Ernest Delano Nichols, 82, of Beckley, WV passed away Saturday November 16th, 2019 after a long battle with cancer. Born June 11, 1937 in Sophia to the late Elder Ulysses George and Edna Jane Nichols.
A 1954 graduate of Sophia High School, he received his BA at Morris Harvey College and earned his Masters Degree in Social Work from West Virginia University.
Ernest was a member of the Zion Primitive Baptist Church, a Veteran of the US Air Force and a life member of the DAV Chapter #18, American Legion Post #32, VFW post #4326 and Korean War Veterans Assoc.
He served as a Council Member, Town Recorder/Treasurer and two terms as the Town of Sophia’s Mayor.
In his early career he started teaching school at Iaeger Elementary in McDowell County, he later taught at Sophia Grade School where he was also the school’s basketball coach. He left teaching to pursue a career in Social Work where he worked for the State of West Virginia as a Child Welfare Worker. He was later employed by the VA Medical Center as Acting Chief of Social Work. He left the VA to establish the Vietnam Veterans Outreach Center in Beckley and served as Veterans Readjustment Team Leader until he retired in 1999.
Ernest was very proud and devoted to his immediate and extended family, had a wealth of friends, a great sense of humor and loved hearing and telling jokes. He loved spending time with his brother Sam, hunting, cooking and going to bluegrass festivals. As a hobby he enjoyed traveling and researching his family’s genealogy.
Ernest was a proud and devoted WVU fan, a very giving person always willing to help anyone in need and loved entertaining family and friends around the holidays. After retirement he loved spending time with longtime friends, Andrew Moscarito, Darrel Harvey and Jim Boyd. He will always be remembered and cherished by all who knew him.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Elder Ulysses George and Edna Jane Nichols, stepmother Letha Nichols, siblings Estel Nichols, Baby Nichols, John Nichols, Shirley Shumate, Charlotte Nichols, Margaret White, Sam Nichols, nephews John Nichols and Robert Nichols.
He leaves behind to cherish his memories, his sons George Nichols (Paula), Ernest Nichols Jr., his loving and devoted companion of 34 years Shirley Thompson, granddaughter Heather Nichols, great granddaughter Chandler Muffick, nieces and nephews James Richardson (Brenda), Peggy Nichols Vaccaro (Ken), Randy Nichols, Teresa Hart, Michelle Hart, Kim Graham (Bill) and sister in law Sandra Nichols. Extended family Debbie McGraw (Butch), Bobbie Lucas, Christine Lucas, nieces and nephews, Bill McGraw (Kim), Angie Brooks (Calob), Stephanie Adkins (Lonnie), Erik Lucas (April), Holly Lucas (Joe), Martin Lucas (Jennifer), Sonya Lucas (Cindy) and their children and grandchildren.
The family would like to thank Darrell and Wilma Shivley, and Andrew Moscarito for their help and support during this difficult time. A special thanks to Raleigh General Hospital, Bowers Hospice House and Jessica, Sammy and Sean of Pine Lodge for their compassion and kindness through this difficult time.
Pallbearers will be Andrew Moscarito, Jim Boyd, Darrel Harvey, Doug Lovell, Ken Vaccaro, John Kuhn Honorary pallbearers Darrell Shivley, Buford Young, Paul Flannagan, Dannie Barr, Bill Graham
Services will be 1 pm Thursday, November 21, 2019 in the Calfee Funeral Home Chapel with Elders Samuel Lilly and Tommy Pack officiating. Burial will follow in Sunset Memorial Park. Friends may visit with the family on Wednesday, November 20 from 6-8 pm at the funeral home.
The family suggests in lieu of flowers memorial contributions be made to Bowers Hospice House, 454 Cranberry Dr, Beckley, WV 25801.
Arrangements by Calfee Funeral Home.