RICHARD V. NICHOLS A resident of Santa Clara Pueblo passed away on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 after a short illness. He was born July 11, 1948 in Santa Fe. He was preceded in death by his grandparents, Cleto and Severa Tafoya and his mother, Mela Tafoya. Mr. Nichols is survived by his siblings, Robert Nichols, (Ann Gutierrez), and Carol Anne Nichols, her son Zachary Packineau, and two daughters, Tracie and Fawn Packineau, as well as Tracie's son Kwahtaa "Kwanee" Packineau and Fawn's daughter Makowa Packineau. Mr. Nichols is survived by a village full of aunts, uncles and cousins descended from Cleto and Severa Tafoya. Richard graduated from Espa¤ola Valley High School and the University of Colorado at Boulder with a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology, and pursued a Master's degree in Education at Harvard University. He had a long and illustrious career in Indian Education which included, through the auspices of the American Indian Higher Education Consortium (AIHEC), successfully lobbying for the enactment in the U.S. Congress of the act which provides the basis for funding tribal colleges throughout the United States. After leaving Harvard in 1980, Mr. Nichols with two other partners founded ORBIS Associates in Washington, D.C., which rose over two decades to become the leading Indian Education consulting firm in the nation. Upon moving to Espa¤ola in 2001, Mr. Nichols, first through Richard Nichols and Associates and then Colyer Nichols, Inc., made important contributions to support the tribal college movement through grants from the W.K. Kellogg Foundation and Indigenous Evaluation through National Science Foundation grants to AIHEC, to which he served as a consultant. Richard is a published author of a children's book, -- A Story to Tell-exploring the experience of growing up as a Tlingit in Kake, Alaska. Richard was also particularly proud of his long-term commitment to the funding and development of Santa Clara Pueblo's Community Library. Although never marrying, Richard showered his love, intelligence, and care on his siblings, and in particular, his nephew Zach and nieces, Tracie and Fawn, as well as his two grandchildren, Makowa and Kwanee. He will be sorely missed by his housemates George Colyer and Ryan Youngbird, as well as his numerous friends and professional colleagues across the United States. Public visitation will begin on Thursday, February 13, 2014 at 6:30 p.m. in the Sangre de Cristo Chapel of DeVargas Funeral Home and Crematory with a rosary to be recited at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated on Friday, February 14, 2014 at 9:00 a.m. at Santa Clara Pueblo Church Burial to follow in Santa Clara Pueblo Cemetery. Family and friends, are invited to gather for a meal following both the rosary and Mass at Eric Tafoya's residence adjacent to the Catholic Church at Santa Clara Pueblo. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the American Indian College Fund in memory of Richard. The family of V. Richard Nichols has entrusted their loved one to DeVargas Funeral Home & Crematory of the Espa¤ola Valley. 505-747-7477 - www.devargasfuneral.com
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DeVargas Funeral Home
623 N. Railroad Ave.
Espanola, NM 87532
Published in Santa Fe New Mexican on Feb. 14, 2014