Cassville mourns death of long-time resident

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Public servant, civic leader remembered by family, friends


Members of the Cassville community are mourning the passing of Glen Dale Nicoll, a long-time member of the community who, according to family and friends, left a distinguished mark.

Affectionately known by family and friends as "Sheik" for his sharp taste in dressing, Nicoll, 88, is a 1945 graduate of Cassville High School and served as the Barry County assessor for 32 years.

Nicoll was born in Kansas City on Oct. 20, 1926, to Woolford (Colonel) and Mary Nicoll. As a young man in high school, Nicoll worked as a soda jerk at Wooten Drug Store, and in his parents' furniture store in Cassville.

After graduation, Nicoll enlisted in the army, serving his country in World War II in France. In 1946, he married Helen Virginia Horine, and had two sons, Christopher Glen and Scott Alexander. His wife Helen died in 1995. In 1968, he became County Assessor, and was elected a total of eight terms, holding the office for 32 years.

"He served Barry County as their assessor for 32 years," said Sherry Sears, Barry County assessor since 2008. "That right there says a lot."

Sears said she practically grew up with Nicoll, first meeting him at the age of six, and he became a mentor and a friend.

"I would go to all the Republican meetings with my mom, June Smith, who was county assessor from 2000-2008," Sears said. "He hired me in 1987, and when [Smith] retired in 2008, I ran for office and have been the assessor since."

Sears recalls how Nicoll would come to the assessor's office to see her about once a week, always making her laugh, giving her a hard time or just coming in to check on her.

"It's really going to be different [with him gone]," she said.

Before serving as county assessor, Nicoll was an interior decorator. He was later elected president of the Missouri Assessors Association in 1994 and served on the executive board for three years. He was a member of Cassville Rotary Club, where he served as a past president, secretary and song leader. He was also a member of Masons, Shriners, the American Legion and First Christian Church, serving as an elder, deacon and song leader. He also taught the high school Sunday school class for several years. On Feb. 14, 1997, Nicoll married Francis (Fran) Liddle.

"He was always so pleasant, so loving, and such a caring man," Sears said. "He would help anybody, and always do it with a big smile. Everyone knew and loved his smile. He was the life of the party, the jokester, he always made you laugh.

"He's made a huge impact on my life. When he hired me, I was right out of high school and had taken some business classes, and he was such a good mentor to me. I visited him in the hospital Monday night and held his hand and he said, 'I am so proud of you, you've come so far and learned so much.' I told him I owed it all to him."

Cassville City Police Chief Dana Kammerlohr remembers Nicoll for his good attitude.

"Glen always had a smile on his face and always showed a positive attitude," she said.

Sears said Nicoll was an amazing, godly man, and will be missed dearly.

"You never heard one bad word about Glen," she said. "He's overcome so much, but just kept prevailing. He's just an all-around good man. He's going to really be missed."

Kay Baker, Nicoll's niece, remembers her uncle as a snappy dresser and his nickname, "Sheik."

"The reason for the name was because he and other boys he went to First Christian Church with wanted to see who could look the most sheik at church," she said. "He was a member of all the clubs in town, and president of the Rotary Club. When we opened the city pool, he clowned that night and he was just a real character. That's why he got elected to 8 terms, because he was just so liked."

Chloe Epperly, friend and co-owner of Tomblin's Jewelry and Gifts, remembers Nicoll from church.

"I grew up in the First Christian Church with him, and he was always a character," she said. "He sang in the choir, and it was fun to watch him sing. You were never not around him without laughing. He always made me laugh and had something funny to say. He was a good customer. His wife was my home economics teacher at Cassville in school."

Mark Smith, fellow church member and friend, considered Nicoll to be like a family member, and was by his side when he died.

"We've known each other for a long time and I really admired the man and what he had to go through in life," he said. "He was a good public servant and a life-long resident. His father was an auctioneer and his parents had a furniture store in Cassville that he and his brother worked at. He was song leader for our church and served as elder and deacon, and was very active in Rotary Club, was a Shriner, and an at-large member of the chamber.

"In his earlier years he participated in our local parades as well as Springfield parades as a clown and would entertain the children. He had a really good sense of humor and was really good with children. He loved to play golf. He was an avid Cardinals baseball fan and went to annual games. [People] will remember his personalized license plate, 'For Sheik.' He was always well-dressed and had wonderful taste in apparel.

Smith said he, Nicoll and maybe one other person to this day are the only ones to still be wearing sport coats.

"Most dress casually in church," he said. "In his later years, he was a member of the golf association, and enjoyed watching weekend golf tournaments on TV. I remember him for his sense of humor, community involvement and his love for the Lord and being a public servant. We laughed together, golfed, played cards and dominoes. We got him out and took rides together. He and I went to Springfield Cardinal games a lot. I liked to keep him involved with his baseball interests.

"His positive attitude encouraged me and how he handled life in the face of adversity and the things he was challenged with. He had a good support system but there's no doubt there's no other source than from God where he got his strength. I just have nothing but really happy memories. I felt it was a real privilege to be with him especially during these last weeks. I spent two nights all night with him. He's got a perfect body now and he's home with his family.

Smith said Nicoll may have been 88, but was still in touch with the child inside.

"Glen was always young at heart," he said. "You would think he was still a kid. He enjoyed life that much. He was almost like a Dad. I have two boys and they grew up around him. Both had a really good connection with him. We had more than just a friendship. We feel like we are a family member."

Nicoll died at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at Mercy Hospital in Cassville. Visitation will be held from 1-3 p.m., Sunday at Fohn Funeral Home, and services will be held at 10 a.m. Monday at the funeral home. Burial to take place at Oak Hill Cemetery in Cassville.

Contributions may be made to St. Jude's Research Hospital in memory of Glen's sons, Chris and Scott, and may be mailed to Fohn Funeral Home, P.O. Box 250, Cassville, MO 65625. Friends and family may visit for online obituaries, guestbook and private condolences.

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