Cover photo for Dale Arnold Nicholas's Obituary
Dale Arnold Nicholas Profile Photo

Dale Arnold Nicholas

January 5, 1933 — September 27, 2021

Dale Arnold Nicholas, 88, of Grayling, Michigan - dear husband, father, grandfather, great-grandfather, brother, and uncle - departed this wonderful world for a greater place on September 27, 2021. 

Dale was born in East Detroit on January 5, 1933 to his beloved parents, Loretta and Troy Nicholas.  The third of five children, he was raised in a loving, unified, and active community of extended family, friends, and neighbors. His legacy began on the East Detroit and Eastern Michigan University football fields, and in serving this great country in the Korean War.  Dale earned a bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education and administration and had a long and impactful career educating and coaching thousands of students.  He retired after more than 30 years, the last two decades of which were leading and positively impacting children of his local community as principal of Grayling Middle School.  Dale also enjoyed being a longtime member of the Grayling Rotary Club and Grayling Country Club. 

Dale’s greatest pride was his adored family.  He married the love of his life, Helen Southgate on December 27, 1958 in Ypsilanti, Michigan and spent the next 63 years creating lifelong memories with Helen and their children, Dale “Chip” (Paula) Nicholas, Susan “Suzy” (Mike) Hees and Jon (Beth) Nicholas, and his many grandchildren Abbi Nichols, Andy (Justine) Hees, Whittney (Michael) Ratz, Alex Nicholas, and Megan, Emily, and Chloe Nicholas.  He was more than blessed to add seven great grandchildren to the Nicholas family tree in recent years – Tristan, Aaryn, Logan, Evelyn, Luke, Jacob, and Carter Jean.

The greatest memories of this dearly loved man were his fondness of many sports, his wisdom and many humorous tales of life’s adventures, and summer days spent boating, grilling, and watching fabulous sunsets from his cherished family home on the southeast shore of Lake Margrethe.

Dale is survived by his wife Helen, all his children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, his sister Cynthia (Pete) Panza, and several nieces and nephews. His dear mother and father, brothers Bob and Tony Nicholas and sister Nora Scheys are now reunited with him in joy and celebration.

Dale would want each of us to embrace and appreciate all of life’s moments, make a difference in the life of a child, and sit long enough to watch the sun set with awe and wonder - as he smiles down on us singing “What a Wonderful World”.

A Mass of Christian Burial in celebration of Dale’s life will be held at St. Mary’s Catholic Church of Grayling on Saturday, October 2nd at 10am. Visitation with family will precede the service at 9am, and a luncheon in the church hall will follow the service.

For those that wish to remember Dale by memorial contribution, please consider Care Team Hospice, 441 S. Main St., Standish, MI 48658 .

Condolences may be sent to

Arrangements by Sorenson-Lockwood Funeral Home.


To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Dale Arnold Nicholas, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Mass of Christian Burial

Saturday, October 2, 2021

Starts at 10:00 am (Eastern time)

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St. Mary's Catholic Church

707 Spruce Street
Grayling, MI 49738

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