Nick Nicolini


In Memoriam

The blue gills of Diamond Lake can rest easy. The fish undertaker, Nick Nicolini, has moved on to calmer waters. Nick was the fourth of six children, born and raised in Mishawaka in the winter of 1950 to Gene and Martha Nicolini. He began his hall of fame football career under coach Bob Otolski at Marian High School as part of the school's first graduating class. He went on to play football and study business at Bowling Green State University. After graduating in 1972, he joined his family at Valley Beverage, followed by a record-breaking sales career at Westlaw for over 25 years. In 1974, Nick met the love of his life, Susan Davis. They married in 1978 and had four children. In his free time, Nick was always basking outside fishing and mushroom hunting, and of course, refurbishing boat oars. Those who knew Nick knew no matter where he was, his heart was always at Diamond Lake, where he enjoyed summers from the age of five.

Visitation: Friday, May 13, 2022
2:00pm - 8:00pm
McGann Hay Granger Chapel
13260 SR 23
Granger, IN 46530
Service: Saturday, May 14, 2022
St. Joseph Church
225 S Mill St.
Mishawaka, IN 46544
Luncheon: Saturday, May 14, 2022
12:15pm - 4:00pm
Bar Louie Granger
7320 Aspect Dr.
Granger, IN 46530


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In memory of Nick Nicolini
Nick was my immediate manager at Thomson Reuters for several years. Though we came from very different backgrounds, generations, and education, Nick understood me; he knew how to motivate, when to be a friend, when to push, and when to protect me. He knew how to take a group of independent sales reps and make them into a team. He was a natural-born leader. We all loved when Nick came to town to visit clients with us. His inimitable style put clients at ease. He'd talk sports and fishing for 55 minutes, business for five, and walk out the door with a happy client and an order in hand. Nick was one of a kind, I'll certainly miss him. Rafi Arbel
Nick was an incredibly kind and loving man. What I remember most was his playful side, his passion for fishing, and his unusual collections. He loved to collect bait buckets and security signs, two things that he took enormous pride in. And he was enterprising, always on his iPad, always looking for a deal. Nick was King of Diamond Lake, and it meant a lot to me when he took me out on the boat or fed me his incredible fried fish. He was fiercely devoted to his family, and he made you feel like family too. He will be missed. Josh Trujillo
I shall miss my Uncle Nick and regret not spending more time with him. As long as I can remember, I adored him. He was devilishly handsome, successful, smart, charismatic, kind and extremely generous. I loved that he didn’t shun me for being a “girl”. He let me enjoy what I love, lake fishing. I’m much more worms, crickets, fish guts, engine exhaust smell, chilly mornings, hours of trying to get the perfect fish, than high tea and shopping. If I was into hunting earlier in life, I’m sure we would have shared time doing that too. To truly know Nick, you need only spend time with his wife, Sue, and his children, Keith, Kevin, Julia and Jon or his plethora of friends. His wife and children reflect all that made Nick such a wonderful man. His friends are devoted to him as he was to them. A true testament to Nick. Unwavering love and generosity is what I shall hold on to. The Godfather of Diamond Lake will now watch and guide us from above. A day fishing is heaven itself. I love you Nick. Thank you for all the great memories. Until we meet again... Na ke Akua e ho'opomaikai oe Noni
We purchased our place on Diamond four years ago; two doors down from the Nicolini’s. Nick immediately welcomed our family to the lake. Nick and I quickly engaged in a unspoken competition - who could spend more time in their respective garages (the “Barn”). I toiled away on DIY projects. Nick masterfully restored oars. We always found a way to wander into each other’s work spaces to talk about fishing, football, oars, and family. When I look out to the Barn, I will miss him. When I look at the set of oars he made in the Barn for our family, I will find comfort. Tight lines my friend. Clint Trapp
Gene and I graduated from Marian together in 1968. He was a “Jock”, and I was a “Nerd”, but we always were good friends! I always called him Gene, and rarely Nick, and he never corrected me. After buying a house close to the Nicolini’s in Kamp Kozy in 1987 our friendship grew. Gene was a passionate and gifted fisherman, and I was a biker, but that didn’t seem to matter. We talked about life and love, our kids, the lake, you name it! As of late we would hang out in his “shop” and talk about minnow buckets, oars, and his Italian tomato patch. His #1 love was his family! He was particularly proud of his children and grandchildren. He was one of a kind, he was a brother, I’ll greatly miss him! Steve McTigue, M.D.
I was 7 years old when Nick entered my sister's life. He whisked my sister off her feet and we all knew he would be her one and only. I don't remember too much from that far back, other than the love he showed Sue. As I grew, he was such an important part of my support system. Always paying me more than he should have, when I babysat the boys. Then just being that ear to listen to the stupid stuff I did. Whether he knew it or not, he was considered a grandfather to my boys. They always looked forward to time spent with Nick. We all loved and respected Nick so much. My heart breaks for my family, devastated that he won't be here to see his grands grow. But, I'm sure he will be looking down and watching over them all. Crissy Frickson
