NIKKEL, Ruben Frank
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Ruben Nikkel on Saturday, September 11, at the Queensway Carleton Hospital in Ottawa. Ninety-nine years old, Ruben was predeceased by his parents, Henry Nikkel and Marie Peters, his brother Edward (Pauline), his sisters Miriam (Abe Froise) and Evangeline (Gordon Dancer) and his first wife Mavis Anderson.
Ruben is survived by his sister Doris Redekop (John), his second wife Frances Williamson (nee Massé), sons David (Kathy) and Andrew (Gina), step-children Helen (Deb), Nan (Terry) and Ted (Tanya) and treasured grandchildren from both marriages - Ben, Christopher, Kailey, Luca, Paisley, Holly, Hadleigh, Jonah, Clayton and Elena.
Ruben was born in Los Angeles, California where his parents lived briefly while his father studied at the Bible Institute of Los Angeles. He returned to Canada when he was 1 year old and the remainder of his formative years were spent in the Dalmeny, Hepburn and Laird areas of Saskatchewan where his father taught school.
His father was his only teacher for his elementary schooling. He completed high school by correspondence in 1940, after which he spent two years at Bethany Bible School in Hepburn.
When he completed his studies in 1942, Ruben made the decision to join the Canadian Armed Forces to support the Second World War effort. He was assigned to become a radar technician in the RCAF. After extensive training, he was posted to serve in the Middle East at RAF Station St. Jean, Palestine, where he serviced radar on aircraft.
By the end of 1945, Ruben was back in Canada and decided to take advantage of an educational program for returning military personnel. He enrolled in Engineering Physics at UBC and completed his BASc degree in 1950. He was offered a bursary by the Defence Research Board (DRB) to stay on and complete a masters degree, which he accepted. He completed his thesis in September, 1951 and reported for work at DRB in October, 1951. This began a long career with DRB, which lasted until his retirement in April, 1987.
From 1951 on, Ruben lived in Ottawa, with the exception of a 3 year posting to work with the defence liaison staff in Washington, D.C., during which time the family lived in Potomac, Maryland.
In his early years in Ottawa, Ruben met Mavis Anderson of Perth, Ontario through mutual friends. They both had a strong interest in music and quickly became friends. They married in January, 1955. They had a happy marriage that produced two sons but ended sadly with Mavis’ death in 1990 at the young age of 64.
Ruben continued his retirement years as a widower, but still pursued his interest in seeing the world, including solo road trips around North America and trips to Australia, New Zealand and the Middle East. His visit to the Middle East was on the 50th anniversary of his previous time there during the war.
Ruben and Fran met by chance while out walking on a Greenbelt trail. They had known each other only slightly through church. They became walking partners and the relationship grew, leading to marriage in January, 1998. This marked the beginning of a second happy and long marriage. Ruben inherited a whole new family along with Fran and came to regard Fran’s children and grand-children as his own.
Ruben grew up in the Mennonite Brethren church and was very active in church life at several Ottawa-area Baptist churches. He was a faithful member of the choir and served as a deacon. In addition to his church commitments, Ruben volunteered with Meals on Wheels after his retirement.
The family would like to express appreciation to the staff at Valley Stream Retirement Residence for their care. In addition, we would like to thank Dr. Iyengar and the nursing team in the Queensway Carleton Hospital Emergency Department for their care and compassion.
A memorial service will be held at the Garden Chapel of Tubman Funeral Home, 3440 Richmond Rd., Nepean (between Bayshore & Baseline Rds.) on Saturday, September 25th at 3 pm. Due to COVID restrictions, attendees must register by clicking on the link below or by calling 613-722-6559. Those that are unable to attend may view the service by joining on the link below. Inurnment at Elmwood Cemetery, Perth to take place at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, please make a donation in memory of Ruben to the charity of your choice. Tributes, condolences and donations may be made at www.tubmanfuneralhomes.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Ruben Frank Nikkel, please visit our floral store.
Garden Chapel, Richmond Rd
Attendance is limited to a maximum of 45 people. Family and friends planning to attend are kindly requested to RSVP to reserve their place