Oregon Father Dies 3 Years After Attack That Left Him with Lasting Complications: 'Heartbroken'
An Oregon family is mourning the loss of Bill Nickelby, a father of two who suffered long-term complications after he was attacked by a stranger three years ago.
In August 2018, Nickelby was approached by Kory Thomle outside of a local convenience store, according to a previous media release from the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office. Thomle, who was homeless, asked for a case of beer, per Oregon Live.
Nickelby "said no and something to the effect of 'that's sketchy,' " which led Thomle to attack him a short time later as he left the store, according to the Multnomah County District Attorney. After being punched in the face, Nickelby fell, hitting his head on the ground.
He was later hospitalized with a skull fracture and brain bleed, Oregon Live and KOIN reported.
Nickelby suffered long-lasting medical complications in the years that followed, keeping him from ever returning to the life he lived before the day of the attack.
"He couldn't smell so he never wanted to eat. There were a lot of different complications. He was in and out of the doctor's offices," Nickelby's sister-in-law, Carol Maszy, recently told KOIN.
"He couldn't withstand just daily living anymore," she continued. "He had diabetic complications as well."
According to a GoFundMe set up for his "heartbroken" family, Nickelby, 50, died on Sept. 14. His family is awaiting a coroner's report for his exact cause of death.
In February 2019, Thomle was sentenced to 70 months in prison. On the day of the attack, he left a note on Nickelby's car that police used to help identify Thomle.
"Next time sir, you need to think twice about who you call sketchy," the note read, according to KPTV. "I just did a 25-year stretch for murder. You got lucky be happy you're alive. THINK before running your mouth. I'm not out here cuz I like it."
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The fundraiser benefiting Nickelby's family has raised over $5,400 as of Friday afternoon.
"He was a loving husband, father, brother, son, uncle, and friend loved by all," the campaign's organizers wrote on the page. "Bill was always happy to help without question. He had a great personality and could light up a room with his presence."
"Through the years Bill touched many lives with his charm, humor, and goodwill," they continued. "He will never be forgotten and will live endlessly in our memories."