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Henry J. "Hank" NikolasJuly 15, 1936 ~ July 3, 2017 (age 80)
Henry “Hank” Joseph Nikolas, 80, of Aberdeen, passed away Monday, July 3, 2017, at Angelhaus Regional Basic Care Center in Aberdeen.
Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 a.m., Friday, July 7, 2017, at St. Mary's Catholic Church, 409 2nd Avenue NE, Aberdeen, with Father Michael Griffin and Deacon Patrick Grode officiating.
Hank’s wishes were to be cremated and burial, with military rites, will take place at St. Mary's Catholic Cemetery.
Schriver’s Memorial Mortuary and Crematory, 414 5th Avenue NW, Aberdeen, is in charge of arrangements.
Visitation will be 5-7 p.m., Thursday, at the mortuary. Friends may sign Hank’s online guestbook and also view his service via the live stream service link at www.schriversmemorial.com.
Henry Joseph Nikolas was born on July 15, 1936, in Aberdeen, SD, to Leopold Andrew and Cecelia Pauline (Sahli) Nikolas. He attended St. Mary’s Parochial School and Monroe Junior High School before graduating from Aberdeen Central High School in 1954.
Hank served his country in the United States Army from September 8, 1954, until he was honorably discharged on August 25, 1956.
Hank was united in marriage to Sharon Lee Blondo on August 8, 1959, at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Aberdeen. The couple made Aberdeen their home, where Hank furthered his education at Northern State Teachers College and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education in May of 1960 and his Master of Science degree in Education in August of 1963.
Hank was employed as the Physical Education Instructor at Cleveland Elementary in Sioux Falls from 1960 through 1961 before becoming the Physical Education Instructor for the Aberdeen Public Schools District grades K-6th grade in 1962. In addition to teaching physical education, Hank also served as the Driver’s Education Instructor for the Aberdeen Public School District for several years before retiring in 1991. He also kept busy refereeing high school football and basketball games for many years in Aberdeen and the surrounding towns.
Hank was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church, American Legion Post #24 and VFW Post #17, all in Aberdeen. He was also a lifetime, 58-year member of Elks Lodge #1046 in Aberdeen, where he served as the Chairman of the Elks Hoop Shoot Contest and the Aberdeen Jump Rope for Heart and Punt, Pass, and Kick programs. In addition, Hank volunteered his time at the Adjustment Training Center (now known as Aspire). His professional memberships included the South Dakota Education Association and the National Education Association. He was also an “honorary lifetime member” of Schwan’s Recreation in Aberdeen.
Hank loved spending time outdoors hunting, fishing, camping, and gardening. He also enjoyed attending high school and college sporting events, as well as playing amateur baseball and slow-pitch softball. Above all, Hank loved spending time with his entire family.
Grateful to have shared in Hank’s life are his wife, Sharon Nikolas of Aberdeen; his children: Selene Marie (Mike) Hove of Palm Harbor, FL, Anthony “Tony” Joseph Nikolas of Rice, MN, and Maria Nicole (Greg) Neely of Sioux Falls, SD; seven grandchildren: Ann Noelle Hove (Matt) Paisner, Nikolas Hans Hove, Alexander Joseph Nikolas, Austin Roger Nikolas, Arik Hoyt Nikolas, Tyler John Neely and Taylor Nicole Neely; one great granddaughter Alanna Rae Paisner; five brothers: Robert Nikolas, Philip (Evelyn) Nikolas, Thomas (Jane) Nikolas, Tim (Eileen) Nikolas and David (Cindy) Nikolas; and three sisters: Pauline (Jerry) Winjum, Mary Ann Nikolas, and Madonna (Donn) Kuhfeld.
Hank is preceded in death by his parents, Leo and Cecelia; three brothers: Edward, Leroy, and William “Beno” Nikolas; one sister, Sr. Mildred Nikolas; and his father and mother-in-law, George and Olga (Paulson) Blondo.