LaVern H. 'Stretch' Nickel

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LaVern H. “Stretch” Nickel, 84, of Potosi, passed away on Wednesday, Nov. 14, at Orchard Manor, Lancaster. 

LaVern was born on June 29, 1934, in Waterloo Township, Grant County, the son of Arlie and Sylvia (Knoke) Nickel. He graduated from Lancaster High School in 1952. LaVern was married to Naomi Barr; to this union came three daughters, Gloria, Deb and Susan. Later, he was united in marriage to Mary Alice Hauser on Oct. 3, 1972, in Michigan. She preceded him in death on Sept. 15, 2015. 

Stretch worked at John Deere in Dubuque until retiring after 32 years. He also had many part-time jobs including, his gun shop, Nickel’s Gun Repair; he assisted the Conservation Warden, Al Kwallek; he was a member of the Grant County Posse; and was also a part-time deputy for Cuba City. He was also a hunter’s safety instructor. But most of all, Stretch was an avid outdoorsman, hunting, fishing, trapping, shooting trap, you name it; he just enjoyed spending his time outside.

Stretch is survived by his three daughters, Gloria (Roger) Lane, Deb Gelbech and Susan (Reg) Simmons; grandchildren, Bobbie Jo (Jamie) Post, Melissa (Scott) Wagner, Katie (Brian) Loyd, Jessica Lane, Adriana, Elyssa, and Taylor “Tess” Simmons; step-grandson, Jeff (Donna) Austin; great-grandchildren, Bradly Lolwing, Andromeda “Annie” Hastert; step-great-grandchildren, Joelle Austin, and Chantel Austin; and step-great-great-grandchildren; sisters, Phyllis Eck and Donna (Phil) Nickson; and many other nieces, nephews and cousins. 

He was preceded in death by his parents; wife, Mary Alice; sister, Arlene Clifton; and brothers-in-law, Carson Clifton and Robert Eck.

A memorial service will be held at a later date at the Melby Funeral Home; that date will be published when the time comes. Memorials may be made to the LaVern “Stretch” Nickel Memorial Fund. 

The Melby Funeral Home and Crematory, Platteville, is serving the family. Online condolences may be made at

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