October 21, 1943 – October 3, 2022
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of our beloved Grace Carol Nichols on Monday, October 3rd at the age of 78. Carol was born in Red Deer on October 21st, 1943 to David and Mabel Brown.
She spent her early years surrounded by family, living above the Brown & Johnson Funeral Home, the business run by her parents and two uncles. Needless to say, she had a unique childhood. As a teenager, she met her future husband, Randall Nichols, a dairy farmer from the Willowdale district east of Red Deer while attending L.T.C.H.S. The city girl had met a farm boy and decided that was the life for her. They were married in 1963 and lived on the Nichols family farm until the early seventies when they decided to move to town.
The hectic dairy farming life had not allowed a lot of family time with children Gregory and Crystal, so the family embarked on a six-month memorable cross country motorhome tour together. The next chapter would involve a move back to farming, but in a new place that not many had heard of. They spent the next 7 years in Meeting Creek, Alberta, farming the land and making lifelong friendships. But Red Deer was home to them, and they returned in the mid 80’s to Willowdale to reclaim some of the family farm and rebuild a successful feedlot operation.
Carol was a natural born caregiver; she gave all of her energy to looking after those she loved. She never said no to a stray dog, cat, or human. Her home, and her heart were open to anyone who needed anything. Her greatest source of pride and joy were her grandchildren, Aidan, Seth, Abby, and Brooke. She was a doting grandma in their early years, until it came time to become a full-time caregiver to her husband, who succumbed to ALS in 2007.
Life took its toll, and carol suffered with poor health for the last part of her life, but still never lost her sharp wit, or desire to help those she loved. She will be forever loved and treasured by her son Gregory and fiancé Charlene, grandsons Aidan and Seth Nichols, daughter Crystal and son in law Jeff Zinken, and her special granddaughters Abby and Brooke Zinken.
Her beloved sister Sharon Stephen, a constant source of support, will miss her terribly, along with her nieces, nephews, cousins, and special friends. A special thank you to all the caregivers on the 3rd floor of Points West Living, who treated her with kindness and dignity. Carol was predeceased by her parents, husband Randall, brother-in-law Rod Stephen and daughter in law Lorie Nichols.
A private family service will be held at a later date. Condolences may be sent or viewed at www.parklandfuneralhome.com.
Arrangements in care of Parkland Funeral Home and Crematorium, 6287 – 67 A Street (Taylor Drive), Red Deer. 403.340.4040.
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