THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
Nicholas Recipient of Credit Union Award
Issue Date: March 5, 2020
N.E.W. Credit Union announces recipient of the 2020 Harold P. Heckendorf Community Service Award is Leland "Penny" Nicholas, right. He accepted the award from N.E.W. Credit Union's President Lisa Gilligan, right. In addition to a plaque, he received a $250 check, and an additional $250 to give to the charity of his choice and he donated the full $500 to the DeCoursin Family of Oconto.
Leland Nicholas married Lois Carlson in 1957 and they were married for 58 years. Together they had five children and eight grandsons. His family also now includes one great grandson, and another due soon.
Nicholas served in the U.S. Navy from 1952-1953 on the USS Moale and is a lifelong member of the USS Moale Association. He served on the Oconto Falls City Council for 12 years as Alderman and President during his tenure. He also was instrumental in the development of the West Side Beach.
Penny served for 52 years with the Legion and held various offices, including Commander.
A Master Barber from 1960 until 2019, during the years of cutting thousands of heads of hair, he also found joy taking his hair cutting services to the hospital and nursing home to "customers" who weren't able to visit his shop. His "customers" became his friends.
Penny served on the Council at Grace Lutheran Church, sang in the choir, served as an usher, and also sang in the Oconto Falls Ecumenical choir. He was a rural carrier for the US Postal Service for 30 years and his customers loved him as he would go above and beyond in delivering their mail. Many of them also became his friends as he served their needs and at Christmas he received countless gifts from patrons.
He was also on the Board of Directors for the Oconto Falls Senior Center for 10 years where he humbly helped lead the charge on the complete renovation in which community members volunteered labor and monies in excess of $50,000. A member of the Masonic Lodge for 52 years. he recently became a member of the Shriners.
He served on the Board of Directors for the N.E.W. Credit Union for 34 years, also volunteering thousands of hours for the credit union, including numerous events in the community. He also expanded his knowledge through his involvement in the credit union movements and education sessions throughout the years.
His favorite hobby is producing homemade wine in many flavors.
He has served his family and community his entire life and continues today. The cornerstone of any successful society is built on family, and Penny, along with his late wife Lois, provided the solid foundation for his family built on love, respect, and service to others.