As he wished, the passing of Nick (Nicky) Napke occurred in the comfort of his own home on September 9, 2021. He was supported in his journey under the watchful eyes and caring hands of his family who were his chosen health care team. Nick had been diagnosed with pancreatic cancer in late May of this year. He was 60 years of age.
Nicholas Thomas Gerard Napke was born at the Miramichi Hospital, in the former town of Newcastle on April 10, 1961. He was the eighth child of eleven children born to Margaret & Emile (Clish) Napke of Chatham Head.
Following his graduation from James M. Hill Memorial High School, Nick attended Dalhousie University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science degree followed by a Bachelor of Commerce degree. In 1986, he began what would be a lifelong career in the forest industry. His career provided many opportunities for travel all over the world and for advancement but in the end he and Anne always chose the Miramichi as home and the place where their daughters would be raised. It was, after all, a wonderful place to live and the roots of his and Anne’s families ran deep here.
It was in the backyards, fields and ice rinks of Chatham Head where Nick’s love of sports began. This interest would span his lifetime as an athlete, dedicated fan or cheerleader for his girls. Anne often joked she and Nick had a mixed marriage. She was a Pulamoo and he a Tommie. He was definitely a spirited JMH Tommie, both as a player and a parent, gladly following the girls all over the Atlantic Provinces to watch their sporting events. He was an original member of the Bushville Bushwackers hockey team, proud player for the Chatham Head Tigers Junior & Senior baseball teams & finally as an Oldtimer. As far as team sports went, he was a die-hard Toronto fan: Raptors, Blue Jays & especially his beloved Maple Leafs (there’s always hope!).
Nick looked for the fun in life. He had a great sense of humour and loved to get your goat. With such a large family there was always someone to tease. Nick was an animated debater on many topics even if he wasn’t that familiar with it. He simply enjoyed the back and forth bantering. Nick had a competitive streak and reveled in family crib and washer toss tournaments, Texas Hold’em and dice. He was known to get pretty excited, especially if he could sense a win coming. Nick eagerly welcomed all the new little additions to the family and there were many over the years. He loved playing with babies and teasing the wee ones. He continued to remain interested in their lives as they grew.
Nick enjoyed planning & hosting meals for weekend gatherings at home. His newest passion was learning the art of backyard grilling with his family. Very much like his Mother’s, the table was always full. Nick loved sharing the finer points of traditional Lebanese food preparation that he had learned from his grandfather. At family gatherings, his job was to make the tabouli because he always got the taste just right.
Nick wanted nothing more than a simple and quiet life, content to be at home in Bushville, enjoying life with Anne and his girls and always trying his best to be a good neighbour and friend.
By far, his greatest joy in life has been his daughters—he often told Anne that they had hit the jackpot. He took great pride in their achievements and the remarkable young women they have grown up to be. They will dearly miss not only his wit and motivational talks, but his sound advice and calmness.
One of the last bits of wisdom that he shared with us was to be happy in our lives whatever that may be. As our family prepares to say farewell to Nick we promise to find that happiness.
Nick is survived by: his mother: Margaret; his wife: Anne; daughters: Nicola (Jason McCarthy) of Miramichi, NB; Andrea (Kevin Kincade) of Saint John, NB; Alana (Cal Thomas) of Miramichi, NB; Janna (Megan Manuel) of Saint John, NB; sisters: Debbie Cook (Lee) of Sarnia, ON; Mary Moar (Johnny), Gay Clark (Kenny), Phyllis Culliton, Simone Napke, Brenda Harper (Daryl), Margaret Conners (Herbie) all of Miramichi, NB; Barbie Smith (Bill) of Edmonton, AB; Paula Napke-Flanagan (Pat) of Miramichi, NB; brother: Michael (Kim) of Miramichi, NB; sisters-in-law: Barbara Dunnett (Mark) and Mary Leslie all of Miramichi, NB; brother-in-law: Robert (Elan) of Strathford, PEI; uncle: Dr. Edward Napke of Ottawa, ON; aunt: Pauline Napke of California, USA; many cousins, nieces and nephews.
Besides his father: Emile, Nicholas is predeceased by: his wife’s parents: Carmel and Donald Leslie.
The family will receive visitors at Bell’s Funeral Home on Thursday, September 16, 2021 from 3-7 PM. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated from the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Roman Catholic Church, Chatham Head on Friday, September 17, 2021 at 11:00 AM with Father John Keoughan officiating. In Nick’s memory, donations may be made to the Miramichi Food Bank, the Miramichi Extra Mural Program or a charity of the donor’s choice. Messages of condolence can be sent through our website: www.bellsmeadows.com
Funeral arrangements are under the care of Bell’s Funeral Home, 651 King George Highway, Miramichi, NB. Telephone: 506-622-3600.
A tradition of service since 1922
Our most sincere sympathies to the family and friends of Nicholas Thomas Gerard Napke 2021..
Death notice for the town of: Miramichi, Province: Nouveau-Brunswick