ODESSA F. L. “Nick” Nichols, 88, of Odessa, went to claim his heavenly reward May 28, 2010 at Hospice House surrounded by his family and friends ending a long productive life.
Born February 21, 1922 at Monett, Missouri to Emma and Jacob Nichols, one of six children Marie, Hazel, Audrey, Ruby, and Don, all of who preceded him in death. In His 88 years he served his country in a number of ways beginning October 17, 1938 when he joined the Civilian Conservation Corps at the age of 16 helping to build roads and bridges across America. He answered the military call in 1942 by becoming a United States Marine. He was a combat rifleman stationed in the Asiatic Pacific: New Zealand, New Caledonia, Hawaiian Islands, Marianas Islands, Japan, and Volcano Islands. Nick and was one of those brave Marines that fought at the battle of Iwo Jima. Nick was a witness of the raising of the American flag on Mt. Suribachi on February 23, 1945. During the action on Iwo Jima he was wounded and received a purple heart. Mr. Nichols was Honorably Discharged on January 24, 1946. He married Norma M. Swanson in De Queen, Arkansas on August 7, 1946. In 1952 they moved to Texas to take advantage of the oil boom, he worked for B & B construction retiring in 1987 after 35 years. During his retirement he became a school crossing guard for the City of Odessa, enduring himself to many children at Zavala Elementary. Mr. Nichols retired in June 2006 and was awarded a certificate of appreciation for 16 years of service.
The greatest love of his life was Jesus Christ whom he served at Central Baptist Church of which he was a charter member. He was a strong and loving person who could be described as a larger than life and will be missed by his family and members of the community.
He is survived by his wife, Norma Nichols; his daughters, Norma Rogers of Odessa, Janice Youngblood of Shreveport, La., and Gwen Hogan and husband Troy of Odessa; seven grandchildren, Kevin Rogers of Odessa, Darren Gandy of Rosebud, Arkansas, Shawna Chelette of Shreveport, Leslie Ensey of Odessa, William King of Oklahoma City, Okla., April Cowan of Brownwood and Jennifer Hogan of Odessa; 15 great-grandchildren; and 4 great-great-grandchildren.
Funeral services for Mr. Nichols will be at 10 a.m. Wednesday, June 2, 2010 at Sunset Memorial Chapel with Vaughny Taylor officiating. Burial with military honors will follow at Sunset Memorial Gardens. Visitation will be 5 to 7 p.m. Tuesday, June 1, 2010 at Sunset Memorial Funeral Home.