June 6, 2015
1951 – 2015
With his infectious laugh and big bear hugs, Tim Nichols, a 35-year resident of Steamboat Springs, Colo., had a presence that was larger than life. Those who knew him couldn't help but be touched by his great strengths in loving God and loving people. His laughter was said to lighten others' loads, while his words of wisdom helped redirect their paths. And he was fun, oh so fun! Tim never hesitated to throw out a cheesy joke or play chopstick drums on water glasses in restaurants.
On May 16, 2015, Tim passed away with his wife at his side, losing an 18-month battle with cancer, but gaining eternity in the bargain! He was a faithful and loving husband, father, grandfather and friend to many. Family was of top priority to him. Just last summer, even in his physical weakness, he traveled back to Indiana to baptize his nephew and nephew's son. Tim is survived by his wife, Kathy; his daughter Danielle and her husband Brian Heit; his grandchildren William and Annabelle Heit; his daughter Natalie Nichols; his brothers and their wives Bobby and Kathy Nichols, and Mike and Jayne Nichols, and his beloved dog, Zoe Girl.
Born and raised in Indiana, he was the youngest of three boys and loved the outdoors. He counted sailing, fishing, skiing, and horseback riding among his interests. He didn't just recreate in the outdoors – he studied it, always sharing his appreciation for nature with those around him.
He met his wife Kathy in their college years, and they moved to Steamboat in 1980, opening the town's first ski storage in a little lean-to at the base of the Gondola. Their small business, Novel Approach Ski Services, grew into a multi-faceted ski shop over a period of 10 years in the ski-in, ski-out level of the Sheraton.
Tim managed up to 40 employees and upwards of 1,000 guests a day, always with a smile on his face. In summers, their company, Over the Top, offered hot air balloon flights on their balloon "Eternity" as well as gourmet lunch mountain bike tours on Rabbit Ears Pass. Work and play were synonymous. One of their greatest memories was a Cozumel scuba diving trip that they treated their top employees to. With his entrepreneurial spirit, and having a construction background, he also built several homes in the valley over the years.
Ministry and music were Tim's passions. He never knew a stranger. In every conversation, he was present, intentional and kind. He and his wife were very involved in the church community all over Routt County, serving on Elder boards, worship teams, and being forerunners in developing young adult ministries. Tim was the kind of guy who would hear the Lord's call and act. He did missions work in multiple countries and on Native American Indian Reservations, and spent five months helping New Orleans rebuild after Hurricane Katrina.
Tim and Kathy moved back full-time to Steamboat in 2013, and soon after, Tim was diagnosed with Stage IV colon cancer. He fought long and hard, ministering to everyone around him in the process. He was buoyed by the many visitors who came while he was in the hospital; sometimes a dozen people would gather in his room for prayer and worship. Through it all, Kathy served him with an undying, relentless, unwavering love.
The Nichols family wants to thank the community for prayers, well-wishes, and unfailing love and support every step of the way. Throughout this battle, we were humbled by your many expressions of great love towards us. Thank you for your faithfulness. You held us in your hearts just as God calls us to do as His Church. We hope you will find it comforting to remember that God did not take Tim; He received him. Let us all rejoice!
To honor Tim's life, a Celebration Gathering for the community will be at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, June 15, in Gondola Square. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made at Yampa Valley Bank to either The Tim Nichols' Family account or the Hope4Cancer Institute account.