Nick Nichols was smiling, laughing and looking good Monday morning, but, by the afternoon, the five-term Laurens County coroner had died, according to Chief Deputy Coroner Vickie Cheek.

Nichols died after a more than yearlong battle with various medical complications, but he came into the office Monday morning and was looking well, Cheek said. She said he was in good spirits and talked about having a medical appointment later in the day.

Then, sometime Monday afternoon, Cheek said she got word that he had died at the hospital. Funeral arrangements have not yet been made.

Nichols, who was elected in 2000 and took office in 2001, had hoped to finish his career with another year of serving Laurens County, Cheek said. She joined his office when he was elected.