Frederic A. Nicoll was born in Auburn, Washington on May 6, 1942, to Alfred A. Nicoll and Gail (Reilly) Nicoll. His parents were co-owners of the family business, Nicoll's Poultry Farm in Renton, Washington, which was recognized internationally as a leader in poultry breeding.
From an early age Fred was indoctrinated into farm life. He loved working with the animals and shouldered his share of farm chores alongside his father and grandfather.
Fred attended Panther Lake Grade School, the same school his father had attended as a child and later Kent Meridian Junior High.
In 1956 the farm was sold, and the family relocated to Centralia, Washington where his father became the field representative for Albers Milling Company.
One of Fred's most cherished memories of his teen years was time spent each summer at the family cabin on Vashon Island. It was there that with the help of his father, he built a small runabout boat outfitted with an outboard motor. This prized boat gave him the freedom to explore the waters of Paradise Cove with his friends.
Fred graduated from Centralia High School in 1961. During his years there he made many lifelong friends who shared his interest in cars, boats and all outdoor activities.
Fred attended Centralia Junior College where he was inspired by the late Professor Rufus Kiser to pursue a career in forestry. He went on to attend the University of Washington School of Forestry where he was elected president of the forestry fraternity, Tau Phi Delta.
Fred was hired by International Paper Co. in forestry management, and continued a career that spanned over 30 years, and included moves to Reedsport, Vernonia, Longview and Portland. Fred finished the last 10 years of his career with Hampton Lumber Co. managing forest lands in Skagit County and was instrumental in working with the Native Americans on environmental and land use rights. His kind, gentle, and pragmatic approach was key to their cooperation and success.
Fred married the love of his life Laurie (Greear) Nicoll in 1966, to whom he would celebrate 56 years of marriage. They had a son Stephen and a daughter Michelle, who gave their parents five grandchildren: Colton, Anika, Delaney, Curren and Caden. Coming to grandma and grandpa’s farm was like Disneyland for the kids with pony and tractor rides, puppy cuddling, fishing, and boat rides down the river on their farm.
Fred and Laurie were dedicated parents, who supported their children in 4-H horse showing, basketball, baseball and volleyball. Fred facilitated summer jobs in the woods for Steve, and in the fiInternational Paper offices for Shelly. He insisted his kids were college graduates and ensured they obtained their degrees without school debt.
Tireless workers, Fred and Laurie started Red Oaks Farm in Chehalis which grew into a renowned German shepherd business that produced hundreds of faithful family companions for over 30 years and is still in business today. The Chronicle in Centralia did a feature story (2016) on their farm documenting their love of the business, people and the animals.
Fred loved good tools and took after his father with carpentry skills that enabled him in building additions to houses and barns, cabinets, desks, bookcases, and other furniture. His handiness earned him nicknames like “Freddy Fix-It,” as there was rarely a home improvement project he couldn’t handle.
Fred loved the outdoors and spent considerable time in his beloved Pacific Northwest traveling through many tree farms and forest lands, trail riding horses, working on the farm, boating and camping. When taking respite from outdoor activities, he could be found in his easy chair cheering on the Huskies and Seahawks.
His biggest impact on those that knew him was his kind, calm, gentle and compassionate nature. One of the nicest people you will meet, he was always asking how you were doing rather than talking about himself. His practical, pragmatic advice was a beacon for many. A family friend put it best one time, “They don’t make too many Fred Nicolls.”
Fred’s celebration of life service will be held at 1 p.m. on Jan. 21, 2023, at Faith Baptist Church in Chehalis, with a cake and coffee reception in the church hall afterwards. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Fred’s name.