Martel graduated from Riley Whitcomb High School in 2005. Martel was known to be a high scholar participating in various programs for gifted students including D.E.P.T.H. and The Notre Dame Lawyer Summer Law Scholarship Program with Attorney Charles Asher. He was the freshman class president at Riley High School, a member of the Riley boys’ basketball team and he also played for his Uncle Michael’s basketball program POOL (Positive Outlook On Life). Martel was a social king and jokester and never met a stranger. After high school, Martel was a surgical instrument processing technician at the original St. Joseph Hospital which sparked his interest in pursuing a degree in the medical field. He went on to attend Indiana University South Bend for two years before taking ill.
Martel met the love of his life, Tarrah (Micki) Miller, at Faith Apostolic Temple when he was six years old. He marched up to Pastor Eddie Miller one day after service and told him he was going to marry his daughter Micki, and on January 13, 2007, he did just that. From this beautiful union came three daughters, Zoe, Kaitlyn and Ayanna who spent many hours assisting their Nana and Grandfather with the care of their dad. Martel was an amazing father. He loved his three girls beyond words. He often butted heads with Micki because he would spoil them rotten with Jordan’s, Timberland’s and other far too expensive shoes and clothes for toddlers. But just like what he desired for himself, he wanted only the best for his girls! And to the dismay of Micki’s wallet, that expensive taste has stuck with them.
Martel was a true worshipper and loved attending church and listening to gospel music. When he was younger, his father-in-law, Bishop Miller preached a sermon entitled, “The Water Test,” about the power of baptism in the name of Jesus. After the sermon, Martel told his mom, “Mom I wanna pass the water test.” He was baptized that very Sunday. Prior to his illness, Martel shared with close family he felt he may have been called to minister the gospel. Even throughout his illness, he fulfilled this calling. Marty was a warrior of faith, and even when he had to be wheeled into service, he would still call out, “Hallelujah” at the top of his lungs inspiring the rest of the congregation to worship with full force.
Beyond his beautiful wife and kids, one of the most amazing gifts Martel was blessed with was his dad, Terry Waddell aka Grandfather, the ultimate caretaker. Terry came into Martel’s life in 1989 when Martel was a toddler. In Marlene’s quest for love, she knew she wanted someone who would love Martel as if he were his own. Terry fulfilled this role beyond what Marlene could ever imagine. Terry handled Martel with such care, patience and love. Their bond was quiet but unbreakable.
One thing about Martel was that he loved spending time with family, from his aunts on his mom’s side to the most distant of self-declared cousins. He spent many days at his aunt Varena’s house hanging with his close cousin and partner in crime Dante. Martel also had a huge amount of love and respect for his Uncle Terry. However, the most cherished relationship was with his mom. Before there was a Myron aka Heyzeus, and well before there was Zoe, Kaity and Yanna, it was Martel and his mom, so much so that Myron coined Martel as a “momma’s boy.” They had such a close relationship that even when she was dating Terry, he would always grab his coat thinking he was going to join them on their nights out. Martel also loved his brothers Little Terry and Myron beyond words. Martel made it a point to try to be a positive influence for both of them. Once Martel’s health began to decline, Myron would help his brother walk by Martel wrapping his arm around Myron’s shoulders and Myron being his support. Although Martel never had an opportunity to see Heyzeus perform, Terry played Myron’s music at Martel’s bedside. There is no doubt Martel was proud of his baby brother.
The family would like to acknowledge Martel’s friends and family who meant so much to him: Carlis (Woo) Simmons, D’Vaughn (DD) Frazier, Ebony Futch, Mia Burrell, Marcus Ellis and Dellvona (Dooter) Fox.
The family would like to give special thanks to several people. Gammy aka Martel’s mother-in-law was Martel’s caretaker for many years. She would make sure Martel was comfortable, well-rested and at church on time dressed to the nines in one of Martel’s hundreds of outfits. Marlene never worried about the care of her son while he was with Gammy. Thank you to Million, Micki’s oldest brother. Million was referred to by Martel as his “Superman” as he would often lift him effortlessly to make sure he was able to get to his destination safely. Finally, Martel’s family would like to thank the amazing medical professionals, Nurse Lorrinia, Nurse Robin, Nurse Sharie, Dr. Hall and Dr. Wiseman for their expertise and care of our Marty.
Martel Anthony Nicholson is survived by his wife Tarrah (Micki Miller) Nicholson and their daughters Zoe, Kaitlyn and Ayanna Nicholson; Parents, Terry and Marlene Waddell; His brothers Myron Waddell, Terry Waddell, Jermain Reeves; Other siblings Danita Nicholson, Marquetta Johnson, Byron Jones, Ryan Jones and Robert Nicholson. Martel is also survived by his birth dad Mark Nicholson; Maternal Grandfather Firdia Johnson; His aunts and uncles Mary (Robert) Jackson, Charles (Nenette) Nicholson, Linda Ellis, Solenia Carr, Verena Townsend, Virgie (Mark) Smith, Jacqueline (Pastor Gregory) Boswell, Michael (Roxann) Poole, Terry (Makisha) Johnson, Firdia Johnson, Vivian Stewart, Nate (Linda) Waddell, Jerome (Donna) Waddell; Special cousins Dante Townsend, Ebony Futch, Mia Burrell and Marcus Ellis; A host of cousins, nieces, nephews and a special bond with Brianna (BB), Jasmine, Miracle and Nick; And in-laws Bishop Eddie and Diana Miller and siblings through marriage Million Miller, YPJ Miller, Karrah (Ray) Herring and Drevon Hubbard.
Martel was preceded in death by his Maternal grandparents Willie Taylor Poole and Virginia Johnson; Paternal grandparents Robert Nicholson Senior and Sally Day-Nicholson; His grandmother Luella Erby; His great grandmother-in-law Lucy Mae Hubbard; His uncles Willie (Pig) Woods and Robert (June) Nicholson; And his friend Steve Reed.
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