HARWICH PORT, Mass., -- Rupert L. (“Ren”) Nichols, Jr. passed away on March 28, 2014 at age 66 after a long illness. Ren was an active and engaged member of the Cape Cod boating and marine community as the President of Allen Harbor Marine Service, Inc., in Harwich Port since 1990. He was a 48-year “lifetime member” of the United States Power Squadron, a national organization dedicated to education on boating safety, where he rose to the rank of Rear Commander. He was a longtime member of the Massachusetts Marine Trades Association, serving continuously on the Board of Directors since the 1980’s and as President of the Association from 2000-2002. The Nichols family was recently honored as one of the “Founding Families” of the association in conjunction with the 50th anniversary of the group. The Cape Cod Marine Trades Association was also a big part of Ren’s life. He served on their Board of Directors for several decades and also as President of the association while playing a key role in organizing boat shows and other activities throughout the years. Ren was also a charter member of the Allen Harbor Junior Yacht Club in his youth.
Ren was a productive participant and leader in a number of civic organizations and charities. He profoundly respected first responders, and was a supporter of the 100 Club of Massachusetts, which aids the families of fallen police and firefighters. In addition, Ren was a member of the Blue Knights, the charitable International Law Enforcement Motorcycle Club, as well as the Harwich Police Association. He was a longtime member of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce, serving as its President from 1993-1995. Notably, Ren and his father, Rupert Sr., were the only father and son to both be elected to the office of President of the Chamber. .
Ren was born to Rupert Lorenzo and Icona Dodge Nichols on January 29, 1948 in Hyannis, MA and grew up in West Harwich. He was educated at the Holderness School in Plymouth, New Hampshire and went on to graduate from Cape Cod Community College. His early career was in broadcasting, which had been his interest and hobby since childhood, when he set up an amateur Ham radio station in the home basement. Ren spent many years working as an announcer at WCOD radio on the Cape and other area stations, including WOCB and WVLC, and developed a professional speaking style that served him well in later work as a successful fundraiser for Holderness School and the March of Dimes. Supporting the fight against birth defects, he arranged and hosted Cape Cod’s first March of Dimes telethon.
In addition to his career in radio, Ren was involved in the early days of planning and development of cable television, working at Cape Cod Cablevision for a number of years and participating in the Cable Advisory Committee in Yarmouth, having been a longtime resident of Yarmouth Port.
Ren pursued a second career with his father at Allen Harbor Marine Service. When Rupert Sr. retired, Ren assumed ownership and direction of the expanding boatyard and remained in that capacity until his death. In his leisure time he greatly enjoyed traveling, and spent many pleasant vacations aboard cruise ships, where he indulged his love of both the ocean and a good banquet table.
He is survived by his brother, Donald S. Nichols of Hyannis, and his sister, Jane Cartmill of Encinitas, CA. as well as several cousins. He leaves behind his close friend and caretaker of many years, Ralph Cordeiro and his canine companion, “A.J.”
A final “Bon Voyage” will be held at the Allen Harbor Yacht Club, 371 Lower County Road, Harwich Port, MA 02646 on Tuesday, April 15, 2014 from noon to 5:00 PM. Memorial donations may be made to the 100 Club of Massachusetts, 17 Gloucester Street, Boston, MA 02115, or to the Holderness School, Box 1879, Plymouth, NH 03264. A private funeral service will be held at a later date.