Emil Leo Nick Jr.

Memorial services were held September 2 at Boone Funeral Home for Emil Leo Nick Jr. Emil passed away August 29. He was the son of the late Emil Leo Nick Sr. and Adeline Fury Nick of Greenville.

Emil was born in Greenville on May 12, 1924. He attended St. Rose of Lima School and graduated Greenville High School in 1943 where he was senior class president. As a young man he worked with his father at Greenville Manufacturing and Machine Works, which built the first tow boats in Greenville for shipping along the Mississippi River. In addition, his father went to Washington, D.C. and negotiated the contract with the federal government to build the life boats for the war.

After graduating from high school he joined the United States Army and served with the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers in the 660th Topographic Mapping Division during World War II in England and France. While serving, he would see the life boats that were built back home in Greenville. Upon returning from military service, he enjoyed a lengthy, 36-year career of dedicated service at Baird and Company as a hardware salesman. He called on small hardware stores throughout Mississippi developing rich and trusted relationships with small business owners across his territory. These friendships were so close that it was not unusual for Emil’s family to spend time in the homes of his customers when traveling on vacation.

Only after a serious car accident did he retire from Baird and Company in 1986. Following a lengthy recovery period, Emil turned his energy and interest toward political and community involvement for many years always working to improve the hometown and country he loved so much. He was an active volunteer donating his time and energy to many causes including republican politics, helping to open the local GOP campaign headquarters. Some of his most thoughtful and giving activity in his retirement years were his efforts to regularly visit home-confined friends and residents of nursing and retirement homes, offering them company and someone to help pass the day.

His only brother, George Donald Nick, his sisters, Charlotte Nick Crawford, Mary Adeline Nick, and Shirley Nick Ayers Smeltzer preceded him in death. His is survived by his wife of 70 years, Barbara Pender Nick and their three sons, Stephen Pender Nick (Georgia Pate Nick), Emil Leo Nick III, Jeffrey Lacy Nick, all of Greenville, and their daughter, Renee Nick Flynt (Roger Mayo Flynt III) of Jackson; three granddaughters, who affectionately call him Poppy, Whitney Nick Cruzen (Philip Warren Cruzen Jr.) of Memphis, Sarah Kathryn Flynt of Birmingham, and Olivia Clair Flynt of Waco; a great-grandson, Baker Pate Cruzen of Memphis, and numerous nieces and nephews.

A graveside service will be held in Greenville at a later date.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to a charity of choice.

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