Paul Elmer Nichols, 99, passed away on February 22, 2021. He was born October 21, 1921 in Strathmore, CA, to Arthur Victor and Phebe McClure Nichols, the eldest of three sons. He grew up in Whittier, CA, graduated from Whittier High School in 1939, and attended Fullerton Junior College. During World War II, Elmer enlisted in the U.S. Navy, where he served as a radio technician on Eniwetok Atoll in the Marshall Islands. Upon returning home, he earned a chemistry degree from Whittier College, and started his career with the U.S. Postal Service. During his high school and college years, he was a member of each school's track team.
In 1948, Elmer married Ruby Willsey in Whittier, where they built a house and started a family, that included sons Paul and Wayne. In 1959, he transferred to the Lodi Post Office and moved the family to a "small ranch" outside Acampo. Elmer advanced through the ranks and retired as Lodi's Asst. Postmaster in 1976. This allowed Ruby and him the opportunity to travel before she passed away in 1982. Elmer had many wonderful memories of their 34 years of marriage.
For over 60 years, Elmer was a member of Lodi First United Methodist Church, where he helped Ruby teach Sunday School and manage the church library, served on a variety of committees, assisted with property management, helped assemble the church newsletter, and was a member of United Methodist Men and couples groups.
Church also brought together Elmer and his second wife, Roberta Jensen. Their 1985 marriage in Lodi was the foundation of a new blended family that gave them both an additional 35 years of wonderful memories. Their love of travel took them all over the country on many memorable car, train and riverboat excursions, frequently stopping to visit family and friends.
Elmer's was a lifetime of volunteering and serving others, always willing to help his family, friends, neighbors, church, community and country. He lovingly supported the various projects and sports in which his sons participated. While his young family was involved with the Oak View 4-H Club, Elmer served as an adult leader, teaching basic electrical skills to many club members. For many of his later years, he was an active Sons In Retirement member and officer.
Elmer is preceded in death by his parents, his first wife, Ruby, his brother William, and a grandson, Mathew McCarty. He is survived by his wife, Roberta; his brother, Ralph; his sons, Paul (Liz) and Wayne (Wanda); and by Roberta's children, Roberta Wood (Brett), Robert Jensen and Greta McCarty (Matt). He also is survived by 11 grandchildren, many great-grandchildren, nieces, nephews and cousins.
Funeral services will be held at Cherokee Memorial Park & Funeral Home on March 11, 2021, with visitation from 9 AM to Noon, at Vineyard Chapel, 14165 N. Beckman Road, Lodi. A graveside service will be at 1 PM in Garden of the Gospels with Pastor George Edd-Bennett, officiant. Family and friends are invited to attend with masks and social distancing required. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be sent in Elmer's name to Lodi First United Methodist Church. A Celebration of Elmer's life will be planned and held at some later date.
Published in Lodi-News Sentinel from Mar. 6 to Mar. 12, 2021.