Mary “Kathryn” Nichols, 92 of Mansfield, Mo., passed from this world Wednesday, March 14, 2012. She was born July 6, 1919 in Wright County to Tonie H. Thomas and Winnie C. Odell Thomas. At the age of 13 she became a Christian at Little Creek Baptist Church and belongs to Mt. Zion Baptist Church.
She attended grade school at No. 3 School, graduated from Hartville High School in 1937, and graduated with a degree in teaching from SMSU (now Missouri State). She taught for three years at No. 3 School and one year at New Grove School where she met the love of her life. On March 2, 1941 she married the love of her life, O.F. (Fern) Nichols with whom she enjoyed 53 years of marriage and four children together.
Their first was a son, Thomas (Tom), then James (Jim), and Maribeth. In 1945 they moved from their farm on Hwy 38 west of Hartville to the farm on the Gasconade River six miles from Mansfield. There they built a new home and a grade A barn.
In 1951 their fourth child, a son named Ted was born. In September of 1954 Robert Clark and the board asked her to teach school in Mansfield, Mo., where she taught the 5th grade for 34 years. She was very active after her retirement being a part of Retired Teachers.
Kathryn had many loves and hobbies. Family was the closest and dearest to her heart. She spent many hours supporting her family, children and grandchildren in their many endeavors from sports to Missouri Fox Trotters. She had never missed a Show and Celebration or what she referred to as the Jubilee.
She enjoyed making quilts for her children and grandchildren, gardening with a love for flowers, especially roses, and loved to cook, especially angel food cakes. Her door was always open to a friendly face and she would always have something cooking! Kathryn touched many hearts, encouraged and helped mold many lives in her 41 years of teaching.
She was preceded in death by her parents, Tonie and Winnie Thomas; husband O.F. (Fern) Nichols; her sister, Elizabeth Carter; and an infant grandson, Kenneth Earl.
She is survived by her sister Florence Harris; son Thomas (Tom) and Donna Nichols of Ava, granddaughter Lisa Johnson, grandsons Stephen and Jesse, granddaughter Mary Kay and Roger Robinson, great-grandchildren Arianna, Ben, James, Isaac, and Joseph, granddaughter Jean A. Nichols, grandchildren April Kathryn Schuerger and Aaron Schuerger, grandson Jim and Chris Nichols, great-grandson Barrett, grandson Tim and Lindsey Hall, grandchildren Lauren and Hunter; son James (Jim) and Kathy Nichols of Lebanon, granddaughters Mitzi Nichols and D. Andrew Mantle, Monica and Donnie Daugherty; daughter Maribeth and Dan Seaman of Branson West, granddaughter Suzanne and Mike Anglum, great-grandson Alec; son Ted and Glenda Nichols, grandson Brian and Kim Nichols, great-granddaughter Rylee Marie, grandson Brad Nichols, along with extended family and many, many friends.
Funeral services were held at 1 p.m. Monday at Holman-Howe Chapel, Mansfield, with the Rev. Roy Cantrell officiating. Interment was in Mt. Zion Cemetery.
Music was provided by Doc Pickle with Vicki Box, pianist. Selections were “Old Rugged Cross” and “How Great Thou Art.”
Escorts were Brian Nichols, Brad Nichols, Jim Nichols, Mike Anglum, Tim Hall and Roger Robinson, with honorary escorts Randy Nichols, David Nichols, Ernie Cook, Dwayne Cook, Max Greene, Doc Pickle and Leo Reed.
Though your smile is gone forever, and your hand I cannot touch, I still have many memories of the one I loved so much. Your memory is my keepsake, with which I’ll never part. God has you in His keeping, I have you in my heart. Sadly missed, but never forgotten.
(This was a favorite poem of hers that hung on her wall.)