Paul D Nickell, 80, passed away peacefully at home Saturday, November 28, 2015. Born in Alton, Illinois he was the son of the late John and Nora Nickell of Edwardsville, Illinois.
After graduation from Erskine College in 1956, Paul was recruited by the Milwaukee Braves, Pittsburg Pirates, and Detroit Tiger organizations. Signing a Triple A contract with the Tigers, he played parts of two seasons with the Durham Bulls. After leaving professional baseball, he coached baseball at East High, bringing that school its first conference championship in any sport in 1969. In the spring of 2015 his former players invited him to dinner and an East High baseball home game where they presented the school with a trophy to replace the missing one. In the mid-70’s he purchased Brookwood Golf Club in Arden which he operated for over twenty five years.
In 1999 Paul was inducted into the Erskine College Flying Fleet Hall of Fame and the Citation includes the following: “Nickell, as an outfielder, hit .477 during his junior year in 1955, setting a modern single-season record that would stand for 14 years. It is still today the fourth-highest average ever compiled by an Erskine batter and is the second highest with a wooden bat. His senior year he was the number one pitcher and hitter for the Fleet, leading the team in home runs, batting average, and strikeouts. He served as president of the Erskine student body, a responsibility he handled with distinction.”
Paul was a member of First United Methodist Church and in the 1960’s and 70’s served as an usher and was a member of the Pastor/Parish Committee.
He is survived by his wife of 60 years this December 17, the former Sara Lee Allen; three sons, Gregory, Philip, and Andrew; and three grandchildren, Sara, Elijah, and Noah.
A celebration of life service will be held at 11 am Saturday, December 5, 2015 in the Kirby Memorial Chapel of Shuler Funeral Home with the Reverend Steve Jones, Hospice chaplain, officiating. Following the service, the family will receive friends at the home in Hickory Hill.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Four Seasons Compassion for Life, 571 S. Allen Road, Flat Rock, NC 28731, or the Erskine College Flying Fleet Athletic Organization, PO Box 338, Due West, SC 29639.
Date: Saturday, December 5, 2015
Kirby Memorial Chapel of Shuler Funeral Home
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