David C. Nicholas, Ph.D
David C. Nicholas, Ph.D, 76, passed away on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021, at UnityPoint Health-St. Luke's Hospital, Cedar Rapids of a sudden illness. Graveside services will be at 11 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19, in Wyoming, Iowa,
by Rev. Scott Meador of Lovely Lane United Methodist Church. All are welcome. Attendees are required to wear masks and practice social distancing. Teahen Funeral Home is serving the family.
He was born on July 14, 1944, to Curran and Mildred (Siler) Nicholas. A native Cedar Rapidian, he attended Johnson Elementary, McKinley Middle School (formerly Junior High) and Washington High School. He later attended Iowa State University, receiving his B.S. in electrical engineering in 1967, M.S. in 1968, and Ph.D in 1971. He worked for the former Collins Radio for 38 years, retiring in 2009. A very accomplished, and modest inventor, he is credited with numerous patents via what is now Collins Aerospace. He is most famously known for unlocking an encoding process essential to fax machines, as a doctoral student at Iowa State University in the 1960s. The endowed David C. Nicholas Professorship in Electrical and Computer Engineering was created in his honor at Iowa State University.
Survivors include three children, Christopher Nicholas MD (Shannon), of West Burlington and Quincy, Ill., Sarah Nicholas Ph.D (Joshua Lynch) of Shoreham, N.Y., and Jane Nicholas of Cedar Rapids; seven grandchildren, Cole and Sydney Nicholas (Christopher), London and Brigid Lynch (Sarah), Isabel, Joseph and Curran Schmidt (Jane); former son-in-law, Rodney Schmidt; former wife, Kathleen Hall; and longtime girlfriend, Mary Day.
He was preceded in death by his parents.
He was an active bridge player, downhill skier and fisherman. He was a member of Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, the Eastern Iowa Ski Club, IEEE and the Iowa Inventors Hall of Fame. The Iowa Donor Network was a recipient of his tissue.
Memorials may be directed to Mission of Hope, 1700 B Ave. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402; or Lovely Lane United Methodist Church, 2424 42nd St. NE, Cedar Rapids, IA 52402.