Tonawanda News

November 10, 2012

Vet, 88, killed while cutting down trees

The Tonawanda News

Tonawanda News — Vet, 88, killed while cutting down trees


HARTLAND — An 88-year-old World War II veteran was killed while cutting down trees on his property Thursday, the Niagara County Sheriff’s Office reported on Friday.

Melvin J. Nichols of 7685 Wheeler Road was pronounced dead at the scene. He was a lifetime resident of Gasport and a member of the Gasport American Legion Post 1253 and the Hartland Historical Society.

Nichols enlisted in the Navy in 1941 and was honorably discharged in 1946. He served on several ships and was original crew member on the USS Yorktown, an aircraft carrier. 

An honorary graduate of Lockport High School, he was a master craftsman and worked as a self-employed contractor. He built many homes in the area, including his own. Nichols enjoyed woodworking, farming, working on his tractors and logging the woods near his home.

Nichols married Dorothy Grice in Norfolk, Va.. She died in 1993. 

Nichols, the son of the Edward and Elsie Nichols, was born in Lockport in 1923. He is survived by his children, James Nichols of Indiana; Donna Eckman of Argentina; Steve Nichols of Hamburg; Jan Harris of Rochester and Joyce Wright of Gasport.

Visitation will be held at the Sherrie-Bream Funeral Home in Gasport on Monday from 2-4 and 7-9 p.m. Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday at Ridgewood Bible Church.