CULBERTSON, Nebraska -- Merlin Elda Nichols, 93, passed away Sunday (Dec. 26, 2010), at the McCook Community Hospital.
He was born June 23, 1917, on a farm near Concordia, Kansas, to Lewis Elda and Edith Evelyn (Anderson) Nichols. Merlin spent his early years near Concordia. He attended grade school in Menlo, Kansas, high school in Brownsville, Kansas, and post graduate in Colby, Kansas.
He married Katie Neola Smith Oct. 3, 1941, in Colby. Merlin and Katie began farming south of Levant, Kansas. Merlin was always interested in electricity and he was the first to have electric lights in western Kansas.
In 1946, Merlin and Katie purchased a farm between Culbertson and Trenton, Nebraska, where they raised their family of five.
Merlin enjoyed being a farmer, 4-H leader, on the Hitchcock County Fair Board and Farm Bureau Board. Merlin was active in the men's group at his church, the United Methodist Church in Culbertson. He loved to play his violin, and to call square dances in the area with his brother Virgil.
Merlin was preceded in death by his parents, Lewis Elda and Edith Nichols; wife of 67 years, Katie Neola (Smith) Nichols; two brothers, Virgil Nichols and Vernon Nichols; and one sister, Verna Krueger.
Merlin is survived by his five children, Jay and wife, Shirley of Shawnee, Kansas, Jerry and wife, Rhonda of Winona, Kansas, Paul and wife, Mary of Culbertson, Dennis and Cathy of Culbertson, Carolyn and husband, Dana Parker of Rapid City, South Dakota; two sisters-in-law, Eileen Smith and Lee Nichols, both of Kansas; brother-in-law, Harry Krueger of Kansas; 25 grandchildren (14 great-grandchildren), Chad and Charla Nichols (Audra and Kalyssa), Shannon and Shane Gottfried (Kota and Kyra), Bryce and Stephanie Nichols, Dathan and Sarena Nichols (Nathanial, Josyln and Chandra), Kasiah and Shea Rothchild (Kallan and Kenadie), Kysha Nichols and fiancÚ Dereck Totten, Jael Nichols and fiancÚ Cal Meyers, Jerray Nichols, Kyle and Nancy Nichols (Nicole and Chris), Kevin Nichols, Karen and Marcus Machart (Kiley and Taylor), Shawn Parker, Brooke and Chad Andersen, Brette Nichols (Grace), and Amy Nichols; and many nieces and nephews and beloved friends.
Funeral services are Thursday, 10:30 a.m., at Trinity United Methodist Church in Culbertson with the Rev. Corey Jenkins officiating. Interment is in the Culbertson Cemetery.
Visitation is Wednesday at Herrmann Funeral Chapel in Culbertson from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Memorials may be given in his name and left at the funeral home.
Herrmann Funeral Home is in charge of the arrangements.