Nancy Nichols


Nancy Joan (Williams) Nichols of Champaign, 85 years old, passed away on Saturday, January 1st, 2022. She was born on August 17th, 1936 in her home in Woodland, attended Watseka Community High School, and lived in central Illinois her entire life.

Nancy received her Bachelor of Music Education from Augustana College in Rock Island and spent many years sharing her deep love of piano with others. She worked with multiple children’s choirs and sang in several adult choirs. Navigating the life of a minister’s wife, she involved herself in the music programming of various churches across the state over the years.

Aside from music, Nancy’s other big love was the theatre. She was involved in local community theater for many years, appearing in productions at Parkland Theater and The Station Theatre in Urbana. Believing whole-heartedly that “All the world’s a stage,” Nancy brought her passion for entertaining to everything she did.

Anyone who knew Nancy was touched by her kindness. She was involved in local social justice causes and volunteered much of her time at The Empty Tomb and the Presence Hospital Chaplain’s Office. Nancy was a member of First United Methodist Church in Champaign, and later became a member of the Unitarian Universalist Church in Urbana. She was also a friend of Bill W. and beloved by her community.

She is survived by her husband, James Gerald Nichols (Jerry); her children, Julie Kay Nichols (Kempe) and Cynthia Jane Nichols (Applegate); grandchildren, Rachael Violet Barga (Pope) and Matthew James Barga; and one great-grandson, Jayden Matthew Burton.

She was preceded in death by her parents, Violet Iola Weinrank and Deane John Williams; her brother, Deane Richard Williams (Ruth); and her sister Leona June Williams Davies (Donald).

There will be a small private viewing and service for the family at Morgan Memorial Home. If you wish to leave condolences for the family or share about Nancy, please visit:

A memorial celebration of Nancy’s life will take place later this year.