Graveside services for Velma Louise Nichols of Seymour were held Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in the Seymour Masonic Cemetery, under the direction of the Holman-Howe Funeral Home of Seymour.
Velma Louise Kleier was born on Sept. 25, 1930, in Diggins to Remon and Nellie (Cornelison) Kleier.
She passed from this world on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020, at her daughter’s home in Columbia, just 11 days after her 90th birthday.
On July 9, 1950, she was united in marriage to Bob Nichols, and they shared almost 60 years together.
She was preceded in death by her parents; her husband; an infant daughter; a brother, George, and his wife, Laura Nell; a brother, Dean; an infant brother, Remon Roy; Bob’s parents, Harry and Hulda Nichols; a sister-in-law, Charlene, and her husband, Fred; and a brother-in-law, Hal, and his wife, Laverne.
She is survived by her daughter, Linda, and husband Jim of Columbia; two grandsons, Andy of Columbia and Rob and his wife, Katie, and great-granddaughter Hallee Marie of Kansas City; several nieces and nephews, as well as a wealth of other relatives and many close friends.
After attending the Diggins school for her grade-school years, Louise moved to Seymour in 1943, and she graduated from Seymour High School in 1948.
She took classes at the State Teachers College and then taught at rural Webster County schools such as Flint Hollow, Gentry, Teagues and Burnett.
In 1951, she and Bob welcomed the birth of their daughter, Linda. The young family moved to Wichita, Kan., for a short period, where the couple worked at Beech Aircraft.
The couple moved back to their hometown of Seymour in 1953, when Bob became postmaster. Louise was a homemaker and substitute teacher for Seymour’s schools throughout the late 1950s and 1960s.
In 1969, she accepted a position as librarian for the Seymour R-II School District and then later worked as the secretary for the high-school principal, Floyd Blankenship. She served in this role until her retirement in 1982.
Louise was a devoted mother, grandmother and great-grandmother.
She was dedicated to her family and had the distinction of attending every single biannual Chaffin family reunion, including the most-recent event in Tucson, Ariz.,
which she attended at the age of 87 in 2018.
Louise was a longtime member of the Seymour First Christian Church, where she often served as the pianist.
She and Bob served as election judges for many years, and they each worked to conduct the 1990 census in Webster County.
Bob and Louise enjoyed their retirement years.
She gained the beloved nickname of “Honey” Nichols by her oldest grandson while working on a jigsaw puzzle.
The couple enjoyed several trips across the U.S. with friends and family. Shortly after retirement, they engineered a family vacation with the Hunter clan to Gulf Shores, Ala., and then on to Orlando, Fla., and Disney World, introducing the boys to the wonders of “Mickey Mouse” and the Gulf of Mexico. In later years, Bob and Louise took multiple cruises, including one to the Caribbean and one with several close friends down the Alaskan and Canadian coasts from the Denali National Park.
Louise was known throughout Webster County for her legendary apple-pie baking skills. She won multiple prizes at the annual Seymour Apple Festival, including the Grand Champion Award in 2007.
In 2015, she served as one of the grand marshals at the Seymour Apple Festival parade for her pie-baking exploits.
She enjoyed many other activities, including crocheting, gardening and canning of pickles.
Some of her family’s happiest memories is of playing late-night card games, such as Rook or rummy, where everyone always played for keeps.
Her grandsons also cherish the summer softball games and family trips to Slacks on the James River.
She faced many health challenges during the last decade of her life with strength and courage, always maintaining a sunny, positive attitude.
The family is grateful for the good work that Dr. Tamala and his team in Springfield did in helping her beat back colon cancer and for the care she received more recently in Columbia from Amanda, Kayla, Cheynne and the team at Compasses Hospice Care.
Louise was a very special person to so many people. Her gentle heart, strong faith and soft-spoken compassion will not be forgotten by the many people who were blessed to know her kindnesses.