, 71, was born Aug. 28, 1941, at the family home 1 1⁄2 miles northeast of Tiffin to Elmer Audra and Zelma Lee Peterie Nichols. Attending his birth was local Doctor John Richardson with his wife, Zela, as nurse.
Larry started his life long career of farming at age six when his father gave him his first heifer calf. To work off the feed bill, he milked one of his father’s cows using a one legged stool, 10 qt. bucket, and a kerosene lantern.
At about 12 years of age he bought his first piece of farm machinery, a new John Deere tandem disk, and in his words, “It wouldn’t cut hot butter.” Green was never in his color scheme after that. He was a Farmall/IH man, although green was his favorite color, the color green of corn growing in the field.
Larry’s first five years of school were spent at the Graham School located just 1⁄2 mile north of where he would live and farm his entire adult life. His teachers there were Alice Slagle-Glendening, Velda Faye Whitley-Brackenridge and Maggie Miller. The next three years were spent at Union Point School 1 3⁄4 miles south of Tiffin with Leonard Morris, Vera Devaney and Eva Scott as teachers. The remainder of school was at the El Dorado Springs High School where he graduated in 1959. During that time he was very active in FFA and 4-H.
Saturday night of the El Dorado Springs Picnic in 1963, Larry had a blind date that was set up by friends, Gary Cochran and Margaret Ganfield. That date was with Carolyn Lowry. They were married in Vista on Nov. 30, 1963, just 4 1⁄2 months later and spent 49 years together.
Farming was all Larry ever wanted to do. In 1969, Larry and Carolyn built a new Grade A dairy barn. They milked together for 29 years, milking and raising primarily Milking Shorthorns. Larry and Carolyn milked cows until 1998, when his health had declined to where he wasn’t able to do it anymore. He milked for 50 years. Besides milking, he also row cropped and did some custom haying. He had the ability to repair or adapt machinery to fit his needs.
Larry was saved as a teenager at a revival at the Tiffin Baptist Church. He talked of his experience saying that he clearly heard God say “Are you going to accept me or not.” He later became a member of the Speedwell Southern Baptist Church and was baptized in 1977. There he served as Trustee, Assistant Sunday School Director, Sunday School Teacher and an Executive Board Member for the Osage Pomme de Terre Association. He later moved his membership to the 1st Baptist Church of El Dorado Springs and then finally returned to the Tiffin Baptist Church. It is there, that the small table in the preschool classroom, that he sat at as a child in Sunday School, has now had his children, grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren sit at as well.
Larry was involved in many organizations and served on various boards throughout the year including Young Farmers, Land O’Lakes Youth Fair Board, El Dorado Springs R-2 School Board, El Dorado Springs Chamber of Commerce Board, El Dorado Springs Optimist Club, St. Clair County Branch of Production Credit Association Advisory Board, Young Co-Operators and Mid-Am district chairman, resolution committee and Annual Corporate meeting delegate as well as receiving various farming awards.
Even as his health declined, he could be found enjoying the company of his friends at the coffee shop. Those who knew him could tell where he was when they saw the old green truck.
He also looked forward every year to watching his grandchildren play ball. This past summer he watched the games from his scooter in the T-ball, Coaches’ Pitch, Minors and High School leagues and the fall High School softball games. He could be seen nearly at every game, home and away, to support whichever granddaughter was playing at the time, as well as the whole team.
Larry slipped into Jesus’ arms on Thursday, Jan. 10, 2013, at age 71, to a new and perfect body, free of COPD and cancer.
He was proceeded in death by his parents, Elmer and Zelma Lee, and leaves to mourn his passing his wife of 49 years, Carolyn; their children, Sandra Stewart, and husband – Jimmie, Peggy Snodgrass, and husband – Ron and Brian Nichols and wife – Zara; grandchildren – Melissa McGhee and husband – Shawn, Ethan Stewart, Katey Stewart, Tessa Stewart, Rachael Stewart, Allyson Snodgrass, Andrea Snodgrass, Kolton Nichols and Rhielyn Nichols; great-grandson, Zakary McGhee, – all of rural El Dorado Springs; and step-great grandchildren, Daulton McGhee and Wyatt McGhee of Butler, and Tori McGhee – Adrian, as well as a brother, Loren Nichols, and wife, Lois – Rome, GA; sister-in-law, Laveta Stiles, and husband, Bill – Kansas City; brother-in-law, Gene Watson, and wife, Lois – FL, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and friends.
Services were held Monday, Jan. 14, in Sheldon Funeral Home, El Dorado Springs, with Rev. Jimmie Stewart Sr. and Rev. Don Smith officiating.
Soloist Ray Bozarth sang “My Lord Is Near Me All The Time,” “One Day At A Time” and a gospel medley with daughter, Sandra Stewart, accompanying on piano.
Casketbearers were Jim Brown, Sam Bradley, Larry White, Allen Daulton, Donnie Fletcher, James Brackenridge, Shawn McGhee and Jerry Brackenridge. Honorary casketbearers were Ray Bozarth, Willy Pedro and Myron Hiested.
Interment was in El Dorado Springs City Cemetery under direction of Sheldon Funeral Home, El Dorado Springs.
Larry Lee Nichols