Lifelong Kilgore resident and tireless community volunteer, Nina Fern Nichols, 89, joined the church triumphant on Wednesday, August 8, 2018. Nina was born April 8, 1929, to Lottie Lee and Oscar Dickerson and was the youngest of seven children; Floyd, Sis, Ruth, E.K., Marian, and Alton all preceded her in death. Each of them teased that Nina never had to do chores and was spoiled from the start. She slept with her mother until she was 22 years old; that’s the year she married Bobby Nichols and moved just across the road from her family home.
Nina became an exacting, accomplished hostess and friends say no one will ever replace her in that regard. She spent countless hours working for the good of the city she loved and was honored as Kilgore’s First Lady in 1999. For more than 40 years, she served as chairman of various galas and other events for the Kilgore Crisis Center, Laird Hospital, American Cancer Society, American Heart Association, and St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. She served on the boards of the Laird Hospital Foundation, Kilgore Preservation Foundation, and other organizations to which she gave her all. Nina was a member of the Coterie Club for 32 years and St. Luke’s for 77 years.
She is survived by her daughter, Laura McKethan of Kilgore, and five grandsons and their wives — Sarah and David Stanley of Kilgore, Amanda and John Abright of The Woodlands, Kelley and Derrick McKethan of Bryan, Wendy and Brandon McKethan of St. Louis, Mo., and Sabrina and Travis McKethan of Denton. She is also survived by one nephew, Kenneth Dickerson and his wife Barbara of Plano. In addition to her parents, siblings, and husband, Nina was predeceased by her nephew Charles Dickerson and son-in-law Fred McKethan.
Her family would like to acknowledge her loyal and faithful friends. To see those relationships continue uninterrupted as Nina declined in health was an incredible gift. In her last years, Nina was well cared for at Arbor Grace, where she was known to dress impeccably and put on her pearls every day. She was one of a kind.
Memorial services were 2 p.m. Friday, August 10, at St. Luke’s United Methodist Church with Reverend Ben Bagley and Reverend Robert Besser officiating.
If you choose to honor Nina’s memory with a donation, please consider the Kilgore Historical Preservation Foundation, St. Luke’s United Methodist Church organ fund, or the Texas Shakespeare Festival Foundation.
Please leave online condolences www.raderfuneralhome.com