Russell D. Nichols, retired from Missouri State Highway Patrol, known for collection of band organs, calliopes
COLUMBIA — Russell D. Nichols of Columbia died Friday, Oct. 28, 2011. He was 89.
Mr. Nichols was born Aug. 26, 1922, in Boone County to James Albert and Myrtle Elizabeth (McDaniels) Nichols.
He married Mary "Connie" Wigman in East Lansing, Mich., on Feb. 22, 1944.
Mr. Nichols graduated from the MU Laboratory School. After high school, he enlisted in the Air Force and served in the South Pacific during World War II.
Following the war, Nichols joined the Missouri State Highway Patrol. He retired as a lieutenant colonel and assistant superintendent in 1977 after 31 years of distinguished service. The next year, he was appointed director of the Missouri State Fair for two years.
During his retirement, he enjoyed a career in music. Mr. Nichols loved circus music and had an extensive collection of band organs and calliopes. He traveled to grand openings and events to play his collection and was especially proud of playing his larger machines. Mr. Nichols also collected and refurbished Edison gramophones.
He is survived by his wife, Connie; nieces, Linda Atkins and Marilyn Andre, both of Columbia; and other nieces and nephews.
At Mr. Nichols' request, there will be no memorial service.
Memorial contributions can be made to The MASTERS, a relief fund for families of slain Highway Patrol officers, 5287 Highway 67 N., Poplar Bluff, MO 63901.
Condolences can be posted at parkerfuneralservice.com