Jean Nickel, a dental hygienist who headed professional groups, died of a respiratory illness Friday at Francis Scott Key Medical Center. She was 51 and resided on Holly Hunt Road in Middle River.
A mass of Christian burial for Miss Nickel will be offered today at the Roman Catholic Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, Conkling Street and Foster Avenue.
She worked 35 years in the Highlandtown office of Dr. John Woytowitz, starting as a part-time dental assistant while a student.
A native of Highlandtown, she was a 1958 graduate of Patterson Park High School, attended the University of Maryland in College Park and later graduated from Howard University as a dental hygienist.
She was a former president of the Baltimore City Dental Assistants Association, which she helped to start, and of the Maryland Dental Assistants Association.
Also, she was a former president of the Maryland State Dental Hygiene Association, under whose auspices she traveled to Guatemala about five years ago to spend several weeks as a volunteer worker.
At Patterson Park and at University of Maryland, she played the French horn in marching bands, and she later played with a volunteer East Baltimore band that played in parks and at neighborhood events.
Survivors include her parents, Jeannette and Albert Nickel Sr. of Forest Hill; a sister, Dolores Righter of Timonium; three brothers, Albert Nickel Jr. of Silver Lake, Wis., Leon Nickel Sr. of Timonium and Walter Nickel of Parkville; her maternal grandmother, Rose Weibley of Lancaster, Pa.; nine nephews; and two nieces.
The family suggested memorial contributions could be made to the pulmonary division at the Francis Scott Key Medical Center.