A Celebration of Life for William M. Nichols, 27, was held at 10:30 a.m., Friday, Aug. 8 at the Evangelical Free Church in Atlantic. A Celebration of Life was held in California on Tuesday, Aug. 12 at 4:30 p.m. with a reception to follow at Covenant Community Church in Vacaville, Calif.
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William Mark Nichols was born on Sept. 30, 1986 to Dick and Cindy Nichols, and died in a car accident on Aug. 2, 2014 near Sacramento, Calif. He was the fourth of five in their tribe of original seven (that continues to expand) who grew up on the little dairy farm outside Lewis.
Mediocre did not exist in his vocabulary. From the time he could walk, William's mischief was worthy of superlatives. William's imagination led him to search through cupboards, toolboxes and engines to create things like lawn mower go-carts, telephone pole cabins, and a giant, floating dock called the Hornswaggler.
Many would say he was the best at being loyal, the best at giving advice, the best at shooting off fireworks, the best at problem solving, the best at power naps, the best at listening, the best at laughing out loud, the best at middle-of-the-night excursions, the best at building things, the best at encouraging others, the best at car talk, the best at sing-dance-screaming, the best at cheering people on, the best at sincerity, and the best at loving his wife with a servant heart.
He wouldn't say he was the best at anything, because he didn't like to talk about himself.
Irrepressible, that's what his mom calls it. It was his ability to show up for family and friends when they were in need – his ability to produce hearty laughter or a bargain car part or a perfectly timed witty remark or the right type of old wisdom. He did not rush conversations with Grandpa in the shop, did not hesitate to go out of his way to celebrate someone else's success, and rarely turned down an offer to dance, especially in a car. His strength made everyone believe he was invincible including himself.
What William wanted to love most was also what made him most strong: Jesus. William's faith in Jesus Christ fueled his efforts as an athlete on the sports field, as a counselor and mentor at Bethany Camp, and on every crazy, daring, fearless adventure. His faith looked like loving teammates and campers and friends with a steady fierceness that made people want to be in his circle. He wasn't exclusive about his generosity. If he had something you needed, he would find a way to make it yours.
William attended Iowa State University and graduated with a degree in Agricultural Engineering, although most would say he never needed the degree. He worked as an engineer at Quality Manufacturing in Urbandale, and at Sierra Conveyor Company in Rocklin, Calif.. He was determined to be a man of integrity in school, at home, and at his work. He was involved in intramural sports, Campus Crusade for Christ, family tailgates, garage sale-ing, snowboarding excursions, and many road trip escapades to California, Canada, New York, and Europe with the friends he counted as brothers.
When William met Grace Kristy in 2007 at Bethany Camp, his love put a permanent dorky grin on his face and he spent the whole summer trying to impress her. After three weeks, he asked her to be his girlfriend on the roof of the cabin he built. For the next seven years, Grace was his joy. He loved serving her, adventuring with her, sharing her gifts with family and friends, and living everyday life with her. In their love for each other, they worked hard to serve and love well. They demonstrated Christ's love and encouraged so many to find hope in Jesus and they were determined to do the hard work of marriage to the glory of God. He was a better man because of her love.
He was preceded in death by his grandmother, Avonell Nichols, his nephew Isaac Nichols, his mother-in-law Wendy Kristy, and his grandmother-in-law, Mary Ann Kristy.
He is survived by his wife, Grace Nichols; his parents, Dick and Cindy Nichols; his grandparents, Joe and Phyllis Sponsler, Fletcher and Colleen Nichols; his siblings, Sam and wife Bethan, Christina, Caroline and husband Patrick, James and fiance Carly; and his niece and nephews, Natalie, Levi, and Joel; his father-in-law, Scott Kristy; his brother-in-law Ben Kristy and wife Erica and their son Grayson; Grace's grandparents Bill Kristy and Ken and Judie Whitham. William is also survived by a whole host of cousins, aunts, uncles, friends, and honorary brothers and sisters.
William's family encourages a contribution to a memorial fund that will be established in his name. Memorials will be distributed to ministries that were important to Will, including Bethany Farm Christian Camp, Freedom for Youth, and In Faith Ministries, supporting Sean and Rebecca Trostrud.
Published in AUDUBON COUNTY ADVOCATE JOURNAL from Aug. 8 to Aug. 15, 2014