Timothy E. Nickum

An absolute stalwart for the Avon Senior Center

OBITUARY from The Morning Journal, 10-8-07

``AVON -- Timothy E. Nickum, 65, of Avon, died Saturday, Oct. 6, 2007, at University Hospitals of complications from leukemia.

He was born May 7, 1942, in Cincinnati, and had been a resident of Avon for 36 years.

Nickum was an Avon Ward 3 councilman for the past eight years and served on the planning and zoning committees for several years. He was the force behind the planning and building of the Avon Senior Center.

He worked in the power tool industry since the age of 18, and was the owner of Kay Dee Air and Electric Tool Co. in Cleveland from 1987 until his retirement in 2005. He was an avid golfer, loved to travel with his family and friends, and spend time with his dog.

He is survived by his wife of 46 years, Joan (nee Ryan); sons Tim Jr. of Sheffield Village, Jim of Lorain, Steve of Avon; daughters Teresa Fischer of Avon Lake and Pamela Schmidt of Cincinnati; sister, Claire DeMaris of Cincinnati; and 11 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren. He was preceded in death by parents, Louis and Marion ...

Memorial contributions may be made at any Fifth Third Bank, C/O Sheila Kepic (leukemia patient and friend of the family).''

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FEATURE ARTICLE from The Press, 5-23-07, By Rebecca Turman

``Nickum loses fight to leukemia

AVON -- The city of Avon mourns the loss of a dedicated councilman, volunteer, husband, father, and friend in Tim Nickum. Nickum died Oct. 6th after a battle against leukemia. Although the community is devastated by Nickum's death, one thing couldn't be more understood. He left a lasting impact on the ever-growing city.

Briefly summing up Nickum's contribution to the community was impossible for Avon Mayor Jim Smith. "You have to remember that Tim was the spearhead for the senior center," Smith said in an interview. "The senior center went basically from a thought to a 700-membership in just a few years, which is amazing in itself."

Nickum served as a councilman for the city of Avon for eight years and was planning on seeking a fifth term during the November 2007 election, running uncontested. "He worked hard," Smith said. "He brought to the table his business experience in his lifetime, which was very important. When you bring that type of experience to the table, it's priceless."

Even when the sickness got tough, Smith said Nickum didn't let it take over his life and dedication to the city. "He kept going," Smith said. "He even had his wife bring him (to council meetings). He really fought a tough battle. It was one of those terrible things that happened. His life was cut way too short."

Smith said there was never a gray area when it came to Nickum. "Tim was the type of guy where you knew where he stood," Smith said. "He was a good guy to work with." When Nickum set his sights on something, "he always had a reason why," Smith said. "It wasn't a political grandstand. He had reasons why he did stuff, which was very commendable. He was probably the least political person that I've met in a long, long time. We are really going to miss him." ...

"He was a good guy, and his family is going to miss him," Smith said. "He was just a good family man, a good citizen for our community. The senior citizens club wouldn't be where it's at without Tim."

Avon Senior Center Coordinator Carm Barbera was shocked when she heard word of Nickum's death. "His passing is just a shock because he was a spitfire," Barbera said. "We thought we'd see him through to the other side of this leukemia. For this disease to just take him, it was just a ton of bricks on all of us. None of us were prepared or willing to accept it. None of us are taking it well."

Barbera worked closely with Nickum to bring the senior center to success. Whenever Barbera would ask for guidance from Nickum, "His response was always, 'Well, Carm, I don't know, you run the senior center, this is your decision.' I hated when he did that, but I got the point."

Since Nickum's death, Barbera said she has been replaying conversations she's had with him over and over in her head. "He was always just so supportive of me in this position and he always had my back," Barbera said. "He just...he had such a passion for that center. He wasn't just the council representative for the senior center. He was always there. You don't find many people of his character any more."

"When you do that stem cell transplant (which Nickum had undergone over the summer), your old (immune) system and the new system are duking it out," Barbera said. "He was fighting it and fighting it."

Along with Barbera, President of the Avon Seniors Bob Fedor was saddened to hear of Nickum's passing. "He had been deteriorating the past few weeks," Fedor said, adding that Nickum was scheduled to have gallstone surgery on Oct. 5. "But then his kidneys began to fail. That must have been too much for his system. Saturday morning, we got word that he wouldn't make it through the day."

Fedor feels as though he not only lost a colleague, but a mentor as well, in Nickum. "He's been an absolute stalwart for the Avon Senior Center," Fedor said. "He's been our anchor in the city. His knowledge and his judgement and talent were right on target."

Nickum leaves behind his wife of 46 years, Joan; three sons, Tim Jr. of Sheffield Village, Jim of Lorain, Steve of Avon and two daughters, Teresa Fischer of Avon Lake, and Pamela Schmidt of Cincinnati, 11 grandchildren, two great-grandchildren and a sister, Claire DeMaris of Cincinnati.''

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