Nick Wilde Memorial Scholarship
This fund has been established in loving memory of Nicholas Steven “Nick” Wilde. Tragically, on July 23, 2015, at the age of 20, Nick lost his life in an auto accident and his family lost one of its brightest stars.
The mission of this fund is to annually provide assistance to a student at St Henry District High School who has a real passion for something, whether it be a club, sport, service, academics, or other activity, is a focused competitor, and has a financial need in order to attend SHDHS. Recipients can be an incoming freshman through current junior and will be selected with the assistance of the Wilde family and the SHDHS men’s soccer coaching staff.
The yearly scholarship amount is a $1,000 tuition credit.
Nick Wilde was the kind of young man that anyone would be proud to call son, brother, grandson, cousin or friend. Fiercely loyal and protective of those he loved; Nick was always there when his family and friends needed him the most. Private and reserved, yet quick witted with a dry and charmingly sarcastic sense of humor, Nick was simply a joy to be around.
The firstborn child of Steven and Denise Wilde, Nick arrived on November 29, 1994. He lived with his parents in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee, until 1996. Steve’s job required the family to relocate to Jupiter, Florida, where they remained for five years. Their family was complete when Nick’s sister, Meredith, arrived on the scene in 1998. In 2001 the family moved to Northern Kentucky where Nick and Meredith were now blessed to be close to grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins.
An active child, Nick loved visiting the many parks located close to his home. Here, he had plenty of room to roam and he could climb on the playground equipment to his heart’s content. Once, while Nick was in kindergarten, he was running with his head down, full speed ahead, which resulted in a head-first collision with the trunk of his neighbor’s car. Thankfully he was not injured, though he did manage to cause $800 worth of damage to the car!
At age six, Nick began playing recreational soccer. Over the years, he tried other sports, but his passion remained with soccer. Nick played the position of goal keeper and his competitive nature was evident from early on; even as a youngster, Nick would become frustrated with teammates who were not taking the game seriously enough, even during a simple game of indoor soccer.
Nick played on numerous teams over the years but completed his soccer career at Saint Henry District High School. Throughout his career, but especially at SHDHS, he learned the importance of teamwork, brotherhood, respect and leadership.
Young Nick loved playing with all his toy trucks, but his favorites were his fire trucks. Nick admired his Uncle Mike, a fireman with the Covington Fire Department. As a child, Nick never forgot the special opportunity that he was granted to visit Uncle Mike at work; he was in awe as he sat at the giant wheel of a real fire truck. As he donned the fireman’s gear, everything from boots to helmet, he was so dwarfed by the size and weight of it all that he nearly fell over!
Nick attended elementary and middle school at Immaculate Heart of Mary and graduated from St. Henry in 2013. Hardworking and driven, Nick had a passion for computers and began taking business informatics courses at Northern Kentucky University. In addition to attending college, Nick took a part-time position at Firehouse Subs. His mother recalls that even though he had been promoted to shift manager three weeks earlier, he kept it a secret and surprised his family with the arrival of his officially labeled polo shirt.
Family was the most important thing to Nick and he genuinely adored his grandparents. His maternal grandfather, Conley Egger, restored old tractors. As Nick sat on his grandfather’s lap, bouncing up and down as he pretended to drive the tractor, he would chant, “Boom, boom,” imitating the sound of the motor. From that point forward, his grandfather was lovingly nicknamed “Paw Paw Boom Boom.” Nick loved cheeseburgers and ice cream but nothing could keep him from the special sausage stuffing his paternal grandmother, Mary Lou, made or the goetta his paternal grandfather, Walt, prepared several times a year.
The family enjoyed many wonderful vacations together and were careful to select locations that would accommodate their varied interests. Nick didn’t go on vacation to sit and relax; he wanted to have fun! His favorite place was Hawaii where he could zip line, drive ATVs, bike down a mountain and snorkel. One year, the family planned a dude ranch vacation, and although skeptical at first, Nick was surprised at the fun he had. It became one of his favorite trips.
Nick’s family was close, and they all eagerly anticipated traditional extended-family Sunday dinners, where Nick was able to catch up with his cousins: Adam, Jack, Andrea, Lauren and Nicole. The family never missed a holiday gathering, especially Christmas. Each year, everyone looked forward to how Uncle John and Aunt Denise would disguise their gift for Nick. Would it be hidden under copious amounts of duct tape? Or maybe some cash would be buried at the bottom of a poinsettia plant!
In the basement of the Wilde home, Nick’s “man cave” was fully outfitted for online gaming. He even built a PC using specialized components that helped him become more competitive. An avid UK basketball and football fan, Nick and his Dad were fortunate to attend many games in Lexington; they even splurged to buy tickets to the UK/Louisville basketball game, which was a special memory for them.
With just the two of them, Nick and his sister shared many special moments over the years, but perhaps Meredith’s most endearing childhood memory was when Nick tolerantly allowed her to play hairdresser; she uniquely styled his hair using barrettes, bows and even flowers! They created an unbreakable bond, and Nick lovingly promoted the talents of his sister into their adult years as well. They shared many interests and would never miss a World Cup game or watching the newest episode of The Walking Dead, their favorite show, every Sunday night as they sat side-by-side.
A good judge of character even as a child, Nick intuitively embraced the friendship of those he knew he could trust. He remained deeply devoted to his small circle of friends including his online gaming teammates, most of whom he had not met face-to-face. Generous and thoughtful, yet unassuming, Nick would never seek the limelight for his good deeds; many have surfaced since his passing.
Although his life was far too short, the gift of love he gave to friends and family will remain as his legacy. His loved ones will forever cherish the memories of their precious times together.