Carolyn Krueger Nichols died on Friday, April 13, 2018, in Quapaw, Okla. from natural causes. Carolyn was born January 11, 1930, in Bowling Green, Mo. She attended the University of Arkansas. She met & married her husband, Robert L. Nichols, in 1950 and moved to Baxter Springs, Kan. Carolyn continued her education at Pittsburg State University. She graduated in 1968 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Communications. In1986, after raising her boys, she returned to PSU and graduated as a 4.0 Delta Gamma, earning her Master of Science in Education. Carolyn was a dedicated wife and mother. She was also an active church and community member, a teacher, and newspaper columnist. In 1970, she began her teaching career at Baxter Springs High School, where she primarily taught English. Carolyn considered teaching a wonderful vocation and the relationships she developed with her students and fellow educators, priceless. She was actively involved as senior sponsor, business director of the school musicals, program organizer and sponsor of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. Carolyn served as a mentor to many PSU and MSSU students who fulfilled their professional teaching semesters while under her guidance. As a teacher, she exemplified her belief that, in Nelson Henson’s words, we should “plant trees, under whose shade we do not expect to sit.” Carolyn loved to sew, read, travel, cook and entertain. She wrote a popular column for the local newspaper, “Burnt Offerings from Carolyn” in which she shared her own recipes, as well as those made “famous” by community members. She also published a cookbook by the same name. Carolyn traveled extensively and was often accompanied by her older grandson, Tony. They had many adventures, including one of their favorites, crewing hot air balloons in New Mexico. Carolyn was an active member of PEO. She proudly served three terms as Silver Haired Legislator for Cherokee County in Topeka. Her goal as a public servant was to help improve the lives of the elderly in Kansas. A lifelong and important part of her life was being a member of the First Christian Church, where she served in many capacities throughout the years, including choir member and elder. Her strong will and her unwavering faith guided her through many dark times in her life. Upon retirement in 1993, she stayed in touch with “her kids” by substitute teaching. In any spare time, Carolyn remained an avid reader, cook, painter, and gardener. She dedicated the remainder of her time to friends and family. In 2015, she moved to an assisted living facility in Miami, Okla. with her faithful miniature dachshund, Moose. She made many new friends with whom she enjoyed spending her time. She later moved to a nursing center in Quapaw, Okla. Carolyn endured many physical and mental obstacles during this time. However, from the beginning to the end of her final journey here on earth, she was rarely without a loving spirit and a big smile for those she met along the way. The family wishes to thank the caring staffs of Heartland Independent Living, Higher Call Nursing, and Integris Hospice for their knowledge, guidance, kindness, and extraordinary commitment to Carolyn’s care.
Carolyn was the only child of Fredrick Krueger and Blanche Humphrey Krueger. Also proceeding her in death were her husband, Robert L. Nichols and their sons, Jeffrey L. Nichols & Tracy W. Nichols. Carolyn is survived by one nephew, David Nichols of Tulsa, Okla., one niece, Claudia Quigg of Decatur, Ill., two grandsons, Anthony L. Nichols of Corpus Christi, Texas, and Alex J. Nichols of Kent, Wash., one granddaughter, Shelby D. Nichols of Angleton, Texas, one great granddaughter, Tyler E. Gray of Angleton, Texas, & two daughters-in-laws, Missy Nichols of Angleton, Texas, & Debbie Nichols Herman and her husband, Stephen Herman, of Riverton. Honoring Carolyn’s great love for people of all ages, education, history, and Baxter Springs, the family requests that any memorials go the Johnston Public Library at 210 West Tenth Street in Baxter Springs, Kan., in care of Andrea Burrows, or to the First Christian Church Youth Group, in care of Angela Burrows. A service will be planned for later in the year.