Lemley Chapel
Serving Sedro-Woolley &
All of Skagit County Since 1935
1008 Third Street
Sedro-Woolley, WA
Ella A. Nichols Memorial
Ella A. Nichols Memorial

Ella A. Nichols

Ella A. Nichols

Thursday, May 13th, 2010

Ella A. Nichols, 98, a longtime Lyman area resident, passed away on Thursday, May 13, 2010 at the Creekside Retirement Community in Burlington.

She was born on November 21, 1911 in Seattle, Washington, the daughter of Jesse & Elizabeth (Huelsdonk) Smith.

The family made their home at Sauk, Washington until moving to Burlington in 1914 where Ella was raised and attended school, graduating from Burlington High School in 1929.  She attended the then Bellingham Normal School (WWU), graduating in 1931.

She began her teaching career in a one-room school house near Quinault, Washington.

On June 17, 1939 Ella was united in marriage to Raymond Nichols in Burlington and they made their first home in Sedro-Woolley, later moving to a farm west Lyman where she made her home for nearly 70 years.

Over the 32 years of her teaching career Ella also taught in Burlington, Samish, Sedro-Woolley, Clear Lake and Lyman.

She was a member of the Retired Teachers Assoc., the Territorial Daughters, Chapter 1; She served on the Skagit Council on Aging Board for many years and has been a member of the Skagit Valley Grange since 1935.

Ella enjoyed traveling, especially visiting family in Germany. She also enjoyed gardening, ceramics, baking and spending time with her great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Raymond in 1996; her parents; an infant sister, Betty Smith; 3 sisters-in-law, Eva Smith, Virginia Nichols and Glenda Nichols and 3 brothers-in-law, George, Harvey & Owen Nichols.

Ella is survived by her daughter, Sibyl Wilfong and her husband George of Puyallup, WA and her son, Frank “Pete” Nichols and his wife Gail of Lyman. Granddaughters, Michele Perry and husband Ed of Burlington, Margaret “Peggy” Haskey and husband Steve of Puyallup and Christi Swatzell and husband Mark of Sammamish. Grandsons, Tom Wilfong and his wife Cindy of Camano Island and Jon Nichols and his wife Mindi of Lyman. 9 great-grandchildren, Elizabeth & Chelsey Haskey, Brett & Brock Wilfong, Ryann & Renae Perry and Alivia, Allison & Carson Nichols. Her brother, Frank Smith of Burlington; sister-in-law, Doris Nichols of Sedro-Woolley and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins.

The Nichols family suggest that memorials be made to Children’s Hospital, the Skagit Valley Grange Building Fund or the Skagit Council on Aging.    They also wish to thank the staff of Skagit Hospice  and at the Creekside Retirement Community for their loving care and friendship.

Funeral Services will be held on Wednesday, May 19, 2010 at 1:00 PM at Lemley Chapel in Sedro-Woolley.  Interment will follow at the I.O.O.F. section of the Sedro-Woolley Union Cemetery.


  • Judy Bell

    I was just talking yesterday with my folks about what a great influencs this teacher/lady made in my life. I am a teacher of 28 years in Franklin, NC. I always enjoyed her 3rd grade class and the intresting art projects we did. The trip to her farm for the sheep shearing. I went home with a box of chicks. (Buff Cochins?) I take my hat off to this person. I hope that I have touch a few heart also, but I could never compare to Mrs. Nichols.

  • David Hodgin

    One of my fondest childhood memories was 3rd grade at Lyman school. Mrs Nichols had a way of making us feel loved and like members of her family. What a wonderful person.

  • Ray &Jan Nichols Chapman

    The smell of freshly baked bread. Vying with my sister Judy to get the end piece. Coffee cake, that to this day I cannot replicate. It melted in your mouth. Christmas gatherings. Traveling in conditions that our parents would later say had been “foolish” from Bellingham to be with the family “up-river.” Summer picnics at the farm. Playing in the barn until I couldn’t breathe and my eyes were red because I was allergic to the hay, but doing it anyway. Chickens, cows, peacocks and a mean Shetland pony. A voice, very distinct, perhaps from years of teaching school. Welcoming and kind. In later years hosting a baby shower for our first child. The aunts getting together and making ceramic presents for the grandkids and great nieces and nephews that are still on display in our home today. All these memories and so many more you leave behind. A fond farewell to a wonderful lady. We will miss you Aunt Ella.

  • Joanie Nagatani

    Ella was always a lady- she loved to explain who sent her flowers & how lovely the arrangement was. We would watch ” Martha Stewart ” on tv when I would deliver her flowers. She will be missed at Creekside. Ella is in my thoughts & prayers.
    Sincerely, Joanie

  • David Hunter

    M rs Nichols was my 4th grade teacher at Clear Lake I think 1960 she was always good to me even though I was a little trouble maker.She always had time for us kids, a wonderful woman has passed may her rewards be great to the family my prayers are with you David Hunter

  • Doris (Queen) Groves

    I remember when “Pete’s Mom” would be our substitute teacher at Lyman. She apparently had a long and happy life and left lots of good memories. My prayers for comfort are with her family.

  • Janet (Bistodeau) Loe

    Great memories of attending our three room school at Samish with teachers Mrs. Healey, Mrs. Nichols and Miss Webber. Especially loved the fire escape drills. Seems Mrs. Healey and Mrs. Nichols always got their deer each fall. Mrs. Nichols was always so nice to us.