MISSOULA ~ Gus T. Nickel died June 7, 2021, at The Village Senior Residence.
Gustav Theodore was born on Aug. 31, 1930, in Wilder, ID. He was the youngest child of Carl and Stella (Payne) Nickel.
Gus grew up in Butte where he enjoyed track and ice skating. He was a graduate of Butte High School’s Class of 1947. Gus was stationed at the Great Falls Air Force Base for two years during the Korean War.
He met Arlene Rodlin when they both worked at Miner’s Dairy in Butte, and they were married on Nov. 25, 1953, in Missoula. They have three children: Susan, Lynette and Christopher.
In Missoula, Gus worked at various local creameries. He started at Dairy Fresh where he processed milk, cream, butter, cottage cheese and ice cream. His children remember going to the dairy on some weekends and napping in the warm room where boxes of milk cartons were kept. Nothing tasted better to them than freshly made ice cream.
Gus took his family on camping vacations in the Pacific Northwest and Canada. Many vacations included visiting his sister Shirley and her family in Portland, OR. On a Seattle trip in the ‘60s, Gus and Arlene volunteered Lynette to be kissed by Kandu, a killer whale. Lynette puckered her lips, and Kandu slapped half her face with its tongue. Other vacations included the Calgary Stampede, Waterton Lakes National Park and the Edmonton Klondike Days. Glacier and Yellowstone National Parks were family favorites. Susan enjoyed a trip with her parents to the European Alpine countries in 2008.
Survivors include his three children, son-in-law David Sweeney, and special granddaughters, Heather and Hillary, and their families. Gus was preceded in death by his wife Arlene in 2016, his parents, brother Hilary Nickel, and sisters Harriette Hatley and Shirley Fernley.
Cremation has taken place at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home, and his ashes will be interred with Arlene’s at Sunset Memorial Gardens.
We thank the Missoula Hospice nurses and The Village staff for making our father’s passing peaceful.