It is with sadness and thankfulness that we announce the passing of our patriarch, Rev. David Jacob Nickel. We have lost a husband, a father, a grandfather, a great-grandfather, a brother, an uncle, a beloved pastor and chaplain, and a friend to many. David was born on August 30, 1923 in South Russia (now Ukraine) and emigrated to Canada with his parents, Jakob and Sarah (Neufeld) Nickel in 1925. They eventually settled in Alberta and became homesteaders. As a young man, Dad met the love of his life, Elizabeth (Betty) Retzlaff and they married in 1948. They were blessed with 5 children. Early in his life, David committed his life to Christ and this decision colored the rest of his life. He and Betty pastored churches in Alberta and BC until they retired in Abbotsford.
David is predeceased by his parents, Jakob and Sarah Nickel, two sisters, Margaret (in infancy), Katherine (Walter) Rempel, one brother, John (Justine (d)), and two grandsons Jonathan Ewert and Adam Nickel. Left to mourn his passing are his wife Betty of 71 Â½ years; his children; Elma (Don) Voth, Edward (Alison) Nickel, Leona (Bert) Ewert, Lillian (Doug) Vincent and Irene (Norm) Claassen. He was blessed with 13 grandchildren: Pamela Ratzlaff, Laurel Edwards, Mark Voth, Rebecca Nickel, Katherine Nickel, Matthew Ewert, Christopher Ewert, Tyler Ewert, Elizabeth Vincent, Sarah Penner, Breanne Cash, Jeffrey Claassen, and Mitchell Claassen. Also, he had 2 step-grandsons; Shawn Vincent and Doug Vincent Jr. An ever-growing host of great-grandchildren have also lost their Opa. David leaves his brother Ernest (Irma), his sister Anne (Bernie (d)) Retzlaff, his brother Peter (Agnes (d)), his brother-in-law Walter Rempel and the whole Retzlaff family.
In his last years, our dad struggled with the ravages of dementia/Alzheimer’s. We are so grateful that his battle is over and he is with his Saviour. Our heartfelt thanks go to the staff and administration at Tabor Home, where dad was so lovingly cared for in his final days. We can never thank them enough. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Alzheimer Society of Canada.
Memorial Service will be held Thursday, November 28 at 1:00 pm at Eben-Ezer Mennonite Church, 2051 Windsor St., Abbotsford. Online condolences to the family may be made to: www.wiebeandjeskefh.com Wiebe & Jeske – 604-859-5885
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