NICHTING, Raymond Louis

Raymond Louis Nichting, age 89, passed away peacefully at home on Wednesday, November 24, 2021. Ray was born on June 27, 1932, in Cincinnati, Ohio, to the late Milton and Mildred (Strasser) Nichting. Ray graduated from Roger Bacon High School in 1951 where he was a 3 sport letterman, excelling in baseball and football. Later, he was inducted to Roger Bacon Hall of Fame in 1998. After graduating from high school, Ray was drafted by the Boston Braves, where he played 2 full seasons of professional baseball in the Georgia State League for the Fitzgerald Generals. Ray's contract was sold to the Tampa Smokers in the Florida International League. Before he was able to start his 3rd season of professional baseball, he was drafted into the U.S. Army, serving in the 17th Infantry Regiment. Although he was offered a position on the Armed Forces Baseball Team, he instead chose to serve on the battlefield rather than the baseball diamond. While deployed to Korea, he fought in the Battle of Pork Chop Hill. He was severely wounded during an enemy grenade attack that also took the life of fellow soldier. For his service and sacrifice, he was awarded two Purple Hearts, as well as a Silver Star, Bronze Star, and the Korean Service Medal. After a long year of rehabilitation at Walter Reed Army Hospital, Ray finally came home and married his high school sweetheart, Carmela (Minnielli) Nichting on May 22, 1954. Together, they enjoyed 67 years of marriage and raised five children. He attended barber school and went on to own his own shop, Ray's Barber Shop in Middletown, Ohio, for many years. Ray's passions were baseball and bowling, where he was inducted into the Greater Hamilton Bowling Association Hall of Fame on October 28, 1990. While managing Acme Glass in Cincinnati, Ray began his coaching career in 1954. His youth team went on to win the National Championship in the American Legion Baseball League. Ray's next coaching position came in 1968 at the West Side Little League. There, he coached all 3 of his sons. He went on to coach Babe Ruth League and Advanced Babe Ruth League. In 1983, Ray came back to the West Side Little League. Ray brought national attention to the City of Hamilton by taking his Little League All Star teams to the Little League World Series in 1991 and again in 1993. After retiring from West Side in 1999, Ray enjoyed watching his grandkids and great-grandkids play sports. In recognition of his coaching in youth baseball, he was honored as Citizen of the Year Award by the Knights of Columbus in 1988. In 1991, Hamilton City named Ray the Citizen of the Year for taking his West Side Little League team to the 1991 World Series. In 1994, Ray was inducted into the Butler County Sports Hall of Fame for his success with youth baseball coaching. In 2016, Badin High School Hall of Fame recognized Ray and Carmela Nichting with a Legacy Family Award. Ray was also a proud member of St. Peter in Chains Catholic Church. Of all the medals, awards, and praises that he received throughout his life, Ray would be quick to tell you that the greatest was being married to the love of his life, Carmela. He would admit that it was all only possible with her love and support. Ray will be dearly missed by his loving wife, Carmela, as well as his children; Ronald L. (Mary Jo) Nichting, Thomas L. (Penny) Nichting, Connie S. (Gary) Dirheimer, Timothy R. (Christina Bloomfield) Nichting and Nancy A. Nichting; his grandchildren, Mark (Rachel) Nichting, Jenna (Marty) Trice, Ashley (Dale) Tubb, Ryan (Emily) Nichting, Bradley Ray Dirheimer, Brian (Megan) Dirheimer, Ray (Megan) Nichting, Natalie (Aaron) Saurber, TJ Nichting and 17 great-grandchildren: Taylor, Reed, Eva, Elaina, Ernest, Tommy, Nolan, Olivia, Braden, Aubrey, Emerson, Ellie, Gia, Laila, Timothy, Anthony and Zachary. He was preceded in death by his sister Janet (Nichting) Bruns. Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Peter in Chains Catholic Church, 382 Liberty Avenue, Hamilton, Ohio, on Tuesday, November 30, 2021, at 10:00 AM with Fr. Michael Pucke officiating. Burial will follow at St. Stephens Cemetery. Memorial contributions can be made to the West Side Little League or the Stephen T. Badin High School. Arrangements entrusted to Brown Dawson Flick Funeral Home of Hamilton, Ohio.

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