school, which enabled Nick and Jackie to move “home” to Oklahoma City, where they both lived out their natural lives. Roy concluded his second career as the Business Manager for the Visiting Nurses Association, and finally managing H&R Block offices, before retiring in 1985.
Roy fully loved his retirement – he rekindled his love for golf, reunited with his great and lifelong high school friends, doted on his two grandchildren Emily and Harris and loved his shepherds – aptly named Woody 3 and Woody 4. How he loved to maintain a meticulous yard (no weeds allowed in Roy Nikkel’s lawn), continue to go to the Sooner football games (as a season ticket holder for over 40 years), and enjoy the fruits of his labor for so many years.
He also gained two beautiful daughters-in-law in his life along the way. First Lisa Ford Nikkel, wife of Greg, and then Barbara Carpenter, wife of Sheryl.
He was always a great provider and honorable man, and he and Jackie instilled the values in their two children to be honest, faithful, and always follow the Golden Rule. They both went without at times, to ensure their children were able to graduate college, and make something out of their lives.
It also can’t go unspoken about his affinity for Duct Tape, his vast penny collection, his love of a nice Scotch or Coors Lager, the warmth he showed with his 4 Woodys and his love for quirky trivia (like explaining the waxing and waning phases of the Moon to various relatives and other people).
In his later years, he handled the loss of his beloved Jackie with courage, and kept his no-nonsense approach as he entered each phase of his life. He was a tough, proud, and independent trooper, but also showed a softer side of himself near the end, by maintaining a sense of humor, and always having a positive attitude.
A lasting memory for all family and friends was the celebration of his 90th birthday in November 2018, where we honored him for being such a great Husband, Father, Father-in-Law, Grandfather, and Friend to many.
He is survived by his daughter Sheryl Nikkel and her wife, Barbara Carpenter of Nichols Hills, Oklahoma, his son Greg Nikkel and his wife Lisa, his two grandchildren Emily Nikkel and Harris Nikkel, all of Houston, Texas and his first cousins Donald Tyler, Dennis Danner, Myra Brhlik, and Anita Joyce Frankson.
The family would like to thank all the countless people who took excellent care of him, especially while he was at Brookdale Village assisted living, and finally at the Springs at the Fountains of Canterbury. They were very kind to our father and to us, and really epitomized the values of professional medical people.
- United States Army Honor Guard
- Harris Nikkel, Honorary Pallbearer
- Emily Nikkel, Honorary Pallbearer
- Don Tyler, Honorary Pallbearer
- Dennis Danner, Honorary Pallbearer
- Trip Moore, Honorary Pallbearer
- Ed Holcomb, Honorary Pallbearer
- David Burelson, Honorary Pallbearer
- Steve Tomberlin, Honorary Pallbearer
- Visitation Saturday, August 10, 2019
- Funeral Service Saturday, August 10, 2019