Beverly J. Nickels, age 93, died peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, in Oak Ridge, TN.
A native of Elkhart, IN, she was a daughter of the late Jacob H. and Hazel Jessen Baum. She was a graduate of Elkhart High School and Park University, Parkville, MO. Mrs. Nickels was a 1941 graduate of Case Western Reserve University, receiving a Master’s Degree in Nursing and a Certificate in Public Health Nursing at the University of Washington, Seattle.
During World War II, she served in the Army Nurse Corps and received the rank of First Lieutenant. She was a staff nurse at Kennedy General Hospital and instructor at the Medical Technicians School, Fort Sam, Houston, TX. While living in Washington State, Mrs. Nickels was employed as the Pierce County Health Department and the Seattle Visiting Nurse Services.
At the time, she was married to the late John B. Murphey, they moved to Mountain City, TN. Mrs. Nickels taught at Johnson County High School, Trade Elementary and Shady Valley Elementary Schools. She served as President of the Wesleyan Service Guild and Neighborhood Chairman of the Girl Scouts.
In Johnson City, Mrs. Nickels taught at the College of Nursing at East Tennessee State University, retiring after seventeen years of service with the rank of Professor. She served as the first President of Sigma Theta Tau, Nursing Honorary and a lifetime member of the East Tennessee State University Retirees Association serving as a member of the board and on the membership committee.
Mrs. Nickels was a member of Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, serving on the Administrative Board; the United Methodist Women Circle leader and Treasurer. As a member of the Philosophers class, she served as President and Treasurer; she was also a member of Munsey Service Group and Munsey Mixers. Mrs. Nickels was a member of the Monday Club Auxiliary, serving as Vice President and corresponding secretary. Her volunteer hours were spent with the Salvation Army lunch program and Lunch Break with Communities in Schools.
In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her first husband, John B. Murphey, 1970; second husband, James Ferguson Nickels Jr., 2007; one sister, Rosemary Sinclair.
Survivors include two sons, James Murphey, Hampton, TN, Richard Murphey, Johnson City; two daughters, Laura Theis and husband, Rick, Unicoi, TN, Kathy Lafollette and husband, Larry, Knoxville, TN; four grandchildren, Laura Kraus, Jon Laster and wife, Ashley, Elizabeth Murphey, and Pat Murphey; four great grandsons; two great granddaughters. Several nieces and nephews also survive.
The funeral service for Mrs. Nickels will be conducted at 11:30 AM Friday, October 18, 2013, at Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church with Bishop Richard Looney and Rev. Douglas Grove-DeJarnett officiating. Music will be under the direction of Rev. Douglas Grove-DeJarnett.
The family will receive friends Thursday, October 17, from 5-7 p.m. in the West Chapel of Appalachian Funeral Home.
The graveside service and interment will follow the funeral service on Friday at the Mountain Home National Cemetery with Military Honors provided by the Boone Dam VFW.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the East Tennessee State University Women’s Basketball Team, East Tennessee State University School of Nursing Program, or to Munsey Memorial United Methodist Church, Johnson City, TN.
Memories and condolences may be shared with the family at www.appfh.net.
Appalachian Funeral Home and Cremation Services, 800 E. Watauga Ave., Johnson City, TN, is serving the Nickels family. (423) 928-6111