Dr. Nickels attended Waynesville Schools and graduated in 1941. He was united in marriage with Wanda Lea Ferguson on August 10, 1941, and to this union was born three sons, all surviving. Dr. Nickels was united in marriage with Iris Cohn on May 15, 1971. In March of 1979 he was married to Rita Black.
He was a member of the American Academy of Osteopathic Surgeons, of Wanesville Masonic Lodge, the Fort Leonard Wood - Pulaski County Shrine Club and a member of several local saddle clubs.
In 1942 he entered the United States Air Force, and served his country during World War II, where he was a tail gunner, stationed in Italy. He was injured in a plane crash in 1945 and soon returned to the states. He then owned and operated the Laquey store and managed the Laquey Post Office for a number of years, until medical school became his real desire.
Attending Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine, he graduated in 1954, and served his residency in Carl Junction from September of 1954 until March of 1955. Dr. Nickels then returned to Pulaski County where he has practiced medicine ever since. He was instrumental in providing Pulaski County with good medical care and by his continued support and hard work also provided Pulaski County with an excellent medical facility, Pulaski County Memorial Hospital.
Those surviving include his wife Rita of Waynesville; three sons, Gary Nickels of Waynesville, Darrell Nickels of Waynesville, and Dr. Terry Nickels of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma; one step son, Dr. Joey Cohn of Springfield; one step daughter Chrisy Cohn of Springfield; one brother Wilbur Nickels of Richland; one sister Thelma Fisher of Richland; seven grandchildren and many other relatives and a host of many friends.
He is preceded in death by his parents, his wife Iris, two brothers, James and Lee and two infant brothers, and one sister Irene Berger.