April 20, 2014

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Avon councilman dies


Tim Nickum, who had leukemia, was in hospital for complications from bone marrow transplant

AVON — Councilman Timothy Nickum, who represented Avon’s 3rd Ward for the past eight years, died Saturday following a seven-year struggle with leukemia.

Nickum

Nickum, 65, had been undergoing treatment at University Hospitals in Cleveland for the past two weeks because of complications he was having with a bone marrow transplant he received in July. His wife, Joan, said doctors told Nickum that the transplant was risky, but he wanted to do it anyway to be around for his family.

“He was a fighter and he wanted to keep fighting,” she said Monday. “It just got the better of him.”

Council has 30 days to choose a replacement for Nickum, whose term would have expired at the end of the year. Mayor Jim Smith must choose a replacement if Council does not.

Nickum was running unopposed for his seat in November, and since the deadline has expired for candidates to run as a write-in, Council also will have to convene in January to choose a replacement for the two-year term, according to Jose Candelario, director of the Lorain County Board of Elections.

Smith said that it will be difficult to find someone who cared about Avon like Nickum did.

“Even at the end, when it was obvious he was getting worse, he never wanted to miss a Council meeting,” Smith said. “Sometimes he was so sick, and we knew it, but he just wanted to be there.”

Smith said Nickum was instrumental in bringing the Senior Center, which was founded in 2001, to the city and always fought for what he believed in.

“He wasn’t scared to tell you what he thought, and I always appreciated that,” Smith said. “You knew where Tim stood, and if he was wrong he told you.”

Smith, a colon cancer survivor, said he and Nickum would share their fears and their experiences with disease, helping them both become close friends. Nickum was the owner of Kay-Dee Air and Electric Tool Co. since 1987 until his retirement in 2005. And Smith appreciated his knowledge of how to run a business.

“He was such an asset,” Smith said. “Being a business person, he knew what it was like to have a payroll and about profit loss and what it takes to survive. He helped this city grow.”

Joan Nickum said that’s what her husband’s goal was when he decided to run in 2002, after being a resident for 36 years and attending Council meetings avidly for two years.

“He just loved the people,” she said. “He made a lot of good friends and he was trying to help Avon grow as a community, not just as a city.”

Dan Fischer, Nickum’s son-in-law, said Nickum was just a good person, who loved his family and his job on Council.

“I admired him, respected the hell out of him,” he said. “He was one of those guys who knew a little bit about everything — history, sports, politics — one of those guys you can sit down and learn from."

Contact Adam Wright at 653-6257 or awright@chroniclet.com.