Eulogy read by Bonnie at her dad's funeral service:
I just played Rocking Around The Christmas Tree for everyone to hear.
That was my dad's favorite Christmas carol. He loved it always. And I know that for a fact as I have spent Christmas Day with him the last 50 odd years never missed a Christmas and he always loved singing that song and yes even dancing around to it! He used to open the bedroom window and have it playing when we pulled up in the driveway on Christmas Day.
My dad liked that song and he liked fried eggs and bacon, biscuits and gravy, maple walnut ice cream, popcorn and caramel popcorn in particular. He liked Arbys sandwiches with lots of sauce and he liked to wander thru the grocery store just looking at stuff. He liked watching football and baseball on TV and the old TV shows from years ago and he liked doing word puzzle books all the time. He liked being comfortable and wearing his sweats and slippers around the house. He really liked dogs especially the ones my parents owned over the years and he liked making candy and giving it to everyone he knew.
And Dad loved his family and friends. He has known some of you out there for a very long time. Polly he thought you were a great friend ever since my parents first got to know you at the flea market in Woodstock all those years ago. Regina, Melissa, Mary he depended on you to watch over his Audrey and take care of her when she came in there every week and he knew you would and he loved you for it and he will depend on you to watch over his Audrey still. Stewart, Rob he has known you both for many years and he thought you were both absolutely great.
Dad loved to tell people that he had eight children. He was proud of all of us and he loved all of us no matter what whether he saw us or not, whether we argued or not. His kids were all special to him as well as the grandchildren and great grandchildren.
That brings me to Rachel - you have always been his golden girl from the time you came into our lives. He loved you so much that he carried not 1, but 3 photos of you around in his wallet at all times. You were so very special to him and he was so very proud of you. His eyes would light up every time you gave him a hug.
And ME well, I was his rock as he used to say. the one he came to to help solve problems, calm the fears and make things right again. He always called me his fixer the one who helped him sleep at night again. And I loved him.
And Michael he loved YOU so much. You were there for Dad AND Mom thru everything. Between us we got him thru the cancer and we were determined that he WOULD conquer the cancer and he did. Mom and Dad both have survived so many things because you were their constant. You never abandoned them. You have been there thru all the good and bad, ups and downs, ALWAYS and I know he is watching now and saying Thank You Michael because you meant SO much to him and everyone in this room owes you thanks for that.
And to the rest of Dad's kids that are here Dad loved all of you. Less than two weeks ago, I was sitting talking to him and he told me he was worried. It was one of the many times that he would tell me where everything was in case anything should happen to him. His biggest fear was that he would go first before Mom. He was so worried that she would be left alone without him to watch out for her. So, he would tell me these things to remember again and again over the past year. The last thing he said about all of the kids just two weeks ago was that I needed to tell you all two things:
1. that he loved each of you with all his heart 2. that all of us and he emphasized all of us needed to promise to take care of our mother if he left us first. He said he could not bear the thought of her being left alone and her not being taken care of properly. He wanted me to tell you that his last wish from all his kids was that we would take good care of his wife and your mother when he was gone
And so there it is his last message to each of his kids and his last wishes to each of us.
And now Mom you were the love of his life for over 65 years his bride as he used to say all the time. He was proud of you and of being your husband. You were always his beauty, his friend, his life. He loved you Mom always and he wanted me to tell you that his love will always be there with you and never to forget that.
So, that was/is my dad your dad, your husband, your grandfather, your friend. He was truly a special man and he will always be in my heart and thoughts. And Dad, I love you more than you could ever know and I always will. Sweet Dreams Dad.
WEST HURLEY Thomas W. Nicolas of Holland Drive, West Hurley died Sunday, August 8, 2010 at his home. He was 90.
He was born in Bowling Green, Ohio on July 1, 1920. He was the son of the late Joseph and Rose Farmer Nicolas.
Mr. Nicolas was a veteran of World War II, having served in the US Air Force. He was stationed in Nottingham, England, but served in the battles of Normandy, Rhineland, Ardennes and central Europe. He met his war bride Audrey Inskip Nicolas in Nottingham and they were married in England on January 8, 1945.
Mr. Nicolas had lived with his wife of 65 years, Audrey in West Hurley since 1987 until his recent death.
In addition to Audrey, his wife, he is survived by seven of his eight children, Richard Nicolas of Pana, Illinois, Debby Bunnning of Charleston, West Virginia, Wendy Boys of Shelbyville, Illinois, Roger Nicolas of Tampa, Florida, Randy Nicolas of Pana, Illinois, Bonnie Gilman of Hurley, New York and Michael Nicolas of West Hurley, New York. His fifth son, Thomas W. Nicolas II died in February of 2008. He also had 14 surviving grandchildren - one of which lives locally, Rachel Gilman of Hurley, New York and 7 great grandchildren.
His funeral arrangements are by Simpson-Gaus Funeral Home. There will be a private service for family and close friends on Thursday, August 12 from 4:00pm to 5:00pm at the funeral home. The family asks that donations be made in his name to: New York Presbyterian Hospital, Cancer Research, Office of Development, 525 East 68th Street, Box 123, New York, NY 10065 in lieu of flowers as he remained ever grateful to them for making him a cancer survivor and giving back so many years of life to him.
Thomas will be greatly missed by his family and friends and forever in their hearts and thoughts.