Kevin Michael Nikolai, 41, born and raised in Mosinee, WI, passed away early Saturday morning, March 25, 2023, surrounded by those he loved.
He was born on January 26, 1982 in Wausau, WI, to Joanne Carol (Baars) and Terrence Edward Nikolai. He was the youngest of three, growing up with both an older sister, Kim, and an older brother, Scott. He attended Mosinee Schools and grew up in Kronenwetter, WI, surrounded by his many aunts, uncles, grandparents, and cousins. He loved both the outdoors and sports from a very young age.
In 2000, he graduated from Mosinee High School with a great group of friends that he enjoyed playing alumni softball every year thereafter. He is often remembered for throwing up long three-pointers in basketball, much to his coach’s dismay, and for his agility and passion on the baseball field. However, his quick sense of humor and ability to both create and tell the best stories will be missed the most.
Kevin attended UW-Stevens Point and upon graduation went on to work various jobs prior to starting his employment at the Outagamie County Jail, where he met many friends who quickly became important to him. Following his graduation, he met and married Amber (Paulson) Nikolai, gaining his beloved son, Logan, in the process. He has often said that raising Logan was the greatest experience of his life and was quick to talk about how proud of Logan he was, and his ability to pursue and achieve so many aspirations at a young age. Kevin and Amber remained very close while she supported him through his passing.
Some of Kevin’s favorite memories include time spent playing baseball, first with his dad and brother, Scott, and eventually with his many cousins, friends and teammates. He spent many summer days surrounded by friends and family on the baseball field near his home that he worked hard to create and maintain. He also enjoyed time spent hunting and fishing, especially at Happy Hollow, and was grateful to his parents for instilling this love in him. He always made time in his busy work schedule to return home for hunting season with his dad and friends. He further enjoyed spending time at the family’s cottage up North.
Family and friends were very significant to Kevin. With that in mind, it was important to him that his family and friends read the passages below upon his passing. The following statements were written by Kevin:
I will start this off by expressing my heartfelt gratitude for the outpouring of love, support, kind words, tributes, and prayers I have received from so many. I am overwhelmed and feel blessed beyond
measure. I wish I could have had the opportunity to meet with everyone in person one final time before passing away, but that was not part of God’s plan for me. It is hard to understand how any of this can happen to someone of my age, but I want all of you to find comfort in the fact that I have complete faith in God’s plan for me and do not feel angered by this in any way.
In such a dark world, I always tried to shine a little light on everyone I was around by telling a funny story or just simply using a dry, sarcastic comment to brighten your day. One of my greatest wishes and the legacy I hope to leave behind is that I was able to put a smile on your face and make you laugh.
I hope to be remembered as a generous person who tried hard not to judge others. I always tried to live a simple life and take joy from even the smallest things.
When you think of me in the days, weeks, and years to come, may you be comforted by the fact that I am at peace with all that has happened and I hope that you are able to find that same peace.
Survivors include his son, Logan Nikolai; his parents, Terry and Joanne Nikolai; his siblings, Scott and Kim Nikolai, his nieces and nephews: Austin Nikolai, Cassi Jones, Megan (Kirill) Romashov, and Autumn Nikolai, and their families; and his former wife, Amber Nikolai.
Preceding him in death were his grandparents, Cornelia and Clarence Baars and Florence and Edward Nikolai.
A visitation will be held at Beste Funeral Home on April 23, 2023 from 9:30 AM-11:00 AM with an intimate service to follow immediately thereafter. Kevin has requested that a fun and relaxed
Celebration of Life be held following the service at On the Hill (formerly Top of the Hill) in Mosinee, WI from 1:00 PM-4:00 PM. Kevin’s hope was that those who knew him would gather here afterward in order to celebrate him with music, laughter, and personal stories. A final, more joyful Celebration of his Life will be held on May 18, 2023 from 3:00 PM-10:00 PM at Waverly Beach in Menasha, WI. He wanted to hold this celebration in order to thank all his friends and colleagues of Outagamie County and the Appleton Fire Department for their support throughout this process.
A special thank you goes out to Amber, Logan, and Michael for their love and care throughout this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, Kevin has requested that a donation be made to the Mosinee Legion
Baseball Program. If interested in donating, please mail checks to Mosinee Legion Baseball at 141101 Burma Road, Mosinee, WI 54455, with Mosinee Legion Baseball denoted on the check or Venmo@Mosineelegionbaseball.
In closing, from the written words of Kevin Nikolai: “I am not gone forever; I am just moving into a nicer trailer park.” Until we meet again, Kevin. We all love you.
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