Upon returning to Malta, Mont. he met his love, Jean Irish, whom he married February 19, 1958. Jean had two children from a previous marriage, and the new couple produced five children of their own. Nick joined the Teamsters Union, working construction on the east side of Montana for multiple years. In 1966, Nick moved his family to Whitefish to pioneer a new life. Although not an easy choice, with seven children to support, Nick was dedicated and wise. He worked many jobs to provide for his family, gas station attendant/mechanic/fuel delivery, bar tending, and working in the logging industry. Nick’s skill set was staggering to behold! He built his own home and shop, stewarded his property, raised vegetables and meat, maintained his vehicles/equipment, appliances and more than one kid’s bicycle. If there was something he could not do, his children were unaware.
During the late 1970s into the 1980s, Nick worked on the North Slope, performing various tasks for construction of the Alaskan pipeline. After ten years and the children grown, it was time for well deserved retirement. Always up for adventure, Nick and Jean moved to Trout Creek to rebuild their lives anew. Sadly, in the latter 1990s Jean’s health was diminishing, so together with assistance from their children, they moved to Port Townsend, Wash. to be closer and have the support of their middle daughter. In a testament to his voluminous skill set, Nick lovingly learned how to do all the household tasks that Jean had performed for years, attending Jean patiently during her declining memory affliction. In 2009 Nick and Jean moved to Colorado to live with their eldest daughter. Jean still thrives in a memory care facility, in Fruita, Colo., where up until Nick’s passing, he visited her daily, living for the visits and the time they could still share together.
While Nick’s hard work did not result in material wealth, he was always grateful for the gifts of his family and, for him, the true riches of this world; love, kindness, compassion, hard work, respect and humor. His children never went without, and were always held in his loving support and deep acceptance. Nick will be dearly missed by his devoted children, through tears of gratitude for all the memories and time shared, for the opportunity to witness and participate with such a talented, kind and generous man.
Nick is preceded in death by his parents Christina and Alex, his brother Leonard, and sister Rosie, of Saskatchewan. Nick is survived by his beloved wife Jean, sisters Agnes and Alice and brother Tony of Saskatchewan. He is also survived by his children Nick of Killdeer, N.D., Janina of Fruita, Colo., Jennifer of Port Townsend, Wash., Jeffrey of Whitefish, and Marianne of Port Angeles, Wash.; his grandchildren, Randelle Hamm and her family, of Oregon, Elizabeth of California, Nickolas and Benjamin of Oregon, Haley of Colorado, and Nolan and Emmitt of Whitefish. Memorial services to be held in Grand Junction, Colo. Sept 27. Please inquire at Spanish Valley Mortuary, 435-259-3980.