Wayne Dean Nickle, 72, passed away on December 10, 2018.  Born on September 20, 1946 in Colorado Springs to Francis Edward Nickle Sr and Joy Nadine McClelland Nickle, he had called the Springs home since 1960 after spending his early years as the son of a career army sergeant, making temporary homes in Georgia, Texas, Missouri, Arkansas and Alabama. Some of his fondest memories of youth were the times he spent with his siblings living on his grandparent’s ranch near Peyton. He spent his high school years here in Colorado Springs at Palmer High School before going on to Western State in Gunnison, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts and met a girl named Kathy, whom he married on September 7, 1969, sharing 49 wonderful years together.

He went on to serve in the Army National Guard in Colorado Springs and Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, Arizona.

Wayne spent nearly 30 years teaching art in the Widefield School District, incorporating an impressive variety of forms, systems and techniques into his classroom curriculum. During his tenure he taught students of all ages and grade levels. His proudest professional moments relate to the success and progress of his many grateful students.

Through his career years, he focused on his students’ needs and chose to work in whatever medium his students were currently learning. After his retirement in 2001, he could focus on his own art. Wayne became an artist full-time, experimenting with new forms, techniques and material. He created hundreds of paintings. He began entering his works into shows and exhibitions along with marketing in various art galleries in the area. In later years he also found time to master fly fishing, which became his favorite pastime.

Wayne was an adventurer (a trait he inherited from his dad) and an expert in Colorado history. He loved to take his family on long drives and hike to out-of-the-way places, hidden gems with secrets known only to him. He blended the things he loved as often as he could, stopping on his hikes to paint a particularly beautiful piece of the world he had discovered.

Always a teacher, Wayne was inexhaustibly knowledgeable and eternally patient with family, friends and students, ready to explain to young ears how clouds were made, or to help a brother or sister sort through a problem so they could step back and view it from another angle. He never talked down to anyone, treating adults and children alike as equals.

Wayne is survived by his wife, Kathy Perry Nickle of Colorado Springs; his son Chad Nickle of Austin, Texas; his son Sean Nickle of Colorado Springs; his granddaughters Willa and Mexia of Austin, Texas; his grandson Elden of Colorado Springs; his brother Francis Nickle, Jr. of Colorado Springs; his brother Gary Nickle of Lenexa, Kansas; his brother Clayton Nickle of Westcliffe, Colorado; his sister Pamala Walton of Hastings, Nebraska; two nephews and seven nieces.

He was preceded in death by his maternal grandparents, James E and Naomi McClelland; his paternal grandparents, James and Leona Nickle; and his father and mother, Francie E Nickle, Sr. and Joy N. Nickle.

Please consider making a donation in Wayne’s name to National Mill Dog Rescue, http://milldogrescue.org/donate/

A Celebration of Life service will be held at 1:00pm Saturday, December 15, 2018 at the Return to Nature Chapel West / Colorado Cowboys For Jesus Church, 11 North 22nd Street, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80904.

Reception will follow the service at The Loft, located 3 blocks west of the Chapel: 12 S 25th St, Colorado Springs (Old Colorado City).

Service arrangements are under the direction of Return to Nature Funeral Home, Colorado Springs, Colorado www.returntonaturecolorado.com