|Birth: ||Mar. 30, 1911|
|Death: ||Mar. 25, 2002|
NICHOLS, RUTH EILEEN—Ruth Eileen McCabe Nichols was born to Edward McCabe and Julia Rose Durkin McCabe on March 30, 1911 at Fairmont, and passed away peacefully on March 25, 2002, at Heritage Crossings in Geneva at the age of 90 years, 11 months, and 25 days. She was one of four children in the family.
Ruth was born on a farm 2 ½ miles southwest of Fairmont, and lived there until graduating from Fairmont High School with the Class of 1928. She attended District 18 county school through the eighth grade. Ruth took normal training in high school and attended summer school at the University of Nebraska to attain a teaching certificate.
She taught school for five years at District 25 near Burress. She lived with two different families, the Jim Tracey’s who lived one-half mile from the school and the Leo Erdkamps who lived one mile from the school. Typically, she would walk to school when the weather was nice; otherwise, they would take her by car.
Ruth was baptized and confirmed into the Catholic faith at St. Helen’s Catholic Church in Grafton. She attended catechism there and grew to become a good Christian woman.
Ruth married Howard Nichols on August 24, 1933, in the Methodist church in Fairmont. Ruth’s deep faith was evident by her hard work and devotion to the United Methodist Women’s organization. After Howard’s death, Ruth returned to her Catholic faith and became a member of St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Geneva.
After their marriage, they moved to Geneva where Howard worked for his father in the Nichols Construction Company.
In 1946, they moved into the “Big White House” on the highway, and she lived there the rest of her life, until a fall made it impossible for her to live alone. She moved into Heritage Crossings in June of 1998.
How can we do justice to the life of a woman like Ruth Nichols in a short obituary? She lived life to the fullest by participating in as many social activities, community organizations, and hobbies as she possibly could. A devoted friend to all, she offered a helping hand to many, often including strangers. Her love for the outdoors was shown by her efforts to have a beautiful yard and flower garden where she spent many hours mowing, weeding her flowers, and picking up sticks to keep her yard meticulous. She loved to golf, take walks, and attend Nebraska football games and other sporting events.
Her many trips to state bowling tournaments produced some amusing tales, including a humorous story about being snowed in at North Platte.
Solving the “Word Jumbles,” doing crossword puzzles, and working the Capper’s Weekly quizzes were ways Ruth endeavored to keep her mind sharp during her years in her own home. Once she became a resident of Heritage Crossings, she enjoyed participating in spelling bees, geography quizzes, and “Name That Tune” games. Ruth enjoyed playing bridge with her friends, and she and Margie Miller taught bridge lessons for several years. She was a life-long learner and encouraged her family in their academic pursuits.
Another interest of Ruth’s was her love of music. She loved to sing, play the piano and organ, and listen to her record collection. Nothing made her prouder than to see her children and grandchildren performing in musicals or at a music contest. While at Heritage Crossings, one of the highlights of her week was the weekly sing-a-long.
Many of her children and grandchildren remember modeling their hats, mittens, sweaters, and capes knitted for them by Grandma Ruth.
Even though Ruth preferred staying at home with her family and friends, she did enjoy the many trips she took with Howard and her friends. Some of her travels took her to Hawaii, Alaska, up to New England coast, and of course, Las Vegas, Nev. Ruth and her gambling buddies enjoyed many exciting times at the black jack tables, in the Keno parlors and pulling the arms of those “one-armed bandits.” Her traveling days were culminated when she, Rose, Carol, and Margaret toured Ireland, the home of her ancestors. Although she was 80, she climbed the many steps of Blarney Castle and kissed the famous stone.
Ruth will always be remembered by her friends and family as a kind, gentle, and patient Christian woman. Pies and rolls were Ruth’s specialties, and Saturday always was a baking day. Holidays would find Ruth shopping, cooking, and decorating, eagerly anticipating the return of her large family. There always was a Christmas stocking for each member of the family, and the Easter egg hunts in the big back yard were memorable for the younger children.
Ruth was preceded in death by her husband; her parents; her sister, Mary Spahr; and brothers, Elmer and Thomas Edward McCabe; two sons, Ronald and “Nicky.”
She is survived by sons and daughters-in-law, Larry and Elizabeth, Ray and Margaret, Thomas, and Dan and Wendee; daughters and son-in-law, Rose and Rod Felix and Carol Kopecky; 20 grandchildren; 16 great-grandchildren; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Helen and Kenneth Hofferber and Audrey Nichols, Maxine Nichols and Carolyn McCabe; and many nieces and nephews.
A rosary prayer service was held on Wednesday, March 27, at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Geneva. Funeral services were also conducted from the church on Thursday, March 28, with Msgr. Ivan Vap officiating. Sue Kleinschmidt provided the music for the service, and granddaughter Lyn sang “Ave Maria” and “The Lord’s Prayer”, accompanied by her husband, Stephen Bouma.
Pallbearers were grandsons Tim Felix, Marc Felix, Mike Felix, Scott Kleinschmidt, Steve Kleinschmidt, Nathan Nichols, and Andy Nichols. Honorary pallbearers were granddaughters Pat Brauer, Nancy Schulz, Sheri Martin, Debbie Nichols, Lyn Bouma, Stacy Nichols, Tracy Nichols, Kelly Brandon, Kim Mandolfo, Heather Frick, Nichole Nichols, Katie Nichols, and Emilee Nichols.
Interment was in the Geneva Public Cemetery.
The Nebraska Signal April 2002
Edward McCabe (1868 - 1941)
Julia Rose Durkin McCabe (1876 - 1965)
E. Howard Nichols (1908 - 1967)
Ronald Allen Nichols (1934 - 1953)*
Howard Nichols (1937 - 1939)*
Created by: M. Jensen Seggerman
Record added: Aug 28, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 75642588