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D. Harold Nuckles

September 23, 2011

D. Harold Nuckles 94, the 2nd of four children of Charles and Myrtle (Potter) Nuckles, born March 16, 1917 in Audrain County, MO, passed away on September 9, 2011 in Springfield, MO.

Losing his Mother at a young age, Harold was raised in Vandalia by the woman who raised his mother, Sarah Elizabeth (Barnes) Potter Pine.  Until he left Vandalia at age 15 to join his father, Charlie and brothers in LA, CA, Harold was a farm boy walking behind a mule.

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Harold learned his lifetime career skills working alongside his brothers at their father’s body & fender repair business, Highland Auto Works.  During WWII he worked for TIM Aircraft, welding drop tanks for bombers.

With a stash of gas rationing coupons, Harold drove over the state line to Las Vegas and married, Marjorie Lou Plyley on January 17, 1943.  They promised to care for each other as long as they physically could, and for over 68 ½ years they did just that.

Through the 1940’s, as an active member of the Rose Bowl Riders, Harold won ribbons putting his Champion Show mare “Bonnie” through her paces.

In 1950 Harold established his own body & fender repair shop, Nuckles Auto Center, in Glendale, CA.  He remained in business for nearly 42 years, serving customers with an extreme level of integrity and honesty.  The Nuckles intended to retire to Vandalia and towards that end purchased their first rural Vandalia property in 1978.  For many years thereafter they spent summers in Vandalia and the remainder of the year in California.  The final move to Harold's hometown of Vandalia came in 1992.

With four daughters active in the Glendale Council of Camp Fire Girls, Harold was recognized for his years of volunteer service.  For over a decade he spent late spring clearing weeds and brush from the grounds of “Camp Caula” preparing the camp for the summer influx of Blue Birds and Camp Fire Girls.

 All his life Harold grew large vegetable gardens.  Long before “Antioxidant” was the buzz word, Harold was known as the “Berry man”.  His city back yard was filled with Boysenberry, Blackberry, and Raspberry canes.  He generously shared his berry bounty with extended family and friends for over 20 years.  His success at cultivating berries in Vandalia was limited; the deer loved them too!

For decades Harold & Marjorie were avid bowlers. Three daughters and 2 granddaughters continue the family bowling tradition.  The past 10 years found Harold and Marjorie as the cheering section for their league games.  

Other lifelong pastimes for Harold were fishing, boating, camping and traveling these United States.  With a love of old cowboy and country music, most Friday & Saturday nights would find the Nuckles at a local “Opry” show in Hannibal, Bowling Green, Oldfield, Sycamore or Nixa.

Recently Harold was acknowledged with a 50 year pin as a Charter Member of the Chevrolet Vintage Car Club of America.

One personal value Harold gladly revealed to others was that, “Not one drop of liquor has ever passed over my lips!”  The strong minded and determined trait his family valued was that at age 44 he quit a nearly 30 year smoking habit to save for the new boat he desired.

Harold was preceded in death by his Parents, step-mother, Nellie Carr Nuckles, two brothers Herman Ray & Charles M "Bill" Nuckles, and his sister Dorothy Potter, in-laws Colliss Potter, Ralph Walker, Betty (Plyley) & Jim Flaherty, and Don & Marla (Leavengood) Plyley.

He is survived by his wife Marjorie, four daughters, Susan Myers, Nixa, MO, Cheryl Tucker, Springfield, MO, Marsha & Ronald Burdick, Spokane, WA, and Darlene & Gary Denney, Springfield, MO; 6 grandchildren, Krysta & Tom Bauer, Springfield, Joshua & Julie Burdick, Spokane, Eric & Joy Myers, Greensboro, NC, Gwyneth & Chris Richardson, Nixa, Kelsey Denney & Tamara Denney, Springfield; 11 great grandchildren and a great granddaughter due in early January, 2012.  Additional survivors are his brother Richard & Joyce Nuckles, Bakersfield, CA; sisters-in-law, Martha Nuckles, Redwood City, CA,  and Sarah Lee Walker, Granada Hills, CA; cousins Kenneth & Anna Herlinger, Vandalia, MO, Marjorie Dubbert, Laddonia, MO, Don & Kay Nuckles, Central Point, OR, and Zola Nuckles, Utah; and numerous nieces, nephews and second cousins.

D. Harold Nuckles was a most loving, giving, honest, trustworthy and spiritual man.  A private family memorial will be held in the future to inter a portion of his cremains next to his mother, Myrtle at Mt. Olivet Cemetery, Vandalia, MO.  Additional cremains will be spread in Utah at a favorite plot bordering on Zion National Park. 

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