Gilbert ‘Gib’ L. Nickels

By on April 4, 2013

Gilbert “Gib” L. Nickels, 88, of Elburn, passed away peacefully on Friday March 29, 2013, at Presence McAuley Manor in Aurora.

He was born July 18, 1924, the son of N.M. and Ada B. (Benton) Nickels in Aurora.

Gib grew up on the Benton Family Farm on Lorang Road, where he attended Kaneville Schools. It was the farm that held his heart, and with his schooling finished, he went back to the farm to tend the fields with his father.

In January 1944, Gib enlisted in the United States Marine Corp. and faithfully served his country in the South Pacific as a corporal. He was honorably discharged in May of 1946. Upon returning to civilian life, Gib continued to work for his father for the next four years before taking over the family business.

In 1991, Gib retired from farming, and with the farm sold, he spent his time helping his friends with their fields. More often, he just enjoyed the passing of days.

In January of 1951, Gib was united in marriage to Elsie B. Gehringer in Indiana. They began their new life together back on the farm that Gib owned. They cherished the time they were given, but in January of 1978, Elsie passed away following her battle with leukemia. In February of 1981, Gib once again found his best friend and companion in Louise Penrod, with whom he would spend more than 30 years, making a life and a lifetime of memories together.

Gib loved the game of baseball and even spent a number of years coaching in the local area. He passed on the knowledge and passion for the game to those he coached. For 20 years, Gib and his brother K. B. ran Nickels Flyers Pigeon Club. Gib also spent time golfing, playing cards and playing pool. When he wasn’t passing time with all of his favorite activities, you often found Gib socializing at the local taverns.

He is survived by one daughter, Kathleen (Jack) Culbertson of Sawyer, Mich.; two sons, Jeffrey G. (Peggy) Nickels of Plano, Ill., and Jim Gehringer of Leland, Ill.; one daughter-in-law, Charlene Gehringer of Illinois; four grandchildren, Kyle, Randy, Jill and Becky; many nieces, nephews and a family of friends.

He is preceded by his first wife, Elsie Nickels; one son, Gerald Gehringer; one daughter-in-law, Joanne Gehringer; brother, K.B. (Leota) Nickels; and sisters, Norine (Wayne) Florence and Jean Nickels.

Visitation was held on Tuesday at Conley Funeral Home in Elburn. A funeral service celebrating Gib’s life was held Wednesday, with a second visitation preceding the service, at the funeral home. Rev. Mark Harkness, pastor of Kaneville United Methodist Church, officiated. Burial and military honors followed at Kaneville Cemetery.

In honor of Gib’s love for casual attire, the family requests that casual attire be worn for both the visitation and funeral service. Traditional funeral attire is not required.

A memorial has been established in Gib’s name to benefit the Elburn American Legion Post 630: Checks may be made to the “Elburn American Legion Post 630” and mailed in care of the Nickels Family P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at