Richard "Dick" W. Nicholls, 90, of Cranford, NJ, passed away surrounded by family, on October 5, 2020. He was born on April 2, 1930, in Blakely, PA. Dick was a graduate of Blakely High School (1947), Keystone Jr. College (1949), and Lehigh University (1951) where he obtained a B.S. in Chemical Engineering.
After moving to New Jersey, Dick was employed by Merck & Co. from 1951-1953 as a Process Development Engineer, where he met his beloved wife of 57 years, June (nee Johanson). From 1953-1970, he was employed by Chevron Corporation as a design engineer and subsequently as manager of foreign crude oil trading in their New York City office. From 1970, until his retirement in 1988, he was employed by Koch Industries, Inc. as Vice President, Sr. Vice President, and finally President of Koch Oil International Co., a division of Koch Industries, Inc. His activities were primarily in the area of foreign crude oil purchases, sales, and trading.
Dick was very active in community affairs, and volunteered countless hours of his time, serving on various committees and boards. He was a member of the Rockefeller Center Luncheon Club (Rainbow Room) for more than 30 years, where he served on the Board of Governors, including one year as President. He was a member of the Roselle Golf Club for more than 45 years, serving 6 of those years as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Club. When Roselle Golf Club closed, he joined Shackamaxon Country Club, where he remained an active member until his death.
Dick served for 10 years as a member of the Cranford Board of Education, including two years as President of the Board. He was a member of the Cranford Housing Board for nearly 30 years, including several years as Vice President.
Dick was a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Cranford, where he served on the Board of Trustees, including several years as President, and three years as an ordained Elder of the church.
Finally, Dick served for four years as a lay member of the Attorney Ethics Committee for Union County.
Dick was a skilled craftsman in his younger years, building and refinishing several pieces of furniture as well as finishing off two room additions to his house. His favorite hobbies were golfing and fishing which he enjoyed either individually or with other family members, as nothing was more important to him than family.
Dick is pre-deceased by his parents Albert E. Nicholls and Leah (nee Matthews) Nicholls, his brother Dr. Albert Nicholls, and his wife, June. He is survived by his three devoted children Nancy (Mark Schomp), Richard (Debra), and Jeffrey (Marge). "Poppy" was also the loving grandfather of nine grandchildren, Megan, Nicole, Taylor, Carson, Wesley, Morgan, Christopher, Matthew, and Evie.
Visiting hours will be Tuesday, Oct. 13, 11:30 am â 1:30 pm at Gray's Funeral Home in Cranford, followed by a service at Fairview Cemetery in Westfield. All are welcome to attend.