Walter Q. "Nick" Nicholas, a retired electrical engineer who enjoyed helping family and friends with home improvements, died Monday of complications from muscular dystrophy at his Fallston home. He was 73.
Mr. Nicholas was born and raised in Baltimore. He was a 1952 graduate of City College and the next year went to work as an electrical helper at Bethlehem Steel Corp.'s Penwood Power Station at Sparrows Point.
He served in the Army from 1956 until 1958, when he returned to Sparrows Point. He attended the Johns Hopkins University at night, where he earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering in 1969.
Mr. Nicholas was promoted to test electrician in 1965 and steadily rose through the ranks. He joined Beth Steel's Loop Program, a companywide training program for college graduates, in 1969.
Because of his interests in electrical and mechanical projects, Mr. Nicholas became a valuable resource for family and friends. In addition to home improvement projects, he handled all automotive maintenance for his family's cars.
He also enjoyed travel, camping and raising tropical fish. He was also a West Highland White Terrier fancier.
First diagnosed with muscular dystrophy in 1972, Mr. Nicholas continued working until retiring in 1985. He also continued to enjoy his many hobbies, family members said.
A memorial service will be held for Mr. Nicholas, who willed his body to the state Anatomy Board, at 11 a.m. Aug. 25 at First Presbyterian Church, 224 N. Main St., Bel Air.
Surviving are his wife of 51 years, the former Ellen Seawell; daughters Diane R. Nicholas of Willow Grove, Pa., Karen L. DiDomenico of White Hall and Wendy K. Nicholas of Gaithersburg; a sister, Geraldine Smoot of Beltsville; and several nieces and nephews.