Leslie B. Nichols, 83
Let us not mourn his passing, but instead celebrate his life.
Gilford — Leslie B. Nichols, 83, of Woodland Ave, died on Thursday, September 26, 2019 at his home.
Leslie was born to Gladys A (Powell) and William F. Walker on August 31, 1936 in Thornton, New Hampshire. He was then adopted by Frank and Priscilla Nichols of Hudson around the age of three. Leslie was their only child and he was called Sonny by all of his aunts, uncles and cousins. His sunny disposition and quick smile endeared him to most everyone. He was a Boy Scout, an Altar Boy, a paperboy, and a good student. He attended Alvirne High School in Hudson until the 10th grade. He gave up his studies and went to work for McElwain Shoes to help make ends meet at home.
Leslie met Lucille R. Caron and they were married on September 11, 1954. Leslie went into the Navy at the suggestion of a co-worker at McElwain Shoe. He had been in the Army National Guard for a couple of years. When the Navy didn’t work out the way he had hoped to join the Air Force. Part of his career was served in the Strategic Air Command. There aren’t very many people who can say they were in all three branches of the service. Leslie is a lifetime member of the American Legion.
After his career with the service he came home and settled into life with his wife and two daughters, Diane Denise Phillips and Teresa Madeline Burris. He worked at Honeywell (Jewell) Instruments in Manchester for several years. Evenings he worked with his best friend Guy Landry at Landry’s Motorcycle Shop in Windham. He was also a member of Pete’s Roamers Motorcycle Club and raced for them. When his first marriage came to an end he worked laying forms for foundations with Thistle Construction and then went into oil delivery and furnace repair.
Leslie met Sylvia J. (McKenna) Ellingwood and they were quite a team. They were married on November 11, 1973. Sylvia had three girls, Dawn Marie Hedrick, and Leah Ann Bushnell, Jill Renee’ Abbott. Together they made their home in Derry. The family was involved in St. Thomas Aquinas Church.
Les and Sylvia were part of Marriage Encounter and the Cursillo Movement. Eventually they moved to Litchfield, and then Meredith. Les worked for Fred Fuller Oil and Wallace Oil and was the VP of the National Association of Oil Heat Managers for Vermont and N.H. He also was a member of the National Gas Association. He was involved with the Lions Club. His faith was an important part of his life and he taught CCD classes at St. Charles in Meredith. The couple also welcomed children from the Fresh Air Program as well as Foreign Exchange Student programs into their home.
Travel and vacation were important, and for many years Les and Sylvia would pack up the RV and head out for the summer exploring the USA. As the years passed and travel became more of a challenge they would settle in for the winter in their little slice of Heaven, Bakers Acres Resort, in Zephyr Hills Florida. They made friends everywhere they went.
When they moved to Gilford they continued to support the Church. Les took a job with Fisher Auto Parts, which he loved. He also drove with Bayside where he made many friends. Those fellas would get coffee in the morning and swap lies and go out for a nice dinner once in a while. They were the Romeos (Really Old Men Eating Out). They truly enjoyed each other’s friendship.
When Les was in his 40s, with help he found his birth family. His father Charles was moved to joyful tears when they were reunited. Les thoroughly enjoyed the company of his two birth sisters, Ethyl Mabel and Unis Cora.
Friendship came naturally to Leslie and he was blessed with many friends. His best friends for life Guy Landry and Paul Zin, were thick as brothers from the time they were in school. Will Bernier and Dick Boutin were always there in times of joy and sorrow.
Leslie leaves behind his sister Ethyl Conkey;, his five daughters: Diane D. Phillips of Richmond VA, Terry M. Burris of Merrimack NH, Dawn M. Hedrick of Corpus Christi TX, Leah A. Bushnell of Meredith NH and Jill R. Abbott of Gilford NH, 11 grandchildren, 15 great-grandchildren (as well as many that have blended into the family through marriage), many friends, and his beloved dogs.
May we all take a page from his book and be grateful for the time we have and cultivate memories with the people we love.
Although flowers are lovely, Les would have appreciated memorial donations to; The Family of God Baptist Church, Pastor Russell Guynn, 41237 Country Road 54 East, Zephyr Hills, FL 33540 because they walk the walk and do a lot of charity work; the New Hampshire Humane Society, PO Box 572, Laconia, NH 03247 for his love of animals; or to Central NH VNA and Hospice, 780 North Main Street, Laconia, NH 03246 for all of their help and support.
There will be no calling hours.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 11:00am at St. Andre Bessette Parish - St. Joseph Church, 30 Church Street, Laconia.
Burial will follow at 2 p.m. in the family plot in Pleasant View Cemetery, Mammoth Road, Londonderry, NH.
Wilkinson-Beane-Simoneau-Paquette Funeral Home & Cremation Services, 164 Pleasant Street, Laconia NH is assisting the family with the arrangements. For more information and to view an online memorial go to www.wilkinsonbeane.com.