LTC, Cecil Ward Nist Jr.
United States Army, retired
December 23, 1925 - August 18,2021
LTC (retired) Cecil Ward Nist Jr. United States Army, retired, of Sierra Vista, Arizona, passed away on August 18, 2021, at 95 years old.
Cec was born on December 23rd, 1925, to parents Cecil Ward Nist Sr. and Ellen Mary (Swan) Nist in Colon, Panama. As an Army Brat, Cec grew up around the world, living everywhere from Panama to Hawaii to New York. At 18 years old, Cec enlisted in the US Army in 1944 to serve in World War II. As a Rifleman and Combat Infantryman in the 77th “Statue of Liberty” Infantry Division, Cec saw combat in 1945 in the Philippines and Okinawa with his father Col. Cecil W Nist Sr., where he survived a Kamikaze attack. After the War, he graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1951. He later went on to graduate from the Army War College and earned a Master's degree from the University of Northern Colorado. On January 7th, 1952, Cec married Muriel Patricia McGrath; they were married for 65 years until her passing in 2017. He and Pat had four children together, James Ward Nist (deceased), Kathy Ellen (Nist) Evans, Nancy Anne Nist, and Stephen Michael Nist.
Cec Nist devoted his life to service. He served in the US Army for over 30 years. He was stationed in occupied Japan at Camp Schimmelpfennig and behind the Iron Curtain in Berlin, Germany. He again saw combat in the Korean War, where he rose to the rank of Acting Battalion Operations Officer in the Chorwon Sector. Cec volunteered for duty in Vietnam, serving two tours, first as a Combat Infantryman and Senior Regimental Adviser in the Southern Mekong Delta and then as a SEATO Staff Officer. From 1967-1970, Cec was assigned to the Allied Forces Northern Europe in Kolsas, Norway. During this time, Cec taught Sunday school and was the District Administrator for Little League in Norway. Cec’s final military assignment was at Fort Huachuca in Sierra Vista, AZ working for the US Army Intelligence Center and School, where he retired in 1979. Following his retirement, Cec worked in real estate for over 17 years.
Cec had a distinguished military career and received major honors including a Legion of Merit Medal, Bronze Star Medal (3 awards), Joint Service Commendation Medal, Commendation Medal (4 awards), Good Conduct Medal, and a Combat Infantryman's Badge with two stars.
Cec was a loving son, brother, and father, and his legacy is far-reaching. He is survived by his children: Kathy, Nancy, and Stephen (LaDott); eight grandchildren: Jonathan (Gina) Thames, Janae (Jay) Gold, Julie Nist, Tyler Padia, Michael Nist, Matthew Nist, Emily Nist, and Elizabeth Nist; and five great grandchildren: Emilee Thames, Aedan Thames, Zoey Gold, Madi Marquez, and Bella Marquez.
Cecil Ward Nist, Jr will be interred next to his wife and near his son, James W Nist, in the Southern Arizona VA Cemetery in Sierra Vista, Arizona on August 24th at 10 AM. A celebration of life will be on August 24th at the Village Meadows Baptist Church in Sierra Vista at noon. If you wish to donate in lieu of flowers, please donate to the American Red Cross or the Warrior Healing Center in Sierra Vista.
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