John Joe (Johnny) Nichols

John Joe (Johnny) Nichols, formerly of Lake Mexia, passed away on Dec. 2, 2017 at Groesbeck Long-term Care facility with his family around him. According to Johnny’s wishes, a graveside service was held in the Mexia Cemetery at 2:30 in the afternoon on Sunday, Dec. 3. Chaplain Jon Honea officiated.
Johnny was born on Feb. 1, 1929 in Waco to Eunice Leone Hohenstein Nichols (1904–1993) and John Lockhart Nichols (1898–1974). Johnny attended Waco schools and graduated in 1947 from Waco High, where he was a member of the National Honor Society. Later that year, he took a position in the drafting department of Alamo Steel and Machine Co., where he worked for forty years. Johnny married Nell Sue Whitaker Moore of Waco in 1973, and they moved from her home in Waco to Lake Mexia in 1978. Following his retirement, Johnny was an active member of the Lake Mexia Volunteer Fire Department and was volunteer regional coordinator for AARP, serving the community for nineteen years. As a younger man, Johnny enjoyed playing tennis with friends and traveling to destinations in the U.S. with his family and with the Boy Scouts of America. He fondly recalled his family’s annual summer vacations to Colorado, his father’s love of the outdoors, and his solo trip to Hawaii in the 1960s. Johnny enjoyed watching football, playing 42, observing the weather, and reporting local happenings to friends and family. He was pleased with a recent virtual-bowling trophy and frequently spoke of how much he enjoyed being at Groesbeck LTC. Johnny especially loved visiting with family and recently said that he had lived a full life, was proud of his service to his community and his family, and had no regrets.
Johnny was preceded in death by his parents. He is survived by his wife, Sue Nichols, of Waco, by his son, Jimmy Dale Nichols, and wife, Ann, of Cleburne; by his brother, Charles Nichols, of Crowley; by stepdaughters Elizabeth Moore Willingham and husband Luther Staton of Waco, Carla D. Moore Shillings of Longview, and Kelly K. Moore Dunham and husband Toby of Kerrville, and by their eight children, Emily and Thomas Willingham, Dallas López, Mandy Shillings, Maggie Ivison, Anne Willingham, Matthew Shillings, and Sarah Gendron, their sixteen grandchildren, and one great-granddaughter. Johnny loved and regarded all of them as his own. In addition, Johnny is survived by maternal first cousins, Eunice Barker, Shirley Noah, and Jeane Beasley, with whom he spent many happy times as a child, and by beloved friends around Lake Mexia, in Waco, and at Groesbeck LTC.
The family would like to thank the staff at Groesbeck LTC and the nurses of Providence Hospice, Mr. Joe Brown, and Chaplain Jon Honea for the love, kindness, and support they extended toward Johnny and the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Lake Mexia Citizens Association, The American Cancer Association, or to the charity of the giver’s choice.
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