June 27, 2024

Clayton Russell Nickell, 91, passed on from this earthly life to continue his life journey with the Lord on June 6, 2024. Russ was born on September 28, 1932 in Washington County Colorado to Clayton and Letha Nickell. Russ was the fourth child of 10 in his family.

Most of his childhood was lived on the family farm and ranch in southern Washington county. He graduated from Woodrow High School in 1950, the only male in a class of five. His first job away from home was with a seismograph crew working to locate oil deposits in eastern Colorado.

In 1952 he received a letter from Uncle Sam with the familiar introduction “Greeting: You are hereby ordered to report for induction into the Armed Forces …” He was inducted into the Army on December 5, 1952 and discharged on December 4,1954. Two wonderful things happened while he was in the army, he never left the U.S., and he met the love of his life, Carol Crosby, in December of 1953 through a mutual friend while Russ was stationed at Fort Devens Army base in Massachusetts.

Carol & Russ were engaged in November of 1954. They tied a knot that lasted over 67 years, on June 11, 1955 in the 1st Baptist Church of Arlington Massachusetts. Russ whisked Carol away from Massachusetts to start a home in eastern Colorado south of Last Chance.

In 1956 Russ and Carol moved to Denver where Russ began working for Rich Plan a company that sold and delivered frozen food and freezers to customers’ homes. In 1956 they welcomed their first son Doug into their home. By 1958 Russ and the family had moved to a new home in Thornton, CO where they welcomed their second son Brian. In the spring of 1963, the family moved to Moody Maine where Russ and Carol worked at Crosby Farms, his in-laws’ vegetable farm. Russ learned a lot about growing vegetables from his father in-law and enjoyed raising a garden until his late 80’s.

In August of 1966 Russ & Carol moved their family back to Colorado where they took over the operation of Russ’ parents farm and ranch south of Last Chance. In 1967 a third son, Steven was welcomed to the family.

Russ & his family raised sheep, cattle, and wheat on the family farm and ranch. He enjoyed fellowship and fun as a member of the Woodlin Lions Club, he was on the Woodlin School Board and he even drove school bus for several years. He enjoyed elk and deer hunting with his relatives.

Russ & Carol retired from the farm and ranch in 1997 and moved to Fort Morgan. They enjoyed working less and sharing with their son’s families, their grandchildren, their great-grandchildren, extended family and new found friends. He and Carol volunteered at the Fort Morgan Museum and delivered Meals on Wheels for several years.

Russ was an active member of the Community of Christ for most of his life. As a priesthood member he was privileged to perform a number of marriages.

He loved to play pitch, pinochle, and Oodles. He enjoyed his Sunday evening popcorn and ice cream. He was a devoted brother, husband, father, father-in-law, grandfather, great-grand father, brother-in-law, uncle, and a friend of many people. He will be greatly missed and leaves a legacy of kindness and love.

Preceding Russ in death was his wife Carol, his parents Clayton and Letha Nickell, his in-laws John and Pauline Crosby, his sisters Neoma Knight, Pat Ventura, Dorthy Nagel, his brother Jerry Nickell, and 10 brother and sister in-laws. He is survived by his sisters Iris Riley, Donna Smiley, Joyce Riley, Lynne Randolph, Larry (Donna) Nickell, and children Doug (Nora), Brian (Claudia), Steven (Rachelle), eight grandchildren,18 great grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews, and their families.

A celebration of life will be held at 10:30 am on Saturday July 13th at Heer Mortuary, 222 Cameron Street, Brush, CO. A time of fellowship and lunch will follow at the Carroll Building – Community Center, 418 Edison Street, Brush, CO.

Memorials may be made to Valley View Villa, 815 Fremont Avenue, Fort Morgan, CO 80701.