James Theodore Nickel, age 85, of Elkhart, went to be with our Lord on Monday, January 3, 2022, at Goshen Hospital. He was born June 3, 1936, in Wyandotte, MI to Edmund and Edna Nickel. He married Christine Bess on June 9, 2016, in South Bend, IN.
After high school, Jim graduated from Concordia Theological Seminary in St. Louis, MO, with a BA and Master of Divinity (MDIV) degree. He then spent 3 years with the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod as a missionary in Nigeria, Africa, where his first two children were born. Jim spent 20 years as a pastor in Godfrey, IL, Evansville, IN, and Elkhart, IN. He then worked for Fox Safety Products, Tepe Sanitary Supply, and Safety Products in sales. While at Trinity Lutheran Church in Elkhart, he received a Master of Sacred Theology (STM) degree, and was instrumental in starting a mission church in Goshen, which is now Prince of Peace Lutheran Church. Jim has been an active member there for many years, and has held numerous leadership roles. In his spare time, he immensely enjoyed golfing with his Sodbuster’s group for more than 15 years. He also loved reading, making puzzles, doing crossword puzzles, playing and watching sports, and staying updated on U.S. politics. In retirement, Jim was a journalist for the Bristol Bugle for a number of years, and was known for having an extensive necktie collection! He enjoyed sharing in the raising of Evan, his wife’s great-nephew, which sometimes included building the occasional LEGO model!
Surviving are his wife Christine and Evan; his children, Naomi (James) Hilfinger, Kimberly (John) Gallagher, Thomas (Stacey) Nickel, Sarah (Tim) Myers; grandchildren, Adam and Taylor Greene, Maggie and Megan Gallagher, Hilary (Rob) Ross, Shelby (Chris) Sipes, Faith Nickel, Ted and Charlotte Myers; and great-grandchildren Winston, Montgomery, Henrietta, Kennedy, and Harrison. Also surviving are his brother Rev. Timothy (Marguerite) Nickel, sister Julia (Allan) Baker, sister-in-law Joyce Nickel, and several nieces and nephews. Jim was preceded in death by his parents, ex-wife Ada Nickel, 2nd wife Ruth Nickel, brother Rev. David Nickel, and grandson Colin Hendrie.
A funeral service will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, January 15, 2022, at Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 18548 CR 18, Goshen, IN 46528 with Rev. Andrew Wollman officiating. Friends may visit from 11:00am - 1:00pm at the church before the service. Stemm-Lawson-Peterson Funeral Home is assisting the Nickel family with arrangements. A private burial will be held on Monday, January 17, 2022, at Carleton Cemetery in Elkhart. Memorial donations may be made to Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, and online condolences to the Nickel family at www.stemmlawsonpeterson.com
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Prince of Peace Lutheran Church
18548 County Road 18, Goishen IN 46528