Gerhard Nickel Jr., ’49, 84, of Newton, died on Thursday (Sept. 20, 2012) at Asbury Park Greenhouse in Newton. He was born on June 9, 1928, in Mountain Lake, Minn., the son of Gerhard T. and Helena Wall Nickel Sr. He graduated from high school in Mountain Lake, later Grace Bible Institute in Omaha and Emporia State Teachers College.
Gerhard married Norma Elva Schmidt on July 26, 1950, in Marion County. They moved to Newton in 1956. Gerhard and Norma had three children: son, James Nickel and wife, Donna of Columbus, Neb., their children, Daniel, Janna and Elizabeth; daughter, Joetta Moyer and husband, Duane of Guadeloupe, French West Indies, their children, Justin and his wife, Sara, Caleb and Amanda; and daughter, Nancy Roupp and husband, James of Newton. Norma died on May 15, 1992.
Gerhard taught school for many years at Heights High School in Wichita and Berean Academy. Through the years he taught physics, chemistry, German, life science and geology. Gerhard loved to travel, wood working and aided in the building of several homes in the area. He was a longtime member of Koerner Heights M.B. Church. He studied the evidence to prove creation over evolution through the study of fossils.
On July 8, 2000, he married Viola Stevens in Wichita, bringing an extended family to Gerhard: Charles and Elizabeth Spaulding of Tishomingo, Okla., Frank and Amy Spaulding of Connecticut, Brad and Teresa Stevens of Wichita, Paula and Paul Reynolds of Clearwater, and Phyllis Stevens and Valerie Johnson, all of Wichita. Viola died on April 4, 2011.