“There is no night without the dawn”.
Peacefully in his own home on 14th February, Nicholas passed away aged 91 years.
The beloved husband of the late Josefine “Sue”.
Dearest dad of Peter, Nick will be fondly remembered and sadly missed by all who knew him.
Nikolaus was born on 11th September 1926 to Mum Elizabeth and dad Karl, in Yugoslavia. He lived in a small German village surrounded by different communities, in a country which as we know, was later broken up and is now known as Serbia. He was a private man, and there is much we don’t know about his early life, but some stories of his younger years have made it though. – his ability with animals, breeding rabbits for food to earn a bit of extra money, and helping his dad with his fishing barge, dragging the fish along in a net from the open bottom of the boat ready for sale – Fish being one of the main trading goods at the time.
Nikolaus was thankfully too young during the outbreak of the second world war to enlist, and worked at the time for a courier company carrying documents to and from Vienna, but at the age of 18 was sent off to the Russian Front after a run in with his then employer as punishment for a day skipping work! Seems a little excessive if you ask me… Youth and his relatively short time in the war, as well as his strength and bravery, happily got Nikolaus through those early days, for as we know many were not as lucky. In 1944 he was one of 20 out of an original 100 in the company that was left standing, and surrendered to the Russians to be shipped over to this country as a prisoner of war. I think it’s fair to say that none of us here can really imagine the horrors of war and also likely imprisonment, that Nikolaus must surely have faced – but it is witness to the kind of man he was that despite all this, managed to make such an amazing life for both himself and his family in this country.
After arriving in England, Nikolaus was based in Lanarkshire where some POWs were sent into work in agriculture, as the industry was drastically understaffed as a result of the war, and it was here that Nikolaus shone. He valued work highly and worked harder than anyone – as Peter himself said, his father never understood the common attitude of work purely as a means to live and do the things that you actually want to do, as for him, work itself was fulfilling. Having said this, it was probably precisely this attitude which made him so loved and valued by his employers, as well as being headhunted by several other landowners – by this point though no one else could afford him!
Nikolaus was the type of person who knew what he needed or wanted to do and got his head down in order to achieve it. When he met Josefine in 1951, another expatriate, this time from Vienna, he fell in love and would bicycle all the way down to Hanley(!) to visit her. Both native German speakers, and each with an exceptional story – I’m sure Peter will fill you in on his mum’s amazing history if you ask him nicely – Nikolaus and Josefine courted for just 3 months before they tied the knot in Chester, and Miss Slechta became Mrs Farkasch in 1951. These two knew what they wanted and 9 months after their marriage they welcomed their only son, Peter, into the world.
The family moved to Calveley where Nikolaus was now working for Whalley’s and Grass Products and again, he surpassed himself in the world of work. Nikolaus was responsible for the conception and implementation of a hydraulics system which allowed much vaster areas of the air fields they mowed for grass pellets to be done at one time. Peter remembers happy times spent in the countryside where they lived, along with day trips to Pool and Lake Bartlett with his mum and dad, although fiercely protective of his home, he wouldn’t leave it unattended overnight.
Nikolaus was made redundant at the age of 55, but as you can imagine, found other means of work to keep him busy, not the least sub-contracting to the firm that Peter worked for, Vacuum Generators, where he welded the gold rings necessary to form seals on their products. The amount of gold that passed through the hands of the ever trustworthy Farkasch family in this endeavour speaks to their reliability and skill – that, and the fact that they are now not living on a beach somewhere!
Whether it was something inbuilt in his make up or due to the experiences he had had in his life, is it fearless, rather than just brave, that describes Nikolaus. Peter remembers a particular occasion where he and his dad visited someone who had a huge, and extremely ferocious dog chained up in the garden. The dog got so worked up as they entered the garden that he actually managed to break free of his leash and was instantly upon them, they say that dogs can sense and respond to fear, and this would stand to reason, given the fact that Nikolaus wound up with this massive dog pinned against his shoulders, while he ruffled his head and said “who’s a good boy then…”. The owner of this fearsome guard dog was less than impressed with the soppy mess his dog had become under Nikolaus’ hand!
Nikolaus loved his family, and, although not the most openly soft and affectionate fellow, valued them more than anything. As we know, he worked hard, and thought the world of his lovely wife and son. Always independent, Nik loved his gardening and DIY in what spare time he had and, unbelievably, could be found repointing the chimney, with no form of safety equipment mind, just armed with a bucket of cement at the age of 76!!
As he got older, Nikolaus’s worst nightmare was to leave his home and be stuck with others caring for him, and it is to Peter’s credit that he kept his promise to his father and ensured his dad stayed at home right up until the end. On 14thFebruary, just two years after the death of his beloved wife, Nikolaus peacefully passed away at home, under the loving watch of his son.
Nick’s funeral will take place on Thursday 22nd February 2018 in the Crematorium Chapel in Crewe at 10.40am.
For any further information regarding Nick’s funeral please contact our funeral home on 01270 584447.