SHERIDAN, Wyo. — Anton “Tony” Nickel, 86, of Sheridan, died Wednesday, April 13, 2011, at Westview Health Care Center.
Mr. Nickel was born on March 16, 1925, in Billings, to Stephen and Magdalena (Heilman) Nickel. He grew up and attended schools in Shepherd, Worden and Billings, Mont., and attended Billings Senior High School.
Tony joined the U.S. Navy on March 18, 1942, at the age of 17, and served on the USS Guadalupe AO-32, USS Taganak AG-45 and the destroyer USS Stoddard DD-566. He received the following medals: Asiatic Pacific Campaign Medal with three stars, American Area Campaign Medal, Good Conduct Medal and WWII Victory Medal. Tony was honorably discharged from the Navy on March 18, 1946.
Mr. Nickel married Mamie E. Janich in Billings on Dec. 18, 1948. Tony worked for Hicks Concrete Construction in Billings. In Laurel, Mont., he helped build the oil refinery. Tony and Mamie, along with their two daughters, moved to Sheridan in 1952. He was a Golden Gloves boxer in Billings and coached boxing in Sheridan. Tony worked for Northern Lumber Company until 1955, when he was hired by the Sheridan Fire Department. He was promoted to Shift Captain, retiring in 1975. After his retirement, Tony went to work for Big Horn Coal Company, retiring from there in 1987.
Mr. Nickel was a member of the Fire Fighter’s Association, the United Mine Workers of America, NRA, Rocky Mtn. Elks Foundation and Holy Name Catholic Church.
He enjoyed camping, fishing, hunting, traveling, gambling, four-wheeling, playing table tennis, and especially spending time with his friends and family. Tony was always there for anyone who needed a helping hand when building or doing repair work on a special project. His talents were unlimited. It was at the fire station that he became interested in table tennis. Then, at the age of 80, he began competing in the Senior Olympics, earning several medals.
Mr. Nickel was preceded in death by his parents; his wife, Mamie; three brothers; three sisters; and one son, Mark Nickel.
Tony is survived by one son, Mike Nickel (Julie) of Banner; two daughters, Toni Kukuchka (Karl) of Dayton and Peggy Parkison (Rick) of Sheridan; one brother, Frank Nickel of Redmond, Ore.; two sisters, Rosemary McCraken and Elizabeth Stang, both of Billings; one daughter-in-law, Randi Lou Nickel, of Anchorage, Alaska; 11 grandchildren; 10 great-grandchildren; and numerous nieces and nephews.
Memorial service for Mr. Nickel will be 2 p.m. Saturday, April 16, at Holy Name Catholic Church, with Father Jim Heiser officiating. A reception for family and friends will follow the service in the Holy Name Parish Hall. Arrangements are with Champion Ferries Funeral Home.
Memorials in memory of Mr. Nickel may be made to the Sheridan Senior Citizen’s Center, or the Holy Name Catholic Church Council of Catholic Women.