Shirley Nichols, 81, of Brookings, passed away on Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2019, at the United Living Community.
A memorial service will be held on Monday, Feb. 11, 2019, at the First United Methodist Church in Brookings at 11 a.m. Visitation will be held the evening prior, Sunday, Feb. 10, 2019, at Eidsness Funeral Home in Brookings from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Eidsness Funeral Home is assisting Shirley’s family with arrangements.
Shirley Nichols was born on Nov. 3, 1937, at the Estelline Hospital. She was the youngest of three siblings born to G. Einar and Hannah (Paulsen) Bjorklund. She spent a happy childhood on the farm in Laketon Township. When her father died in 1951, she and her mother moved to Brookings, where she graduated from high school in 1955. Following graduation, she attended Anderson University in Anderson, Indiana. On July 18, 1959, she married Richard G. Nichols, and together they farmed west of Brookings for 50+ years, until moving to Brookings in 2011.
Shirley was very involved and supportive in her role as a farmer’s wife. She enjoyed cooking for farm employees, and helping with animal chores. She loved the animals, especially a German Shephard named DJ. In the summertime she planted many flowers and mowed a large lawn, and always enjoyed it, and always being able to enjoy the South Dakota sunsets and all seasons.
She is grateful to her parents for modeling in her a great love for Christianity, the role of the church in the world, and a great appreciation for music. She enrolled as a non-traditional student at SDSU, and received her BME degree in vocal music in 1986, after which she taught music in public schools, retiring in 2002, after teaching at Brookings Hillcrest Elementary. She also had a passion for choral music, where she loved to sing and direct choirs. Shirley taught high school and elementary choirs, and directed the choir at First United Methodist Church in Brookings.
She was preceded in death by her brother, Darrel Einar Bjorklund; sister, Darlene Mardel Iverson; and two special babies that joined God before they walked in this life.
She is survived by her husband, Richard Nichols; son, Phillip Richard Nichols (Nancy Duncan); daughter, Kathleen Marie (Eric) Karen; and grandchildren: Zachary and his wife Brooke, Adam, Kyle, Joseph, and Carson.