Minn. volunteer EMT dies after medical emergency, mourned by city
Kerkhoven EMT Dean W. Nichols is remembered as a “gentle giant” and a great educator
KERKHOVEN, Minn. — A Minnesota volunteer EMT who died last week after a medical emergency is being remembered for having an “infectious” personality and his role as an EMS educator.
Kerkhoven EMT Dean W. Nichols, 57, who died on Jan. 13, worked as an EMS instructor at Ridgewater College for 22 years, according to his obituary.
“He enjoyed teaching and was a very patient teacher,” the obituary states. “He had an infectious personality that is described as strong, helpful, encouraging and larger-than-life. He was always there to help family and friends.”
He was also well-known for always wearing orange Crocs, sometimes while teaching and even during his daughter’s wedding dance.
Nichols also worked for the city maintenance department for 24 years.
“City employee, EMT, the guy who always had a smirk and a wave, the man who loved his family like no other, the guy with the orange Crocs who dared this picture be taken will be watching Kerkhoven from above,” the city wrote in a Facebook post Tuesday.
A memorial service for Nichols was held Monday morning at a local high school.
“You were our rock here on earth and now our heavenly rock! You will be dearly missed,” Kerkhoven Ambulance service posted on Facebook. “Fly high Dean keep watch over all of your EMS friends!”