We are deeply saddened by the passing of John E. Nicolaysen. He was born June 26, 1935 in Jersey City, and passed away at home in the presence of loving family on January 25, 2024. John is survived by his beloved wife of 55 years, Lucile, daughters Pamela and Cristina, sons-in-law Frans and Scott, and six grandchildren: Ana, Ryan, Elena, Joslyn, Jared, & Katie.
John attended the prestigious Stuyvesant Academy and joined the Navy Reserves while still in high school, where he served as a corpsman for eight years. He held degrees from both West Virginia University and Hunter College. John’s love of learning continued well into his retirement.
He taught Special Education in NYC and NJ for more than 40 years, touching the lives of countless students and their families. In addition, he ran Special Olympics programs and started the first Boy Scout Troop in NYC for special needs children.
“Coach Nick” began his coaching career as a teenager and continued to coach and officiate a wide variety of sports at all levels. Although each of his athletes held a special place in his heart, he especially enjoyed coaching his daughters. John was a long time member of the Bergen County Umpires Association where he held a position on the Executive Committee. He served for many years on the NJ State Interscholastic Athletic Association, and was inducted into the NJ Scholastic Coaches Association Hall of Fame class of 2010. He received the National Coach Contributor Award in 2013 for outstanding service and unselfish devotion to athletics.
No matter where he was or what he was doing, John was happiest spending time with his wife, who he affectionately called “Louie,” by his side. Aside from being with his great love, John also thoroughly enjoyed reading, history, travel, theater, museums, Mohonk Mountain House, and taking his children and grandchildren on vacations. He instilled his lifetime passion for fishing in his children and proudly took each grandchild fishing by their first birthday.
John, Dad, PopPop, Uncle John, Coach Nick- we will carry you in our hearts forever.