BOARDMAN, Ohio (MyValleyTributes) – A private service was held Friday, August 19, 2022 at St. John Greek Orthodox Church for James Nichols, 89, who died Sunday, August 14 after a brief illness.

James, affectionately known as “Coach”, “Nick”, and “Jimmy Nick”, was born July 21, 1933, to the late William and Marjorie ( Watwood) Nichols. 

He graduated from Boardman High School in 1951 where he excelled on the basketball court. In his senior year, the team went undefeated until their last game when they lost to his future wife’s alma mater, Campbell Memorial. In 1995, he as inducted into the Boardman High School Hall of Fame. He attended and played basketball at both Muskingum College and Mount Union College.

After college, he enlisted in the U.S. Marines and was honorably discharged. 

He worked for Carling Brewing as a delivery driver prior to becoming a sales representative for both West Chemical and the Hillard Company. James eventually started his own company, Wood Floors, Inc. and was well known throughout the state of Ohio for over 30 years for refinishing gym floors.

James was a member of both Archangel Michael Greek Orthodox Church in Campbell and St. John Greek Orthodox Church in Boardman. At St. John, he coached the G.O.Y.A. boys’ basketball team for many years, greatly impacting many young lives and building life-long friendships. Many referred to “Coach” as the “best coach in the Diocese”.  Jokingly, Jim would say, “ I’ve forgotten more basketball than some people will ever know! “

Besides his parents, James was preceded in death by his wife, Irene Arfaras, whom he married October 11, 1964; his brother, William; his son, Jimmy and his son-in-law, Atty. Joseph Kondela.

James is survived by his daughter, Margo Kondela of Boardman, with whom he made his home; his daughter, Brenda Henderson of Struthers; his sister, JoAnn Crissimi of Boardman and his granddaughter, Michelle Ondrey of Struthers.

The family would like to thank the staff from the fourth floor trauma unit at St. Elizabth Youngstown for the compassion and patience they provided to Jim.

In Lieu of flowers, the family request donations to the St. JohnGreek Orthodox Church Endowment Fund, 4955 Glenwood Avenue, Boardman, OH 44512.

Arrangements were entrusted to Vaschak-Kirila Funeral Home.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of James Nichols, please visit our floral store.

A television tribute will air Sunday, August 21, at the following approximate times: 6:27 p.m. on WYTV and 6:58 p.m. on MyYTV.