The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

October 16, 2013

Longtime Realtor is remembered: Jim Nicholas dies at age 78

Staff reports
Enid News and Eagle

ENID, Okla. — Longtime Enid Realtor Jim Nicholas was remembered for his leadership skills and friendliness Wednesday. He died at home at age 78.

His funeral will be 10 a.m. Friday at First Presbyterian Church. The Rev. Dr. Bruce Byers will officiate. Burial will be at Memorial Park under the direction of Brown-Cummings Funeral Home.

Realtor Phil Edwards said he met Nicholas in the early 1970s when he went to work for him.

“He was a great guy, very outgoing,” Edwards said. “He was a leader in real estate in this town. If you look at what the family has done, the four major real estate firms in town — Coldwell Banker, Paramount, Century 21 and RE/MAX — are all owned by people who worked for him.”

Edwards said Nicholas recently returned from Cleveland Heart Clinic, which gave him a clean bill of health.

“I saw him Sunday in church and thought he looked great,” Edwards said.

Lee Thompson said he has been a neighbor of Nicholas for about 40 years. Jim Nicholas, Buddy Nicholas, Thompson and another family bought a lot between their houses and built a swimming pool, which they shared. Thompson said all their families had young children at the time and it worked out well.

“Jim had some health problems, I don’t know the details, but this was a shock to me,” Thompson said. “I don’t think it was expected.”

Keith Lynn is a lifelong friend and high school classmate of Nicholas.

“I had lunch with him yesterday,” Lynn said. “He was a good guy, always enthusiastic, always had something to go do.”

Lynn also said Nicholas enjoyed talking to people and still enjoyed his work.

“He’s been in business ever since he graduated from college. I will miss him,” Lynn said.

Dan Dillingham said he knew Nicholas since he was 3 years old.

“I was a year older, he has been a lifelong friend. When I heard he died I was shocked,” Dillingham said.

Dillingham said he was aware Nicholas had some health problems, but his character came through. He quoted Nicholas saying he had a wonderful life and would like to see what’s over the horizon.

“He was a very positive guy, a great hunter, and he had a ranch in western Oklahoma and he enjoyed going out there and working on it. He didn’t have too many boring days,” Dillingham said.

Rob Stallings met Nicholas through a colonel he knew when he was in the Air Force at Vance Air Force Base. In 1984, Stallings and his family moved behind Nicholas and got to know him really well.

“I’ve done everything with Jim and Ila. Been to Costa Rica with them, hunted with him,” Stallings said.

He called Nicholas a quintessential salesman.

“He could sell anything to anybody. He could make a trade and make a deal,” Stallings said. “When he was your Realtor he was fun to deal with. He was really good at it. That’s what strikes me is what a good Realtor he was. It’s a great loss, I was devastated.”

Realtor Bonnie Phillips knew Nicholas as her boss when she worked for him 25 years. She said he was “big-hearted” and was excited about things. She said Nicholas was thorough with everything he did.

“Jim was the reason I came here,” Phllips said.

Nicholas and his brother, Bud, established Nicholas Commercial Real Estate in 1955. It is the oldest family owned real estate company in Oklahoma.