Henry Nichols Jr., Writer and Teacher, Dies in Concord

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Henry "Hank" Nichols

CONCORD – Henry Baldwin Nichols Jr., father, teacher, and legendary laugher, passed on September 30, 2023. During his final moments he was with family.

Hank, as he preferred, was a person filled with love, humor and usually some snacks. He had a way with dogs and babies and was adored by many people and pets of all ages. He was a writer and reader of great, good, and so-so books, articles and essays, and was usually with some form of the written word in hand. His life long love for reading and writing lead him to a long career, first writing for newspapers, and then teaching journalism at New England College.

Hank started his life in Worcester, Massachusetts. His father, Henry Baldwin Nichols, Sr., and mother, Esther Shears Nichols, had four children. Hank was the youngest. He lost his mother at too young an age. The loss remained with him throughout his life, although most would never know. His three older sisters, Julie, Hope, and Leslie, stepped in as strong figures.

Hank attended Exeter Academy and Holderness School. He went to college at Colby and UNH. He played some hockey but with one eye, the other lost in a childhood skating accident, it was a challenge. After college he wrote for newspapers from Baltimore, Maryland, to Grants Pass, Oregon. He started his own newspaper, “Thursday”, in Derry, NH. Eventually deciding he preferred writing to selling advertising he closed the doors of his own paper and took a job writing for and editing The New Hampshire Times. He made many lifelong friends there.

He settled along the Lane River in Sutton, NH, where he built a 45 foot span bridge with the help of friends, and then a post and beam rustic home. There he started a family with his wife Martha. They had two sons together, Nathan and Ben. With a young family Hank took an opportunity to step away from the long days of a reporter and teach journalism at New England College where he stayed until retiring. During this period Hank continued to write and contributed a column, “An Outsider’s View”, published weekly in The Boston Globe.

He loved life by the river and reveled in swimming, saunas and warm winter fires. His life there was filled with cats and dogs, building additions and a barn, and so many books that one hall of their house was insulated with them.

He and his sisters stayed close for life and threw epic family gatherings on holidays. All who are part of this family feel lucky and grateful.

Two granddaughters, Natalie and Marlo, became Hank’s last great loves. He would spend hours reading, story telling and playing games with them. Later, when his legs lost strength, he would watch their soccer and lacrosse games. When his long life slowed, they would visit and play piano and ukulele for him. They brought him joy that sustained him for years.

Hank will be missed by many. He will be remembered. We love you, Hank.
Hank’s life will be celebrated at a memorial gathering at a later date. Contributions to InDepth NH, an on line newspaper, may be made in lieu of flowers. https://indepthnh.org/ways-to-give/
To sign an online guestbook please visit www.chadwickfuneralservice.com.

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