LAKELAND - Forrest James "Jay" Nichols, 91, died September 30, 2012 in Lakeland due to natural causes.
Mr. Nichols was born November 2, 1920 in Marie, Arkansas. He enlisted in the U. S. Army in 1942 and parachuted into Normandy on D-Day (June 6, 1944) and into Holland during Operation Market Garden (September 17, 1944). He also fought in Bastogne, Belgium during the Battle of the Bulge from December 18 to December 31, 1944 when he was wounded in action and transferred home. Mr. Nichols moved his family from East Prairie, Missouri to Lakeland in 1962. He was in the wholesale produce business until his retirement.
Mr. Nichols was preceded in death by his parents Forrest and Lena Belle Nichols, his sister Eloise and his grandson Michael Ryan. He is survived by his wife of 65 years Loretta G. Nichols of Lakeland, sons Forest Jay Nichols of Managua, Nicaragua, Michael Van Nichols and Stephen Ross Nichols, both of Lakeland. Also surviving are 11 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren.
Mr. Nichols was a member of the Masonic Lodge in Charleston, Missouri, 101st Airborne Association, VFW, Veterans of the Battle of the Bulge, and a longtime supporter of the Lakeland High School football program. He was an active member of the South Lakeland Church of God which became TBA Church.
The family will receive friends from 6 to 8 PM Wednesday at Lakeland Funeral Home. Funeral services will be held 2 PM Thursday at TBA Church. Entombment will follow in Lakeland Memorial Gardens. The family requests those wishing to make contributions make them to TBA Church in Mr. Nichols' name.


Published in Ledger on Oct. 3, 2012