Nick, John and myself spent some time when we were young running around the West End. We attended Grade School as well as High School together. We also used to keep an eye on things at Regal Lanes miniature golf center. Nick was one great guy and will be missed dearly. My sincere condolences to Sue and family. Bob Andrews
Truly the BEST fisherman on Diamond Lake. A wonderful guy! We sorta grew up together on Kamp Kozy so I've known Nick and his family my entire life. Always welcome to hear a fish story. Love Sue, his Family, the Leigh Ave house and barn! To say Nick will be sorely missed is truly an understatement. Janet McMillan
When Kevin was the Quarterback as a senior and my son Shawn was the senior Runningback at PENN High School on the three in a row state championship football team, Nick and I would take the offensive line out for dinner a day or two after that week's game to thank them for protecting our boys. That was fond memory Nick and I shared together. RIP Buddy! Pat McGann
Nick was such a wonderful character, and had that huge smile and laugh of his! Met him, Sue and the kids back in 1998 in the neighborhood! We had neighborhood parties, sporting events with the kids, trips to Vegas and lots of fun on Diamond Lake! Some of my fondest memories of Nick was when he, Mike S, Ron L and David W would hold "court" after a few beers! SO fun to be there and we all laughed so hard! Sue, Kevin, Keith, Jon, Julia, and your families - I am so saddened to hear of Nick's passing - May you all feel God's loving arms wrapped around you at this difficult time of grief! Lots of love Judy Dillon
I will miss hearing Nick say, "Check this out," as he showed me what had been acquired in the 365 days since I'd last been to the lake: a new barn garage, a "brand new" used canoe, rods and reels, photos of a hunting trip, how many frozen fish in the vault. As we all know, however, the new house was the jewel in Nick and Sue's eyes. It is a paradise they deserved and opened up to anyone they loved. Every inch of the home reflects who they are and is filled with so much life lived, passions explored, laughter, affinity, family...what a gratifying satisfaction it must be to manifest and preside over the place you've always wanted to be most and share it. Thank you Nicolinis... thank you, Nick... for everything. Bobby Bell
I only met Nick once, but I was struck by his warmth and sense of humor. I know he will be sorely missed by everyone in his wonderful, close-knit family. Bonnie Sanders
I’ve never met a more patient grandparent. I’ll never forget the excitement on the kids faces after Nick brought them back from fishing at the lake. He lit a fire inside all of them with so much love. Praying for all of you. Becky Buffum
Hell of a euchre player. The only guy who could consistently make a loner from the 3rd seat. Such a kind soul and always made you feel like you were the only one in the room. Jordan Beck
Abbiamo conosciuto NICK durante il suo viaggio quando è venuto a conoscere la mia famiglia in Italia... Abbiamo passato una splendida giornata insieme. È stato bello ma soprattutto spassoso vedere mio padre e lui provare a parlare della loro passione in comune (la pesca) parlando uno in italiano e l'altro in inglese . Ci siamo divertiti molto, è stata una giornata divertente e custodiremo sempre questo momento speciale nel nostro cuore. Un grande abbraccio dall'Italia. Fam. Antolini (Rough translation to English: We met NICK during his trip when he came to meet my family in Italy ... We had a wonderful day together. It was nice but above all hilarious to see my father and him try to talk about their shared passion (fishing) speaking one in Italian and the other in English. We had a lot of fun, it was a fun day and we will always cherish this special moment in our hearts. A big hug from Italy. Antolini family) Alessandra Antolini (Nick's family in Italy)
Nick’s smile. It just comes to me in my memories - it actually makes me smile right now thinking about it. He was always well equipped with stories, memories, and a good plot twist - he loved to laugh and make others laugh. When he laughed, it felt as if the room shook - it was so infectious. I will always remember the sunsets at the house and of course the Fourth of July festivities. The humid breeze off the lake from the midsummer sun - he would always light up when he would see people come into the house. It warmed your heart and welcomed you in their home. He will forever be seated taking in the great sunsets of Diamond Lake in my mind. Taking in every moment. A truly great man. One that we all will miss so much. Love you Nick. Nathaniel Hoff
On his walks with his dog or on his way up the hill in his truck after mushroom hunting, Nick would frequently stop at “our” end of Leigh and let us know how his fishing or mushroom hunting was going. Last summer (or maybe the one before), he gave us a big bag of fish and then told us the trick to cooking them; a box of Shore lunch breading mix. We followed his directions to the t and they were delicious! Nick had a wealth of knowledge of Diamond Lake in all its seasons and was an interesting, friendly and welcoming neighbor and friend. He will be missed. Ted and Laura Ferris
I had just a few chats with Nick at the lake house over the past 25 years. Like clockwork in adult life, he’d rehash his days at Westlaw / Thomson Reuters when he sold law books at my firm’s Chicago office. If it was a big holiday weekend, I’d also catch up with him on clean-up duty always when I was super hungover. I always enjoyed our little chats. So many memories. Will absolutely miss the amazing fish he would fry. Kent Stackhouse