Joe Haskell Nichols September 18, 1915 – February 11, 2012

Joe Haskell Nichols September 18, 1915 - February 11, 2012

Joe Haskell Nichols was born on September 18, 1915 near Realfoot Lake, TN, and left this life on February 11, 2012 in Kent, WA. He was the youngest of six children (four older brothers, and one sister who died before Joe was born).
Joe later met his wife, Hazel, at The Brown Shoe Factory, where they were employed. The two of them were married on Christmas Eve in 1938.
Just before World War II began, Joe joined the Merchant Marines, which became his full -time occupation during the war and until his retirement in 1970. He served in three wars and worked his way up to Chief Engineer on cargo ships, going all around the world. Hazel and Joe Jr. used to travel up and down the West Coast, in order to meet the ships to visit while they could.
Joe and Hazel bought a home in San Francisco and a Ranch in Gilroy, CA in 1945. In 1950, they sold the house and moved to the Gilroy Ranch, which had a 32-acre prune orchard on it. Joe Jr. was raised on this property.
As a family, they attended Gilroy Baptist Church, and Joe served on the Gilroy School Board for a term. After he retired from the Merchant Marines, Joe pulled out the prune trees and replaced them with Christmas trees. The Nichols Christmas Tree Farm was in business for 25 years. Joe Sr. often said that those were the happiest years of his life.
Then in 1999, Joe had the ranch divided into parcels of land, which were eventually sold, and he bought a home and moved to Kent, WA to be closer to his family.
Joe’s hobbies included fishing and work. He and his wife were married for 67 years. Hazel preceded him in death, passing away in 2005.
Joe is survived by his son, Joe Jr. & his wife Carol, five grandchildren: Eric, Dave, Brian, Laura, and Karin and their spouses, and three great-grandchildren. Graveside Services will be held Friday, February 24, 2012, at 10:30 A.M. at Gavilan Hills Memorial Park, 1000 First Street, Gilroy. Joe will be buried next to his wife.
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