Henry Adam Nichols

Henry Adam Nichols Born Oct. 31, 1919, died Oct. 1, 2013 Henry Nichols, our beloved husband, father and grandfather, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 1, 2013, 30 days shy of his 94th birthday, surrounded by his loving family. Henry was born October 31, 1919, in Lansing, Michigan to immigrants Louis and Mary (Thomas) Nichols from Deirmimas, Lebanon. After Mary's early death, Henry and his six sisters were sent to live with families throughout Michigan. Edward and Liza Nichols and cousins welcomed Henry to their farm in Holt, Michigan, where he lived and worked throughout high school. These early personal losses and hardships left an indelible impression on Henry. A strong moral compass was forged that would guide him throughout his long life. Every project, of which there were many, was planned from start to finish and patiently seen through to completion. Self-sufficiency ruled and complaints, criticisms, and excuses were never allowed. If you didn't know how to do something, you would seek out Henry to teach you or head to the workshop, teach yourself and become a better person in the end. In 1939, Henry began a 40-year career with the Department of Natural Resources, State of Michigan, holding several managerial positions. In 1941 he enlisted in the U.S. military forces serving with the Air Force in the Asiatic Pacific Theater during World War II until he was honorably discharged in 1946. On February 15, 1945, during a short leave, he married his life partner Rosalie who he'd met while working in her hometown of Roscommon, MI. Upon completion of his five-year tour he and Rosalie returned to Lansing to start a family. His children could always call upon Henry's wealth of knowledge to answer any question. With a family of nine and a desire to take vacations, ever resourceful Henry and Rosalie purchased and outfitted what would become the family's beloved pop-up camper. Beginning in 1969, the next 10 summers were spent on the open road, criss-crossing the country, exploring nearly every state, across Canada and deep into Mexico. Wonderful family vacations continued until 2007 at Lake Michigan and Walloon Lake. The family still recounts stories of those adventures, and the love of travel and the outdoors that took root for everyone. Always kind, sweet, and an attentive listener and conversationalist, Henry instilled values of accountability, hard work, and love of family in his seven children. These family vacations, and the home that Henry and Rosalie built 53 years ago were filled with cherished memories that stand as a testament to this family bond. Henry was truly one of the proud, great men of the Greatest Generation. Those left to honor his memory include his wife of 68 years, Rosalie (Sopscak) Nichols; children Connie (Tim Donovan) Nichols, Carol Nichols, Cathy (Patrick Burnett) Nichols, Gordon (Edana Long) Nichols, Jeffrey (Christine) Nichols, Charlene (John) Merten, Christine (Stewart Binke) Nichols; grandchildren Andy (Tia Cordero) Donovan, Brian Donovan, Bailey Binke and Olivia Binke; great-grandchild Avery Rome Donovan; sisters Ann (Don) Eschenburg and Aletha Whitley, and a host of nieces, nephews, and cousins. He was preceded in death by parents Louis and Mary Nichols; sisters Viola, Mary, Freda, Ruth and brother in-laws; and the special Nichols family of Uncle Edward and Aunt Liza Nichols, and cousins Minera, Angeline, O'Neil, Maner, Deanna, Bessie and spouses. A celebration of Henry's life will be held at a later date. For those wishing, charitable contributions may be made to Great Lakes Caring Hospice Foundation, 900 Cooper Street, Jackson, MI 49202 or Ingham County Medical Care Facility, 3860 Dobie Road, Okemos, MI 48864, in memory of Henry. Friends may share a memory or condolence online at memoriesofhenrynichols@gmail.com.

Published in Lansing State Journal on Oct. 6, 2013