Ellen J. Nichols, 80, of Preston, passed on Thursday, September 21, 2017, at the Chosen Valley Care Center in Chatfield. She was born in Simpson, Minn., on July 25, 1937, to Adry and Mildred (Wrase) Thomas. In 1955 she graduated from Preston High School. She married Donald O. Nichols on July 24, 1957, at the Pilot Mound Lutheran Church. They moved to Raleigh, N.C., where she spent the next 30 some years raising their family then returning home to Minnesota for retirement.
Before getting married she worked in general service at Mayo Clinic. After marriage, she was busy as a homemaker and over the years worked part-time at the JC Penney candy counter, wrapping gifts at Hudson Belks, doing daycare, and being a demonstrator at grocery stores. She volunteered as a school room mother for many years, at church, the swimming pool, and Meals on Wheels. She was a member of the Lakemont Swim Club (Raleigh), Merry Meeters Birthday Club, Summit Club, Grace Lutheran Church (Raleigh), and Preston Methodist Church.
Ellen loved being on the sidelines cheering on her children and grandchildren in their sporting events and supporting their activities. She was an avid shopper, always making sure birthdays and anniversaries were remembered and sometimes just shared a special gift to brighten your day. She enjoyed baking, gardening, traveling, going to the pool and the beach. Her biggest love was spending time with her family and taking care of her grandchildren.
Her smile and generosity will be dearly missed by her children Denny Nichols (Carolyn) of Henderson, N. C., Denese (Timothy) Lecy of Byron, DeeAnn “DD” (Jim) Himli of Fountain, and Deb Hare of Rochester; her five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, two stepgrandchildren, three brothers and a sister: Lorraine Klomps of Chatfield, Dale (Shirley) Thomas of Plainview, Loren (Mary) Thomas of Houston, and Glen (Doris) Thomas of Fountain; and many nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband, parents, a brother, brother in-law, three stepgrandchildren, and a nephew.
A Big Thank You to the caring staff at Chosen Valley Care Center for providing several years of excellent care, compassion, and friendship; and to Mayo Clinic Hospice for providing wonderful comfort and care to our mother the last few months.
A funeral service for Ellen will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, September 29, 2017, at the Preston United Methodist Church, 212 St. Anthony St. N, Preston, with with Rev. Michael Smith officiating. The committal service will follow at 2 p.m. at Grandview Memorial Gardens in Rochester.
Visitation will be be held from 5-7 p.m.on Thursday, September 28 at Riley Funeral Home in Chatfield and continue one hour prior to the service on Friday at church.
Memorials in Ellen’s honor can be directed to Preston United Methodist Church.
Riley Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements. To share a condolence with the family please visit Rileyfuneralhomes.com.