Steven LeRoy Nicholls


Steve Nicholls died May 20, 2023, in Newcastle, Wyoming, following a diagnosis of a rare neurological disease.

Steve was born in Lander, Wyoming, on March 24, 1950, to Orville “Nick” and Giovannina “Jo” (Cardinale) Nicholls. The year after he was born the family moved to Douglas, Wyoming, which is where Steve attended school.

During his school years, Steve was active in 4-H, raising market lambs and eventually that grew to a flock of sheep. He boarded his sheep at several local ranches during his 4-H years, and those families have always held a special place in his heart. Highlights of his 4-H experience were winning Grand Champion Corriedale Ewe at the Wyoming State Fair and being a member of the Champion National Wool Judging team in 1967 and 1968. He was also active in high school basketball and track, where one of his claims to fame was holding the record for the most free-throws made in a game — a record that stood for many years.

Following high school, Steve attended the University of Wyoming and studied secondary education with an emphasis in mathematics, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in education in 1972 and receiving his master’s in 1978. He was a lifelong fan of the University of Wyoming Cowboys and enjoyed traveling to watch football and basketball games, especially the Mountain West conference tournaments in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Steve was a teacher in Newcastle for 35 years, teaching primarily eighth grade math, but over the years he taught sixth and seventh grade math, high school algebra, and adult education classes. He was willing to work with anyone that showed an interest in learning, and especially enjoyed seeing student faces light up when they “got it.” While teaching, he continued his love of sports by coaching basketball and track. 

Although he found purpose in teaching, Steve wanted to blaze his own path in life and was very proud of purchasing his first rental in 1978 and continuing to grow the rental business over the years. He particularly enjoyed meeting the people that would become tenants and getting to know them.

In 1971, Steve met his future wife, Carol Kuemmerle, at the state fair. They were married on Dec. 27, 1973, and made their home in Newcastle where they raised two kids, Alison and Mark. Steve shared his interests of sports, music, and raising animals for a 4-H project with his kids. He and Carol enjoyed 49 years of marriage and dancing in the kitchen, holding hands, and working as a team on the real estate business.

Steve loved family, and in later years especially cherished his grandkids. “Grandpa Steve” was always up for a game of “pig” or “horse” on the basketball court, playing board games or cards, and liked teaching the kids how to play new games on his iPad. The grandkids got a kick out of Grandpa Steve’s dry sense of humor and shenanigans — which often involved him doing something silly and waiting for them to notice, or having sword fights with empty cardboard wrapping paper tubes.

His family will miss his kindness, easy-going nature, and sense of humor.  

Steve is survived by his wife, Carol; daughter, Alison (Bryan) Hearn of Elkhorn, Nebraska; son, Mark (Mandy) Nicholls of Sheridan, Wyoming; grandchildren, Hailey and Logan Hearn; sister, Carol (Jerry) Ruby of Buffalo, Wyoming; aunt, Jeanie Kaste of Great Falls, Montana; and many cousins, nieces, and nephews.

He is preceded in death by his parents; maternal grandparents, Salvatore “Sam” and Bertha Cardinale; and paternal grandparents, Fred and Lillian Nicholls.

A celebration of life service will be held on May 27 at 11 a.m. at the First United Methodist Church in Newcastle.  Donations can be made in Steve’s memory to the University of Wyoming Cowboy Joe Club at 1000 E University Ave., Dept. 3414 in Laramie, WY 82071. 

Arrangements are provided by Isburg Funeral Chapels.


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