Nick Hellewell, long time FRC mentor and MC perished on Sept 2nd. His Piper cub crashed in Virginia. Nick was taking his plane on a tour of 48 states in 45 days. It was sad when we lost Jim Beck, shocking when Woody and Mark Leon passed, but I can’t express the level of sadness this tragedy delivers.
Go on throttle up, buddy.
I had a chance to meet Nick and MC with him at VEX Worlds a few years ago. He was a passionate guy and I really appreciated the energy he brought to the competition. Definitely a unique guy, but his enthusiasm for all of this stuff was palpable and admirable. I wish his loved ones peace and solace at this time, he will definitely be missed.
This is quite a shock. I worked with Nick for many years back in college, spending many late nights building the Cal Poly Tournament of Roses parade float. I got to experience every aspect of how he got the name “Crazy Nick” back almost 15 years ago now., climbing scaffolding, hanging from ropes, etc. He always had a “can do” and “get it done” type of no nonsense attitude. When he was determined to make something happen, he wouldn’t let anyone or anything get in his way. There was nothing he wouldn’t do, and if he hadn’t done it before, he would figure it out. His energy and enthusiasm was unmatched.
Just back in March 2019, I was surprised to see him passing by the Las Vegas regional. He was traveling in some kind of rare weird classic 70s custom 4 door Ford SUV thing. I helped him change out a flat tire he had. Though he didn’t really need the help, I’m glad I got the chance to catch up with an old friend one last time.
Very sad and surprising news. Rest in peace dude.
FRC Team 1501 sends its condolences to Nick Hellewell’s family, friends and teammates.
Rest in Peace Nick, you will be missed.
Nick was a great dude. Our paths crossed on many occasions when I was cutting my teeth on the whole FTAA thing back in high school. When I went away for college I missed his energy and presence at the events.
Nick radiated positivity. He was always volunteering for the right reasons - making sure the kids had the best experience possible. He’d give you the shirt off his back if you needed it.
I was just thinking not more than a week ago about a story he had told me that I was vividly re-telling to my dad (who had also met him at several events). The news hit especially hard due to that. When I saw the Facebook post I could hardly believe it.
“Seize the time… Live now! Make now always the most precious time. Now will never come again.” - Jean-Luc Picard
Nick was a great friend to a very large amount of people. I consider myself very fortunate to have known Nick outside of the FIRST Community. He lived life on his own terms and lost his life following a true passion. Nick was one of FIRST’s most inspiring volunteers. As an FRC alumni, he related to the students with a vibrant personality. Many people are in FIRST for a variety of reasons. Nick volunteered for FIRST for all the right reasons. He also did some remote mentoring of my team. He treated my students with great respect and shared wisdom without hijacking the kids design. As an experienced mentor, I choose to consult with Nick, because we shared a specific moral value to being a FIRST mentor. Nick helped me become a better mentor for the right reasons. This is not measured in blue fabric, but the outcome of the students and the careers they achieve. Nick helped me to solidify this value.
Nick was my favorite game announcer. He was a great MC and trained by Mark Leon himself! I fear we have lost a specific era of California MC’s. A time in FIRST history that is already forgotten, but these men will never be forgotten! Our team will be hanging a framed picture of Nick in our shop. I am asking the FRC community to post the best pictures of Nick to this thread (pictures that show Nick as the great FIRST Alumni that he was), to help our team find the right picture for our shop.
Very sad news. I never met him, but there are stories I have heard. He has left the planet doing what he loved. RIP
Here is more information about the crash
I’m so sorry to hear that Nick has passed away. It’s always heart wrenching when someone is taken from us. I’m glad that people are sharing these terrific stories about Nick; it gives me a sense of his joy and generosity that he shared with the FIRST community.
On behalf of Team 1729, I want to offer our condolences to his family, friends and extended community.
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