April 11, 1926 - January 26, 2011
John Nuich, Medford's golfing jeweler who founded and annually staged The Crab Pot, one of the most popular golf tournaments in the region, died January 26, at the age of 84, from complications involving a brain tumor.
He was born John Edward Nuich on April 11, 1926, in Tacoma, Wash., to Joe and Kristiana Nuich. John was the eldest of five siblings. John attended elementary and high school in Tacoma, Wash. His flair for exemplary customer service coupled with his genuine and caring demeanor, endeared customers to him. Weisfield's took notice and transferred him to Medford in 1955 to open the first Weisfield's Jewelry in Medford.
Five years later, the self-assured and confident John Nuich, struck out on his own and opened John Nuich Jewelers in downtown Medford, selling fine jewelry, high quality gem stones, custom mountings and watches for the next 46 years. John finally retired from the jewelry business in 2006.
Not only was he successful in the jewelry business, but possibly even more so on the golf course. He won several championship tournaments and had 10 `hole-in-ones'.
John married Neva Smith in Slovenia, Yugoslavia, in October 1989. Three years later they traveled to Scotland where John played the Old Course at St. Andrews with Karsten Stolheim (founder of PING golf clubs) and Sandy Jones (chief executive of the European PGA). It was a lifelong dream for John to play St. Andrews and he cherished a photo of himself on the historic Swilken Burn bridge with Solheim and Jones. He loved to travel the world and play golf, which was his passion.
One of John's golf highlights was establishing The Crab Pot Pro-Am golf tournament which eventually provided money to the Alan B. Holmes Golf Scholarship fund. John hosted the tournament for 32 years.
In addition to being a member of the Rogue Valley Country Club since 1955, he was also a member of the Medford Rotary, Medford Elks Club, Kiwanis Club and Jewelers of America.
John is survived by his wife, Neva (Medford); his children, Mike Nuich (Solona Beach, Calif.), Kathy Bell (Tacoma, Wash.), Tim Nuich (Medford, Ore.); step-children, Tami Shaffer (Portland, Ore.), Tanalyn Pfeil (Medford, Ore.); daughter-in-law, Jill Brune (Round Rock, Texas); his brother, Bill Nuich (Cassel, Calif.); sisters Ann Johnson (Tacoma, Wash.), Mary Schurman (Issaquah, Wash.); granddaughter, Diana Arnold; and great-grandson, Jaxson (Tacoma, Wash.); as well as numerous step-grandchildren. He is preceded in death by his parents; step-son, Troy Brune, of Round Rock, Texas; two brothers, Dan, of Tacoma, Wash and George of San Jose, Calif.
A service will be held Thursday, February 3, 2011, at 2:00 p.m., at Perl Siskiyou Funeral Home, 2100 Siskiyou Blvd., Medford, OR. Memorial contributions can be made to Oregon Community Foundation Alan B. Holmes Scholarship fund, 2600 Hillcrest Rd., Medford, OR 97504. Reception to follow at the Rogue Valley Country Club.