James William Nichols
SEATTLE, WA - James William Nichols, former head of the English Department at Winona State University, died May 18, 2021 in Seattle, Washington at the age of 96.
Born in St. Louis, Missouri, December 26, 1924. He served in the Fox Company, 398th Infantry Regiment in WWII. He graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Missouri (BA), University of Birmingham, England (MA), and University of Washington (PhD), and had a teaching career that spanned 5 decades, including 34 years at WSU. He published numerous academic articles as well as a young adult novel, Boundary Waters (J.M Dent & Sons, 1985). Sabbatical leaves took him to the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, the University of International Business and Economics (Beijing) and Shanghai International Studies University. He was particularly proud of the role the Department of English played in supporting graduate education for students from the Chinese universities.
Non-academic jobs ranged from teaching cricket in an English prep school to stream guarding in Alaska, but travel was central to his life. He camped in six continents and most countries in Europe, staying long enough to pay taxes in five.
Retiring as professor emeritus in 2002, he divided his time between Winona and Cambridge (England), reading and writing memoirs.
He is survived by his wife, Ann: three children: John Nichols (Rebekah Zaveloff) of Chicago, Elizabeth Nichols of Seattle, Mary Alexandra Nichols of San Francisco and grandchildren: Jasper Nichols, Hannah Nichols, and Trayton Nichols. He was preceded in death by his parents and two sisters.