Mr. Howard Crawford Nickles, 94, passed away on October 30, 2016, at Hospice of Laurens County. Mr. Nickles was born October 7, 1922, in the Arborville community of Abbeville County, SC. He is preceded in death by his parents John Robert Nickles and Elise Crawford Nickles, a brother John Wesley Nickles, a sister Grace Nickles Johnson, and his wife of 58 years, Ouida Gaddis Nickles. He is survived by his brother Bobby Nickles of Donalds, SC, his daughters Jean Nickles Atkins (Tony) of Greenville, SC, and Susan Nickles Moore (Mike) of Mount Ulla, NC. Mr. Nickles had 5 grandsons Clayton Adam Atkins of Greenville, SC, Collin Reed Atkins of Greenville, SC, Cameron Jordan Atkins (Kelsey) of Reston, VA, Nicholas Hunter Moore of Mount Ulla, NC, and Matthew Stephen Moore of Mount Ulla, NC.
Mr. Nickles grew up in the Arborville community of Abbeville County and was a graduate of Abbeville High School class of 1939 at the age of 16. Following high school he attended Erskine College for two years while living at home and working on his family farm growing cotton. In late 1942 he was inducted into the Army to receive training at Fort Jackson, SC, and in St. Petersburg, FL. From there he was transferred to Sacramento, CA, and assigned to the Signal Corps. In January 1944 Mr. Nickles boarded the USS Florence Nightingale in New York City and sailed to Ferth of Clyde, Scotland, and then on to Horsham Saint Faith in Norwich England, where he was assigned to the8th Air Force,458th Bomb Group HD, 752nd Squadron. While there he worked as a munitions worker loading bombs in B-24 Liberators. In May of 1945 Mr. Nickles was allowed to fly home on 30 days leave in a bomb bay of a B-24 via Scotland, Iceland, Labrador, Connecticut, and Massachusetts. Following his leave, he was assigned to various posts in Nebraska, South Dakota, and Kansas until he was discharged on October 10, 1945.
Following the war, Mr. Nickles enrolled at Clemson University for a short time and then went to work building houses with Mr. Fred May. On July 12, 1952, he married the former Ouida Gaddis from Greenwood, SC. His proudest accomplishments were building the education building at Greenville Presbyterian Church in 1952 and his own home in 1957. In 1962 Mr. Nickles began working at Monsanto in Greenwood, SC, where he remained until his retirement in 1982. After retirement, Mr. Nickles enjoyed genealogy and discovering the history of his family in America.
Mr. Nickles was a lifetime member of Greenville Presbyterian Church (USA) in Donalds, SC, where he served as both Deacon and Elder. He was instrumental in researching the history of the church in order to have it added to the National Registry of Historic Places. Mr. Nickles served his church by acting as a steward of the cemetery, organizing and documenting the hundreds of gravesites and restoring broken tombstones. He also restored many of the original oak pews, repaired and updated the Session House, refinished furniture, and kept the church building heated and cooled for over 10 years. In 2014 he was awarded Elder Emeritus in recognition of his life-long service in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Arrangements for Mr. Nickles are being made by Chandler Jackson Funeral Home in Abbeville, SC. The family will receive friends at 1 pm on Wednesday, November 2, 2016, at the Chandler-Jackson funeral home. A memorial service will be held after the reception at 2 p.m. at the funeral home followed by burial at Greenville Presbyterian Church cemetery. The family would like to thank staff of the Presbyterian Home and Hospice of Laurens County for his care in the last years of his life. Memorials may be made to Hospice of Laurens County, 1304 Springdale Drive, Clinton, SC 29325.