Donald Gene Nicholas died June 28, 2007 in Payson. He was born Dec. 13, 1934 in Marshall, Mo.
He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Nancy, two children, Donald Jr. and Penny Seliger; his brother, Jerry, and seven grandchildren, Matthew, Jennipher, Donald III, Ashley, Amy, Amber and Alexander.
Mr. Nicholas came to Arizona in 1953, where met Nancy while attending Arizona State University. He served his country from 1953 to 1957 in the Naval Reserve. Upon graduation from ASU in 1957, he was commissioned a second lieutenant in the United States Air Force. During his 20 years service in the Air Force, he served as a bomber pilot, ICBM missile officer, general's aide, AC47 gunship commander in Vietnam and finally as Air/Sea Search and Rescue with the Luke 302nd Squadron.
Upon returning from Vietnam, he began a second career as a vocational education teacher at Washington, then Paradise Valley High School. In 1976 he was hired to start the vocational education program at Payson High School, where he ultimately retired from teaching.
Mr. Nicholas was a member of the Payson Lions Club and served as president 1979-1980; he was also a member of the Payson Men's Golf Association. He also loved hunting, fishing, and his Sun Devils.
Services will be at 11 a.m., Thursday, July 5 at Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main St., Payson.
Donations may be made in Mr. Nicholas' memory to Community Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Main; RTA Hospice, 511 S. Mud Springs Rd., both in Payson, AZ 85547; or the American Cancer Society, 2929 E. Thomas Rd., Phoenix, AZ 85016.