Mack (McClain) Nichols Jr.

Published 9:41 am Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Mack (McClain) Nichols Jr., 92, passed away peacefully in Knoxville, Tenn., on Friday, July 3, 2015, following an extended illness. Born in Cass, W.Va., Mack grew up in Elizabethton, Tenn., and lettered in five high school sports before attending college on a football scholarship. With the onset of WWII, he joined the ranks of our greatest generation enlisting in the United States Navy and serving on the USS Pennsylvania where he was awarded seven battle stars and the Navy Unit Commendation for underwater work in shark infested waters. Following the war, he completed his college studies graduating from the University of Miami in Industrial Engineering with a career that took him throughout the Southeastern United States, Central America, and the Caribbean Islands. Mack continued his love of sports belonging to the Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi Secondary Athletics Officials Association and was later honored at the Elizabethton High School Football Hall of Fame. Prior to his move to Knoxville, Mack resided in Shelbyville, Tenn., where he left behind dear friends from First Baptist Church, Kiwanis and the community.
Mack was preceded in death by his beloved wife of 57 years, Mary Alice Nichols; their son, James William Nichols; parents, McClain and Mae Belle Nichols; and sisters, Marjory Petrey, Hilda Campbell and Lucille Triplett.
He is survived by his daughter, Nancy Alexander and her husband, Brent Alexander; grandchildren, William B. Alexander Jr. and Mary McClain Alexander; nieces, Peggy Lingerfelt, Sharon McClary and Barbara Shields; many great-nieces and nephews; and lastly, his faithful 4-legged companion, Jake.
The family extends heartfelt thanks to Mack’s caregiver, Denise Gray, for the joy and hope she gave him in the last months of his life.
Family and friends are invited to gather for graveside services officiated by Reverend Jeff Rasnick at 11 a.m. Friday, July 10, at Happy Valley Memorial Park in Elizabethton, Tenn. In lieu of flowers, memorials can be made to First Baptist Church, 304 E. Depot Street, Shelbyville, TN 37160.
Jackson Funeral Services in Oliver Springs is honored to serve the Nichols Family. We invite you to share your thoughts and memories with the family at

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