Billy Joe Nicholas (Bill), 75, formerly of the Pryor, Bartlesville and Vinita areas died Jan. 15 at Hooper, Utah, where he lived for 40 years.
Cremation services are under the direction of Serenicare Funeral Home of Ogden, Utah. A memorial service is planned for friends and family in Utah at a date to be announced. A celebration of life service will be June 23 in Dewey at on of his favorite places, Prairie Song, the old western town built on the Moore ranch.
Nicholas was born June 24, 1937, in Pryor, to Owen (Slats) and Bessie Nicholas. He graduated from high school in Elk Grove, Calif., in 1955 and moved back to Pryor. He joined the Navy and served four years. After his discharge, he lived in the Vinita area for a short period before moving to Bartlesville, where he was employed by Phillips Petroleum Co. for several years.
He was involved in rodeo all his life. His first rodeo was at the old rodeo grounds in Pryor when he was about 10 years old. He entered the junior bull riding and continued to ride bulls until the mid 60s. After joining the PRCA in 1964, he concentrated on the steer wrestling event. He always cherished his rodeo days and all the good times he had with his traveling buddies.
Nicholas moved to Utah in the early 70s and that’s where he met the love of his life, Sharon. They were married at Elko, Nev., in 1978. He continued to be involved in the Western way of life as he and Sharon were in the paint horse business for many years, showing their horses at many to the top shows.
He is survived by his wife Sharon, Hooper, Utah; daughter Billie JoAnn (Cricket) Ramirez of Elk City; son Donald Allen Nicholas and wife Ella, lovingly called “what’s her name,” Ogden, Utah; step-daughter Tisa “Brain” Bolduc, Edgecomb, Maine; brother Rod Nicholas and wife Pat, Dewey; several grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.