Fred W. Nika, Sr., 81, of rural Pleasant Plains died on Thursday, June 30, 2016 at his home. He was born on August 15, 1934, the eldest son of August and Anna (Ciesler) Nika. He married Mary Carol Cox on September 12, 1959, and she survives.
He was preceded in death by his parents and sister, Leona Tertel.
Fred attended Springfield Public Schools, Springfield Junior College, Illinois State Normal University and the University of Illinois, earning a Masters’ Degree in Music Education and 52 hours post-graduate work. He taught vocal music 3 years in Staunton and for 15 years in Springfield at Franklin Middle School, including guitar, classes to teach music theory, 12 years at Lanphier High School in choral music, and as a substitute at Springfield High. He was director of Lions Pride, founder and director of Springfield Boys’ Choir from 1970 to 1974 as well as director of the Land of Lincoln Barbershop Chorus from 1963 to 1978. He was a 58 year member of St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church where he served on the church council and later as director of music/choir director for 15 years. In addition to his love of music, he loved to build and improve, to garden and grow things. He was a faithful husband, a good father, an example of integrity. He loved most, his family, his place in the country, St. John’s Choir and also family and children in general.
He is survived by his wife, Mary Carol, two daughters, Susan (Claus) Bacher of New Berlin and Julie (Jack) Eck of Pleasant Plains; three sons, Fred (Gail) Nika, Jr. of Springfield, David (Becky) Nika of Petersburg, Kurt (Meredith) Nika of West Chicago; grandchildren, Maria (Dennis) Stine, Rachel Bacher, Matthew and Carolyn Nika, Katherine, Sarah and Rebecca Nika, Jacqueline, Madeline and Elizabeth Eck and Maura, Leah and Gwenneth Nika.
Also surviving are sister, Ann Marie Nika, Helen Branham, Lois Cory and brothers Bob, Paul and Jack Nika as well as numerous nieces and nephews and former daughter-in-law, Elizabeth Province.
Visitation: 4 – 8 pm, Tuesday, July 5, 2016 at Staab Funeral Home in Springfield. A second visitation will be held from 10-11 am Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Funeral Service: 11 am, Wednesday, July 6, 2016 at St. John’s Lutheran Church with Pastor Greg Busboom officiating. Burial will follow at Oak Ridge Cemetery.
Date: Tuesday, July 5, 2016
Time: 04:00 pm - 08:00 pm
Date: Wednesday, July 13, 2016
Time: 10:00 am - 11:00 am
Date: Wednesday, July 6, 2016
Time: 11:00 am
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to St. John’s Lutheran Church.
Help tell the story of Fred's life by contributing to the Life Event Timeline. Upload the photo of an event...