Melvin Nicholas was passionate about his wife, daughter, grandchildren and poodles Beethoven and Harley.
“He was a very awesome dad and a very proud grandpa,” his daughter Dawn Wilson said. “He treated his grandkids like they were his own kids. He always put them first and foremost, talking to them every few days. He was always there for what they needed — a very hands-on grandpa.”
Nicholas, 67, of Crown Point, met Veronica, his soul mate and wife of 46 years, on a double date. Veronica Nicholas said she will miss her husband’s companionship.
“He was a very good husband,” his daughter said. “They loved to come to Florida together and went to flea markets all the time.”
They took their daughter and grandchildren to Disney World two years ago and to Clearwater Beach last year, Wilson said.
Nicholas and his wife enjoyed the Covered Bridge Festival and Sundays at Uncle John’s Flea Market. A collector of toy trains, toys and antiques, Nicholas helped with auctions, did appraisals and fixed old Lionel trains, watches and clocks.
He also was a member of the Harley Owners’ Group and enjoyed riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycles and fishing with his daughter and grandchildren.
Nicholas liked yard work and had “the best yard in the neighborhood,” Wilson said.
A 32nd degree Mason, Nicholas was a member of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite South Bend and Lake Lodge No. 157, Hobart Elks Lodge 1152 and the Loyal Order of Moose in Monticello.
Nicknamed “Long Boom,” Nicholas was a member of the International Union Local 150 of Operating Engineers for 49 years, working at American Bridge, U.S. Steel and other companies as a crane operator.
The family will miss talking to him and his caring ways, Wilson said.
“My kids will miss their grandpa,” Wilson said. “He gave so much love. There was nothing he wouldn’t do for us.”