John J. Nickles passed peacefully at Peconic Bay Medical Center on Jan. 12, 2021 from complications of COPD. He was 82 years old.
John was born in Brooklyn on Dec. 6, 1938, to Grace Rogers Nickles (née Beutelstetter) and Gottlieb J. Nickles. Most knew his mother as Grace R. Lewis during John’s professional life. John graduated from The Hill School for boys in Pottstown, Pa., and then attended St. Lawrence University. He then went to work in New York City for CBS. He eventually returned to Southold and began a long career as a real estate broker with his family business, Lewis & Nickles, Ltd. Real Estate. He was well regarded in his career and likely walked, sold or appraised most of Southold’s properties at one time or another.
John served as president of the Eastern Suffolk Board of Realtors and also the Hamptons and North Fork Real Estate Association. He received the esteemed award as Realtor Emeritus for 50 years of service.
His commitment to serving the residents of Southold was unwavering, both professionally and personally. He was elected to the Southold Town Trustees and the Southold Town Board. As councilman, he helped create the town’s two-acre zoning plan and farmland preservation program. He was a natural politician and served as the town leader for the GOP for many years and continued to stay committed to local politics. He was well respected in his work no matter what it was.
He was married to Kathy Claudio for 17 years and they have two children, Kate and John Jr., and two grandchildren, Kathryn Grace and Von. He later married Kathleen Goggins and they were together for 22 years. He became a stepfather to her four children, Robert, Timothy, Rebekah and Jake Desimone.
He leaves behind a legacy of good will and service to his community in his beloved hometown, Southold. He loved God and his church and served as elder to his congregation at First Presbyterian Church of Southold. Those who knew him well loved him and he will be missed by many.
The family received visitors Jan. 15 at DeFriest-Grattan Funeral Home in Southold. Interment was private.
Donations in his name may be made to Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center or Peconic Bay Medical Center.
This is a paid notice.