Obituary Notices and Memorials


NICHOLS, Jr. George Henry George H. Nichols, Jr. passed on July 27, 2010, after a short illness. He was born in Wilsona District of the Antelope Valley on August 9, 1928, to George H. Sr. and Crystal Folgate Nichols. He was delivered by his grandmother, Minerva Folgate at the Rockpile Ranch; Dr. Wright arrived from Palmdale the next day to complete the birth certificate. In his early years, George lived in Los Angeles where he attended Manual Arts High School. He moved back to the Antelope Valley in 1946, and graduated from Antelope Valley High School in 1947, after which he worked for various local businesses including Padgett Farm Equipment and Lancaster Radio, and was employed as a fireman in rural Kern County. George served in the Army during the Korean conflict, and was awarded the Meritorious Service Medal for exceptional performance in Occupied Japan. His career in aerospace began at age 16 with Douglas Aircraft during World War II. After his military service, he attended Northrup Aeronautical Institute and obtained an Airframe and Engine Mechanics license. He was subsequently employed by Northrup Aviation, at El Segundo, White Sands, N.M., and Edwards Air Force Base. George began his career in Flight Instrumentation at NASA - Flight Research Center in 1959. Until his retirement in 1981, he contributed to nearly every significant flight research project at NASA-Edwards, including the hypersonic X-15, the pioneering Digital Fly-By-Wire, the AD-1 oblique wing, various lifting bodies, and several remotely piloted research vehicles, receiving numerous individual and group awards. After his retirement from NASA, George was employed by General Dynamics at Edwards AFB on the F-16 program for nearly 10 years. For most of his married life, George lived in Leona Valley and Quartz Hill. George was active in several hobbies, including sport aviation through memberships in the Continental Luscombe Association and EAA Chapter 49, motorcycle enduro through the Los Coyotes Motorcycle Club, and antique automobiles through his ownership of two Model A Fords and a Dodge touring car. He was a wizard with anything mechanical. George was a loving husband and father with deep values and strong principles, who always said he was born 100 years too late, because of his love of freedom and open adventure. He is survived by his loving wife of 55 years, Patricia Nichols; his daughter, Cerena Nichols of Yerington, Nev.; his son Brett and daughter-in-law Melanie Nichols, and grandchildren Ian, Torrie, Kamdyn, and Shelbie of Redding, Calif. He leaves cousins Charlene Reasor, Joyce Sparks, Lucinda Webber, and Beryl Bruerton and their families. He also leaves many friends who will miss him dearly. Memorial services will be held at 3 p.m., Monday, August 9, 2010, at Lancaster United Methodist Church, John Wesley Hall, 918 W Ave J. In his memory, you may donate to the West Antelope Valley Historical Society, P.O. Box 1972, Lancaster, CA 93539 (for the restoration of the Leona Valley Schoolhouse); or to your favorite charity.

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