John V Nikula
October 25, 1935 – June 10, 2019
John Nikula, 83, passed away June 10, 2019. Born and raised in Fitchburg, MA he was the son of the late John and Ida (Moisio) Nikula and brother of the late Peter Nikula. He was the beloved husband of Elizabeth “Betsy” (Janes) Nikula of Sudbury, and the loving father of four children and their spouses: John Nikula, Jr., Tim Nikula and his wife Allie Gill, Johannah Nikula, and Will Nikula and his wife Jen. He was the proud grandfather of Finn, Kalle, Rowan, Tenley, and Beckham.
After high school, John attended Tufts University and Boston University, where he earned his Master’s Degree. He worked as a civilian scientist for the U.S. Air Force for 25 years, while he and Betsy raised their family in Sudbury. They lived in the same house for 51 years! He was an avid and highly skilled bridge player (Silver Life Master), and it was at a duplicate bridge game where he and Betsy first met. His other hobbies included playing cards and games, reading, particularly alternative history, and walking around Sudbury and on the beach in Naples Florida, where he and Betsy spent their winters together. His summers were spent with family at their summer camp in Westminster and John would arrange his work schedule so that he could spend afternoons pulling the neighborhood kids waterskiing behind his boat.
After coaching his children in youth soccer, John was on the Boston Area Youth Soccer Board for 25 years, serving as president for several of those years. John was involved in Boy Scouting for over 20 years, with his sons’ troops in Sudbury, and as an Assistant District Commissioner for Knox Trail Council where he received a Silver Beaver, the highest volunteer award bestowed by a Boy Scout Council. He was heavily involved in committee work at the Memorial Congregational Church of Sudbury, as a deacon, member of the trustees, gifts and memorials, outreach and personnel committees, and served as a delegate to the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church of Christ. John served for 8 years on the town of Sudbury Finance Committee, volunteered at many tournaments for the Destination Imagination program, and more recently he volunteered for the Senior Center by picking up left over baked goods donated by local supermarkets.
Above all, John enjoyed time spent with his children and grandchildren at home or abroad in places like Moscow and Paris. In later years he traveled with Betsy to Finland, where his parents were born, and took a river cruise on the Danube as part of their 50th anniversary celebration.
A memorial service will be held Thursday, June 20 at 11 a.m. at Memorial Congregational Church, 26 Concord Road, Sudbury. There will be an informal calling hour preceding the service from 10-11 and a lunch reception immediately following the service. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Memorial Congregational Church of Sudbury.
No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
John V Nikula
June 16, 2019
John was a very special man -- so gentle, yet so strong!
I am proud to have been John's friend through playing bridge, and I will be forever glad that I introduced Betsy, my best friend at Wellesley, to John -- at a bridge tournament where Betsy and I were partners. But Betsy and John belonged together and would have found each other anyway.
In recent years, my husband and I enjoyed performances by The Capitol Steps in McLean, VA every January with Betsy and John, as they were driving to Florida.
I am comforted by the wonderful, loving family that John and Betsy produced and by the fact that they all live near Betsy. I look forward to more good times with Betsy, but I sure will miss John!
June 16, 2019
I have lost one of my oldest friends in John. He and I met in our first year at Tufta College and have been friends ever since. He was the Best Man at my wedding and I at his. We learned to play bridge together and have shared a love for the game ever since.
R. I. P.,, "Nik"
June 13, 2019
I am so sorry for your loss, Betsy. I will keep you and your family in my prayers.
June 13, 2019
John is my first cousin, our mothers were sisters. We grew up next door to each other in Fitchburg and John used to babysit for me and my brother when we were very young.
We also both summered on Wyman's pond growing up every summer.
We have always been together on Christmas Eve both families celebrating the holiday with our children and parents.
I will miss John, may he Rest In Peace
My condolences to the family.
IN THE CARE OF