Saturday, February 04, 2023

John Henry Nitcy, 63

| January 24, 2023 1:00 AM

John Henry Nitcy, beloved husband, father, grandfather, brother, son, friend and teacher, passed away at his home, surrounded by family, on Jan. 14, 2023, after a yearlong fight with pancreatic cancer.

John was born Aug. 26, 1959, in St. Maries, Idaho, to Spencer and Judy Nitcy. He shared many fond stories of his childhood in St. Maries, including countless adventures and scoldings with his four brothers and sister. John was a proud St. Maries Lumberjack, participating in high school sports like wrestling, baseball and football. He attended Treasure Valley Community College (to play baseball and pheasant hunt), Lewis-Clark State College, and finally received his education degree from the University of Idaho.

John "Mr. Nitcy" was a teacher for 32 years at Sandpoint High School, teaching classes like keyboarding, accounting and various business applications. Early in his career, he coached freshman and JV football for the Bulldogs. John started the Honor Flight Club at SHS, raising thousands of dollars for the Inland Northwest Honor Flight Organization that sent veterans to Washington, D.C. He impacted many lives over the course of his teaching career.

John was the ultimate sportsman. He loved bird hunting, particularly ducks, and knew every inch of the Pack River and Clark Fork deltas. No matter how pressed for time his family may have been, he always found time to stop and admire a flock of ducks. He was an avid fan of all sports, especially the Gonzaga Bulldogs, traveling to Vegas several times to watch them in the tournament.

John loved to travel and experience the culture of new places. His visit to New Orleans World War II Museum sparked his interest in history of all kinds and largely led to his lifelong dedication to honoring and thanking veterans. He fulfilled a bucket-list wish by going on a “Band of Brothers” tour to Normandy, France, the year he retired.

John made friendships wherever he went. He turned a simple gas station visit in Saskatchewan into the formation of a lifelong friend. Anyone who knew John knew his sense of humor and infectious laugh. Remember John by cherishing the simple things like a good batch of gravy, a whiskey around the campfire, a caddis hatch on the river, a game of cards and the gobble of a turkey.

In the words of Augustus McCray, from one of John’s favorite movies Lonesome Dove, “I doubt it matters where you die, but it matters where you live.”

He is survived by Leana, his wife of 31 years; daughter Sadie; son Sam; daughter-in-law Katie; and grandson Beau; as well as his brothers, Jim, Jeff and Jamie Nitcy, and Bob Whipple Jr.; sister, Janie Allen; cousin David Nitcy; and his uncle, Chuck Darnold.

A celebration of life will be held this summer with family and friends.

Family and friends are invited to sign John’s online guest book at

Arrangements are under the care of Coffelt Funeral Service of Sandpoint.

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