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A memorial service for Robert K. Nichols, 42, of Clearwater, Fla., a graduate of Niagara-Wheatfield High School who became one of the Top 10 U.S. masters swimmers, will be held at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Tuscarora Baptist Church, 2088 Mount Hope Road, Sanborn.

Nichols, who was born in Niagara Falls and grew up on the Tuscarora Indian Reservation, died Jan. 16, 2000, in Morton Plant Hospital, Clearwater, after suffering a massive heart attack in his home.

He graduated from Niagara- Wheatfield in 1975 and attended the U.S. Military Academy at West Point until the death of his mother, Esther Printup Nichols, in 1977. He graduated from Syracuse University in 1980 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. He received a master of science degree in 1982 from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.

Nichols worked for Neilsen Media Research for 13 years until his unexpected death.

At Niagara-Wheatfield, he was a member of the swim team, which was coached by his father, who died in 1989. Nichols set records in various events.

He later received numerous awards in various freestyle distance events and at the time of his death was a record holder in Florida. He placed in the Top 5 numerous times at the Florida Masters. He was named an All-American Masters swimmer in 1985, 1986 and 1988. He set a record in the 1,500-meter freestyle event at the World Masters Games in Toronto in 1985.

Survivors include his wife, the former Carole Dirksmeyer.


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