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VA center director held veterans in awe

Bill Nicklow's admiration for veterans was the cornerstone of his life as the director of the Center for Treatment of Addictive Disorders at the VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System in Highland Park.

"My husband was especially concerned about the veterans of World War II, who (he thought) were never treated or received help for their addictions," said his wife, Barbara Michlovic Nicklow.

William C. Nicklow of Forest Hills died on Sunday, March 10, 2013, in his home. He was 79.

Born in Pennsville in Fayette County, Mr. Nicklow graduated from Scottdale High School in 1951 and turned down a basketball scholarship to the University of Kentucky to work at the Homestead Works of U.S. Steel.

He entered the Army two years later and worked in intelligence, spending three years in the nation's capital. After being honorably discharged in 1956, he worked his way through Waynesburg College with the aid of a basketball scholarship and the G.I. Bill. He graduated with an education degree.

When Barbara Nicklow met her husband, she was working as a nurse at the former St. Francis Hospital in Lawrenceville. The couple married in 1960, and Mr. Nicklow taught in the West Homestead School District for four years while earning his master's degree from Duquesne University. In 1967, he was awarded a doctorate in psychology from the University of Pittsburgh.

"As serious as Bill could be with his commitments to the men and women who put their trust in him, he was a lot of fun," his wife said.

He sang with the VA National Medical Musical Group and at the Teutonia Männerchor, a private club promoting choral singing in the North Side.

"And as sick as my husband was during the last years of his life, we traveled extensively," Barbara Nicklow said. "Bill was very ecumenical when it came to dancing, and we spent many happy evenings dancing at German, Croatian and Hungarian clubs."

In addition to his wife, Barbara, Mr. Nicklow is survived by his sons, Christopher and William Nicklow, both of Forest Hills; a sister, Dorothy Suter of Ruffsdale in Westmoreland County; and three grandchildren.

Friends will be received from 2 to 4 and 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesday in the Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home, 700 Linden Ave., East Pittsburgh. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. Thursday in St. Maurice Church, Forest Hills. Interment with military honors will follow at Braddock Catholic Cemetery.

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