Obituary of Robert Bradley "Brad" Nichols
Robert B. Nichols, Jr. passed away peacefully in Middlesex Hospital on July 22nd after complications from a bad fall. Brad was born in Binghamton, New York on November 24, 1931 son of the late Robert B. Nichols and Beatrice Powell Nichols. He was educated in Binghamton public schools until going away to prep school at Proctor Academy and The Hotchkiss School. When the Korean War broke out Brad was accepted at the U S Naval Academy and remained a Midshipman during the early fifties in spite of his poor hearing which the Navy waived. But when the war ended the Navy would no longer accept medical wavers and he was given an honorable medical discharge from the service which was a big disappointment to him. He completed his college studies with a BA in business from Middlebury College and went on to work in outside sales at the Armstrong Cork Co and then Republic Steel Corp. Brad was an ardent skier having skied on various school ski teams. He was a ski instructor, ski patrolman, and ski coach. Brad so loved the ski business he opened up a chain of ski shops in the greater Hartford, CT area in the early sixties. Brad also enjoyed golf and was a member of the Hartford Golf Club and later the Black Hall Club and the Old Lyme Country Club after he and his wife Helene moved to Essex after Brad sold his ski shops and became President of Wilt-Pruf Products in 1976 - a company which produces a line of Horticulture anti-transpirants which are sold throughout the world. Brad was also an enthusiastic sailor on local waters as well as blue water. Brad belonged to the Indian Harbor Yacht Club of Greenwich when his new business took him to the Greenwich area. He was also a long time member of the New York Amateur Ski Club where he served a term as President. After they moved to Essex, he was active in the Connecticut River Museum where he was Vice Chairman and became a lifetime trustee emeritus. Brad was a lifetime member of the First Congregational Church and active on many church committees. Brad leaves his beautiful Dutch born wife Hélène after nearly forty years together. He also leaves his devoted son Robert III, his wonderful wife Helena and their very special daughter Matilda of Fairfield. He also leaves his lovely daughter Whitney Covington and her supportive husband Jim together with their two great sons Sam and Will who live in Chestertown, MD. And he leaves behind his beloved dachshunds, LadyBug and Buttercup. A memorial service will be held at the First Congregational Church in Essex on Saturday, August 10th at 10 a.m.