ST. PETERSBURG, FL. — Colonel, Ret. USAF William L. Nichols, 87, of St. Petersburg, FL., died March 10, 2013. Colonel Nichols was born on Dec. 31, 1925 in Ellenburg Depot, N.Y., the first born to Ruby and Agnes Derry Nichols. He was a graduate of Ellenburg Central School in 1943.
After graduation he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Force and served 18 months in Burma and was discharged as a Sergeant in May of 1946. Taking advantage of the G.I Bill, he attended Syracuse University and graduated in 1951 at which time he received his commission as a Second Lieutenant through the schools Air Force ROTC program. While teaching ROTC at Syracuse University he went on to earn a Masters Degree in Educational Administration.
He served at Plattsburgh AFB during 1964-69 where he commanded the 380th Air refueling Squadron as well as serving as the Deputy Base Commander during the later part of 1969. In 1970 he was assigned to Plieku AFB, Vietnam for one year. In 1973 Colonel Nichols retired and moved to St. Petersburg where he lived until his death. Colonel Nichols is a holder of 23 awards and decorations including the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster.
Surviving is his wife of 62 years, the former Janet T. Maille; sons, Msgt.( Ret) William T. and his wife Denise of New Mexico and Steven B. and his wife Ter of Hudson, FL.: 5 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren. He was predeceased by his 3 brothers, Dennis, Ruby Jr. and Clifton Nichols.
Funeral Mass will be 10:30 A.M. Monday, March 18 at Blessed Trinity Catholic Church with entombment to follow at Bay Pines National Cemetery. On line memorial & guestbook @ www.brettfuneralhome.net