Robert Wesley Nichols

Robert Wesley Nichols

Robert Wesley Nichols, former Fillmore City Manager who was known to many as “Mr. Fillmore,” passed away November 24, 2009 at the age of 88. Mr. Nichols was a third generation Fillmore native. He was an unforgettable personality to all who knew him, and was known for his proud spirit, dedication to Country, and his love of life and Fillmore.
Born in Fillmore on October 19, 1921, Nichols was a lifelong resident of the City. He attended Fillmore schools, graduating from Fillmore Union High School in 1940, where he excelled in football and other sports.
After two years of college, Nichols served in the U.S. Navy from 1942 to 1952, holding positions with the Naval Air Corps as Navigator and Aviation Chief. Shortly after enlisting in the Navy, he married Juanita Mauck, his high school sweetheart. They were married for over 60 years and had three daughters, all of whom were raised in Fillmore, attended Fillmore schools, and married local men with families in Fillmore and Ventura. Mr. and Mrs. Nichols were both active in community affairs throughout their lives, and were longtime members of the Fillmore Methodist Church.
Immediately after leaving the Navy, Mr. Nichols returned to Fillmore and engaged in ranching, managing citrus properties in Bardsdale. In 1955 he began service with the City of Fillmore, where he was Superintendent of Public Works from 1959 to 1968 and City Manager from 1968 to October of 1981.
During his tenure as City Manager, Nichols presided over a period of unprecedented growth, as the City’s population grew from 6,000 to 10,000. He was instrumental in the acquisition of the land for Sespe Park, upgrading of the City’s water systems, directing preparations for the Fillmore Industrial Park, and creation of the Fillmore Community Redevelopment Agency. In 1969, he was a principal actor in recovery and reconstruction efforts in the aftermath of one of the worst rainstorms and floods in Fillmore history, during which all roads and highways to the City were washed out and Fillmore was completely isolated for several days. Mr. Nichols was also active in regional organizations representing Ventura County and its cities, and served as Chairman of the Managers’ Group of the Ventura County Association of Governments.
During their retirement years, Wesley and Juanita Nichols lived in Fillmore, traveled the United States, and spent time with their daughters and their families. Juanita Nichols passed away in 2005. In his last years, Mr. Nichols enjoyed drives around Fillmore and Ventura County, identifying familiar places and public works, and observing annual City events such as the July 4th fireworks celebrations.
Mr. Nichols is survived by his three daughters, Constance Main of La Canada, Diana Cox of Westlake Village, and Sally Joller of Los Osos, California; 8 grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.
Graveside services were held at Bardsdale Cemetery in Fillmore on December 10, 2009.