Obituary: Carl Wheeler Nichols Jr.

Carl Wheeler Nichols Jr., died March 23rd, 2018 in Norwalk, Connecticut after a long illness and surrounded by his family. Carl was a devoted and beloved husband, father, brother, uncle, cousin and friend.

Called “Chip” by his family and friends, Carl was born in Port Chester, NY on June 23rd, 1955 the son of Carl and Joan Nichols. He grew up in Darien where he attended Darien High School before studying economics at the University of California, Santa Cruz.

Carl was a man of many talents, interests and boundless creativity. He was an accomplished business executive, published author, talented guitarist and formidable opponent on the tennis and paddle courts. He was at his happiest in the wild spaces of the Adirondacks or the rolling Chiltern hills in England with his family and friends.

Professionally, Carl achieved forty successful years in the advertising agency and strategic marketing business. Carl’s career started at Grey Advertising in New York, before moving to D’Arcy, Masius, Benton & Bowles where he rose to Global Director of the Proctor & Gamble and Mars accounts. Carl’s career took him around the world. In 1990 he relocated to the UK and Eastern Europe, helping to establish the first western advertising agency offices behind the former Iron Curtain.

He was passionate and stimulated by his work, devoting himself to help businesses create unique and powerful brands. After a decade in the UK, Carl returned to the USA to become CEO of Einson Freeman. In 2003 he co-founded his own company, David ID, where he successfully helped companies bring their ideas to life in the marketplace.

In recent years Carl served on the Board of Directors of Fox Racing Shox, Liberty Safe, ERGObaby, Deep River Snacks and Solera Capital.

In 2006, he co-authored the business book Why Johnny Can’t Brand published by Portfolio Books. It was selected by Strategy + Business magazine as one of the five best marketing books of 2006.

Among a long list of accomplishments in his life, Carl’s greatest joy was his family who adored him and will miss him every day. He provided them with his strength, confidence, security, energy, humor, infectious curiosity and endless pursuit of knowledge. He was a wonderful storyteller, who loved nothing more than playing with his sons and making them laugh. He enjoyed and cherished lifelong friendships and valued the amazing transatlantic community that surrounded him throughout his life.

Carl is survived by his wife, Shirley of Rowayton, CT and three sons, Ben (Amy), Will (Anna) and Luke. He is also survived by his sister Nancy Sundeen (Dick), brother Matt Nichols (Lynn), stepmother Anna Nichols, stepsiblings Cliff Norris (Julie), Meg Norris and Lindsay Durfee (Barry), nieces and nephews, grandnieces and many friends. He was preceded in death by his father Carl, mother Joan, and sister Christine Ferrer (Esteban).

A celebration of his life will be held on Friday, April 6th at 3 PM, at The United Church in Rowayton.

In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made in Carl’s memory to the Adirondack Council (