Funeral services for Curtis Nichols, 91, of Monroe, will be held at 2 p.m. Sunday, August 9, 2009, at First United Methodist Church of Monroe with the Rev. Larry Stafford officiating. Interment will follow at Mulhearn Memorial Park Cemetery under the direction of Mulhearn Funeral Home, Sterlington Road, Monroe.
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Mr. Nichols was born to Dr. & Mrs. M. L. Nichols on February 14, 1918 in Chillicothe, Texas and passed away Thursday, August 06, 2009, at Christus St. Joseph Nursing Home. His family moved to Rayville in 1929 where his father was a veterinarian. They resided in Rayville, Monroe and Bastrop during his life. He lived 18 months of his life at the home of his grandson, Kurt Heidtman and his wife, Meg, and their children, Garrett, William and Lily in Monroe and last resided at the Christus St. Joseph's Home in Monroe.
Mr. Nichols graduated from Rayville High School in 1937 and then played football on a scholarship at Marshall Jr. College. He was married to the late Earlean Guynes and Birdie Smith.
Mr. Nichols was the owner of the following businesses: Nichols Motor Company in Monroe from 1942-1954; co-owner with Slim Scogin of an auto auction company in Monroe from 1946-1954; co-owner with brother, M. F. Nichols, of Nichols Wrecking Co. during the 1960's and 70's; Nichols Ford Co. in Rayville from 1954-1981; Courtesy Ford Co. in Bastrop from 1968-1994. Nichols' dealerships received much recognition during his ownership. He won the Ford Distinguished Dealer award over 20 times. He traveled extensively throughout the world as a result of the success of his dealerships and traveled to 10 nations in Europe. He also made journeys to Japan, Hong Kong, Central America and the Caribbean. His list of travels also includes many cities in the United States as a result of dealership performance.
Mr. Nichols was past member of Bayou Desiard and Morehouse Parish Country Club. Civic activities include the Monroe Pacesetters and the Boy Scouts of America, former member of the Rayville Kiwanis Club and the Lotus Club of Monroe. Mr. Nichols was inducted in the ULM Athletic Hall of Fame in 2007. He is credited as being one of the founders of the now ULM Athletic Foundation and served as its first President in 1956. He held the position again in 1964. He is still the only person to serve in this position twice in non-consecutive terms.
Mr. Nichols was a U. S. Navy 1st Class Seaman honorably discharged in 1946. His hobbies include hunting, fishing, cards, and a great love for golf.
Mr. Nichols was preceded in death by his son, Curtis J. "Sonny" Nichols, Jr.
Survivors include his daughter, Carol Nichols Johnston of Monroe; grandsons, Kurt Heidtman and wife Meg of Monroe, Curtis Nichols III and wife Dana of Alvin, Texas, and Shannon Ray Nichols of Houston, Texas; great-grandchildren, Curtis Nichols IV of Alvin, Texas, Lily Heidtman of Monroe, Shane Nichols of Houston, Texas and Carson Nichols of Alvin, Texas; brother, Jack Nichols and wife Becky of Pensacola, Florida; step daughter, Shannon Andrepont of Monroe; step grandchildren, Brittany Wiltcher, Amber Andrepont, Breanna Andrepont and Stacy Luther, all of Monroe; step great-grandchildren, Garrett Heath, William Heath, Sorena Mayo, Aria Luther and Astrid Luther, all of Monroe and Cameron Smith of Alvin, Texas; special nieces, Pat Guynes of Rayville and Billie Nichols Smith of Arcadia.
Pallbearers will be Mel Cohen, Tom Hayes III, Flint Robinson, Jim Clyatt, Frank Serio, Eugene Smith, Charles Bier and Skeeter Boyd. Honorary pallbearers will be all former employees of Nichols Ford-Rayville and Courtesy Ford-Bastrop, Toby Bancroft and Maurice Raphael.
Visitation will be from 5 until 7 p.m. Saturday at Mulhearn Funeral Home, Sterlington Road, Monroe.
The family wishes to extend special thanks to his caregivers during his two- year illness: Sheila Crocker and Deborah Criss.
Online Registry/Condolences: www.mulhearnfuneralhome.com
Published in Bastrop Daily Enterprise from Aug. 7 to Aug. 11, 2009