Martin VanBurean Nichols (affectionally known as Marty) was born July 19, 1962 in Southampton County, Virginia to the late James William Nichols and late Ellen Williams Nichols Suggs. Martin was the oldest of six children.
Martin attended public schools in Boykins, Virginia. During his teenage years, Martin relocated to Edwardsville, Virginia where he resided with his grandmother, the late Bertha “Toni” Burton. Martin lovingly referred to his grandmother as Mama Toni. He is a graduate of the Northumberland High School, class of 1980. Martin attended Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VA Tech) were he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism in 1984.
After graduation Martin moved to Virginia Beach, VA and began his career as an Accounts Manager. Years behind a desk proved unfulfilling for Martin, and in 1988 he started his professional career as a flight attendant for American Airlines. He loved his career as a flight attendant. Traveling across the United States and eventually around the world was his dream. Martin had 31 years of excellent service with American Airlines.
Martin loved a challenge, and became a licensed Realtor in 2006. He was initiated into the “Top Producer Club” for multi-million dollars in sales at Sapphire Realty. Martin had a keen understanding and appreciation for buyer-client concerns and extended his title to Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR). Martin became a Broker Associate and started Nichols Bros. & Associates Realty.
Martin relocated to Kissimmee, Florida in 2004 where he met his life partner, Alan Snelling. Martin and Alan complemented each other perfectly; Martin the extrovert, Alan the introvert. They were married in front of family and friends in September 2017. They enjoyed eating at extravagant restaurants and hanging out at Little New Orleans Kitchen and Oyster Bar.
Martin’s legacy was of a giving heart. He assisted nieces and nephews with public school endeavors, college graduations and wedding celebrations. He was a father figure to young men in the community. His home was always open for anyone desiring a safe haven. Most importantly, Martin took his position as “Big Brother” seriously. His 5 siblings could always count on him for advice. He loved conversing with family and friends and would stay on the phone for hours. Martin was known for his fried chicken and often bragged about being the only person with Big Mama’s fried chicken recipe. During family gatherings, you could always count on Martin to make a pitcher of Sangria.
Religion was important to Martin. He was a faithful member of Basilica of St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception in Norfolk, VA. Martin was the family historian and the spokes-person for the Nichols’ family. He could be relied upon to speak at family events.
He peacefully boarded his last flight, and began his eternal rest on November 15, 2020. Martin leaves to cherish his memory, his beloved husband Alan Snelling (United Kingdom/Florida (USA)), five siblings Milton Maurice Nichols (Sharon), of Chester, VA; Michelle L. Nichols of Chesterfield, VA; Mona Lisa Stephens (Donnie) of Kinston, NC; Mitchell L. Nichols (Bertina) of Chesterfield, VA and Marcus W. Nichols of Richmond, VA, Aunts and Uncles Helen Vincent of Boykins, VA, Otha Jarrett Norfolk, VA, Robert Williams Emporia, VA, Sherline Woods Portsmouth, VA, Evelyn Joyner (Bruce) Richmond, VA, Gregory William (Pat) Virginia Beach, VA, Annette Williams-Wilkins Portsmouth, VA, and numerous nieces, nephews, cousins, God-son, adopted sons, friends and colleagues.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, James Nichols and Ellen Nichols Suggs, grandmother Bertha Burton, and Vernice Williams (Big Mama).
Relatives and Friends are encouraged to visit Mr. Nichols' tribute wall to share memories, extend condolences and to order floral tributes, as sentiments to the family.
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