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Nov. 1, 1942 – April 23, 2024

Victor George Nikolashin, 81, of Oakdale, California, passed away on April 23, 2024, at Memorial Medical Center in Modesto, California. He was the devoted husband of Shirley Nikolashin, and they shared over 32 years of marriage together.

Victor, the only child of Russian immigrant parents Victor G. Nikolashin and Natalie N. Kemensky, was born in San Francisco, California on November 1, 1942. Victor was raised in San Carlos, California and maintained fluency in both English and Russian. Victor graduated from Carlmont High School in Belmont, California in 1960. He was active in clubs and sports including the Astronomy Club, Advanced Science Club, Camera Club, and Choir; he was a member of the water polo and swim teams. Victor also earned the title of Eagle Scout.

He went on to earn a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1965 and a Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering in 1969 from the University of Santa Clara in California. Victor also pursued a PhD in optical sciences with the University of Arizona. He published several articles focused on telescope design.

Victor was appointed a U.S. Army Reserve Commissioned Officer in 1966. From 1971 to 1974 he served on active duty at Sacramento Army Depot in California developing and evaluating best practices for maintaining optical components of U.S. Army night vision devices. He remained in the U.S. Army Reserve until 1981 when he was honorably discharged as a Captain. He spent several decades in private industry as an engineer focusing on optics and optical systems research and development and project management. Most of his career he worked for Lockheed Missiles and Space Company and Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in California. He retired in 2009.

Victor was a committed Christian. For many years he was an active member of churches where he lived, most recently the Community United Methodist Church in Oakdale, California. When he was unable to attend church in Oakdale, he attended via Zoom the Sunday Services of St. Paul’s Congregational Care Ministry in Reno, Nevada. Victor enjoyed travelling with his wife Shirley in the United States and to Japan. Victor’s personal interests included astronomy, metal and machine work, live steam railroads and photography. He made telescopes, lenses, cameras, and model trains using his many machines and lathes in his garage. He was an avid animal lover most recently caring for his buddies, two Shelties named Teddy and Maxim.

Victor was a devoted husband, father, and friend to many. He will be greatly missed. He was preceded in death by his parents George V. Nikolashin and Natalie N. Kamensky and his son Victor George Nikolashin (JR). He is survived by his wife of 32 years, Shirley (Merritt) Nikolashin of Oakdale, California; his son and daughter from a previous marriage, George (wife Jessica, children Danielle, Natalie, and Garrett) Nikolashin, and Rachael (children Abigail and Eleanor) Nikolashin; and stepson David (wife Banthaporn) DeTata. He also leaves a Goddaughter, Erica (husband Joel) Santos-Chapin.

A visitation will be held on Friday, May 17 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Oakdale Memorial Chapel, 830 West F St., Oakdale CA 95361. A Funeral Ceremony celebrating his life will be on Saturday May 18 at 11 a.m. at the Community United Methodist Church of Oakdale, 1480 Poplar St., Oakdale, CA 95361. Victor’s Graveside Service will be on May 20 at 2:30 p.m. at Los Gatos Memorial Park, 2255 Los Gatos-Almaden Road, San Jose, CA, 95124. The family would welcome an expression of sympathy for Victor with a contribution to the Community United Methodist Church of Oakdale, 1480 Poplar St., Oakdale, CA 95361, or a charity of your choice. Flowers would also be welcome at the same address.

The Oakdale (Calif.) Leader

The Riverbank (Calif.) News

May 15, 2024