Rose Mary Nichols (nee Barlow), 89, of LaGrange Township, died Tuesday, April 16, 2013, at Keystone Pointe in LaGrange. She was born July 14, 1923 in Elyria and was a 1941 graduate of Elyria High School.
Rose Mary was in the first group of female students to be admitted into the EHS Marching Band. She was an active participant in 70 years of high school reunions, where lifelong friendships have been maintained with many of her classmates. In 1955, the family moved to LaGrange Township.
A love of children and the Lord led her to a position as Director of Children’s Education at First Congregational United Church of Christ in Elyria from 1957-1962. Her joy of Christian Camping is a legacy that has been passsed down through her daughter and grandchildren.
In 1962, she left church work to pursue a degree in Elementary Education at Kent State. In spite of her son’s sudden death in 1963, she graduated with honors and taught in the Keystone Schools for 22 years. She is fondly remembered by her former first and second grade students. The highlight of the school year was always a unit on airplane flight with instruction on the TR-1, an interactive "trainer" built by her husband.
Rose Mary retired from teaching in 1988, but did not retire from service to others. In addition to camping across the USA with Doug, she volunteered in the school, continued teaching Bible Classes at Penfield Community Church, counseled grieving parents at The Compassionate Friends, and answered phones for Love, Inc. She will also be missed by her "pool pals" at Kendal at Oberlin. Her zest for life never faded.
Rose Mary is survived her husband, Douglas, whom she married April 17, 1943; daughter and son-in-law, Diane and Jim Fields of Export, Pennsylvania; grandchildren, Paul (Shaune) Fields of Medina, Jill Fields of St. Petersburg, Florida and Douglas (Andrea) Fields of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; great grandchildren, Eliza Rose Mary Fields, Samantha Fields and Ethan Fields; brother, Don Barlow of Sarasota, Florida; and numerous beloved members of her extended family.
She was preceded in death by a son, David Nichols; parents, Don and Ella Barlow; and a sister, Lois Rieth.
Friends will be received Friday, April 19, 2013, from 5 to 8 P.M., at Dicken Funeral Home, 323 Middle Avenue, Elyria. A memorial service will be Saturday April 20, 2013, at 11 A.M., in Penfield Community Church, 40775 State Route 18, Wellington. Burial will be in LaGrange Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to Love Inc. of Lorain County, P.O. Box 1773, Elyria, OH 44036. For online condolences visit www.dickenfuneralhome.com