James Robert Nichols, 81, of Champaign, passed away Sunday, Nov. 24, 2013, from complications of COPD.
His memorial service and Masonic rites will begin at 2 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 7, at Owens Funeral Home, 101 N. Elm St., Champaign, with visitation one hour prior to the service from 1-2 p.m.
He was born on June 24, 1932, in Danville, to Robert J. Nichols and Verna Clay Crisp Nichols.
He is survived by wife, Sandra J. Henderson Nichols. They were married on Jan. 6, 1952, in Danville.
Also living are daughters Jo Lenora (Michael) Trautman of Champaign, and Jaye R. Nichols (Kim Stephenson) of Aurora.
James graduated from Danville High School in 1951, and served in the Army from 1952-1953.
Mr. Nichols worked for 40 years in the retail/wholesale food industry. He managed the IGA store in Georgetown from 1958-1967, and retired in 1992 as director of meat operations for 27 years with JM Jones/SuperValu Stores.
He was a loyal patriot and a lifelong die-hard Cubs and Illini fan. He was active with the Georgetown Jaycees, and later was a deacon at First Christian Church in Champaign.
Jim also enjoyed golfing, attending the Indy 500 races, eating at Steak 'n Shake, exchanging emails and training their Boston terrier dogs. He was truly a loving husband, caring father and delighted in his “grand-kitties.”
He was preceded in death by half-sister Karla Jean Nichols Neilsen of Trufant, Mich.
The family is grateful to Heartland of Champaign for their care.
In lieu of flowers, please make donations to Champaign Humane Society.