Robert A. Nicklaus age 83 of Cologne passed away on Saturday, Oct. 27 at Ridgeview Hospital in Waconia. Visitation will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1 at the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia, including a prayer service at 6:45 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be held at St. Bernard’s Catholic Church in Cologne at 11 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 2 with visitation one hour prior to the service. Serving as casket bearers are Gary Koester, Russ Koester, Ron Koester, Paul Koester, Joe Weckman and Steve Nicklaus.
Bob was born in New Ulm on Jan. 6, 1929, where he graduated from Holy Trinity High School. He received a BA in English and Philosophy from St. John’s University, Collegeville in 1950. He served in the US Navy during the Korean War from 1952 to 1955 and afterwards served in the Navy Reserve. He attended Georgetown University in Washington, DC where he received his Juris Doctorate in 1959.
He practiced law in St. Paul and worked pro bono on civil rights issues with the Mille Lacs and Leech Lake Chippewa Bands. In 1967 he joined John A. “Bud” Fahey’s law office in Chaska, and assumed Fahey’s practice in 1969 when Fahey was appointed as Carver County Municipal Judge. He founded the Nicklaus Law Firm and practiced law in Chaska and Norwood. Bob was Public Defender for Carver and Scott Counties from 1967 to 1980. He particularly enjoyed his work as a trial attorney, and practiced in almost all areas of the law until his semi-retirement in 2005. He was a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association, serving on its Board of Governors for two terms, was a member and President of the Eighth District Bar Association and a member of the Minnesota Trial Lawyers Association.
He was President of the Carver County Historical Society during the renovation and construction of the annex to the current Historical Society Museum in Waconia and served as President of the School District 112 Foundation. He was a Director at the State Bank of Young America, served as Vice-Chairman of the Minnesota Independent Republican Party and Chairman of the Carver County Independent Republican Party. He also served on the Commission of Women for the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis, was a church Trustee, a member of the School Board and Chairman of the Finance Committee and Board of Stewards of St. Bernard Church in Cologne.
Bob married Helen Wirtz of Norwood on May 28, 1960 at Assumption Catholic Church in Assumption. They moved from St. Paul to their farm in Dahlgren Township in 1969, where he was a hobby farmer with his sons raising grain and livestock and planting trees. Bob was diagnosed with ALS in 2011. He fought the good fight without complaint and is now at peace with God.
He was preceded in death by parents Carl and Anna Nicklaus and granddaughter Sarah Nicklaus.
He is survived by his wife Helen, sons and daughters in law Mark and Mary Beth of Wisconsin Rapids, Wis., Mike and Joanne of Shorewood, and Matt and Marybeth of Cologne, and grandchildren Amanda, Samantha, Vanessa, Nathan, and Lucia Nicklaus. Also survived by brother Paul (Pat) Nicklaus, cousin Dorothy (Bob) Jacobson, brothers and sisters in law Al and Marlene Wirtz, Margaret and Harvey Koester, and Matt and Mary Wirtz.
Arrangements are with the Johnson Funeral Home in Waconia (952-442-2121, www.johnsonfh.com).