James “Jim” Nichols, 81 years, of Freeport, formerly of Mt. Vernon, passed away at 8:58 a.m., Tuesday, June 24, 2014, at FHN Memorial Hospital in Freeport.
He was born Sunday, Jan. 1, 1933, in Hannibal, Mo., the son of James J. Sr. and Jo (King) Nichols. He married Patricia R. Miller on Friday, Aug. 4, 1951, in East St. Louis and she preceded him in death on Tuesday, June 19, 2012.
James enlisted into the U.S. Army in June of 1951, and was a veteran of the Korean Conflict. He was honorably discharged in June of 1954. He was a methods engineer for six years with the McDonnell-Douglas Aircraft Company on the Gemini Spacecraft program. James was also a supervisor for Rockwell and Vanex Paint Companies and later became owner and operator of Jeffco Marketing Company. James was a member of Central Christian Church, was past commander and charter member of the VFW Post 9233 and he loved his wife, kids and grandchildren greatly.
He is survived by three daughters, Donna Hovis of Chesapeake, Va., Rhonda Nichols of Manassas, Va. and Penny Tillery and husband Jerry of Freeport; son, James J. “Jeff” Nichols III and wife Cheryl of Mt. Vernon; eight grandchildren, Brandi (Davis) Thomas and husband Wyse of Chesapeake, Va., Sheri Phelps and husband Fred of Felts Mills, N.Y., Christopher Davis of Chesapeake, Va., Kacie Huson and husband Jon of Champaign, James R. “Jamie” Nichols of Mt. Vernon, Chelsea Nichols of Mt. Vernon, Jacob Tillery of Freeport and Joshua Tillery of Freeport; five great-grandchildren; and several nieces and nephews.
Funeral service will be held at 10 a.m. Friday at Hughey Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon with Mr. Randy Sells officiating. Graveside service will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at Valhalla Gardens of Memory in Belleville. Interment will be at Valhalla Gardens of Memory in Belleville.
Visitation will be held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Friday at Hughey Funeral Home in Mt. Vernon.