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Raymond A. Nichols

October 3, 1923 ~ July 1, 2018 (age 94)
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Ray Nichols, 94, of Wilmington, DE peacefully passed from this life on Sunday, July 1, 2018, surrounded by family and friends. Ray was born on October 3, 1923 in Key West, FL, the son of M. Albert and Isabel (Dearborn) Nichols. He grew up in the Boston suburbs of Medford and Somerville, MA. After graduating high school, he worked for GE for two years. In World War II, he served in the Army in Italy, where he was wounded and received the Purple Heart. Returning from the war, he went to Tufts College and attained a degree in Chemical Engineering. In 1950, he moved to Wilmington to work for the DuPont Company at the Louviers site. While working at DuPont, he lived in Mrs. Cooling’s rooming house. In 1954, he married Mrs. Cooling’s daughter, Jean. He later worked for Marco Development Company, and then several companies in Delaware City, including Diamond Shamrock and Georgia Gulf. After retirement, he did volunteer work, most notably in the genealogical archives of Old Swedes Church in Wilmington.

Ray loved music. He took organ lessons in the 1950s. He accompanied the DuPont Chorus, and in the 1960s was the assistant organist at Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church. He was also much in demand as a substitute organist for many other local churches. He sang in many choirs, including the DuPont Chorus and the church choirs of West Medford Baptist in Medford and West Presbyterian and Red Clay Creek in Wilmington. In 1978, he began directing the bell choir at Red Clay Church and continued to conduct, arrange music, and play bells with the choir for the rest of his life.

Ray also loved to dance. He and wife Jean were among the first members of the Circle Four Square Dance Club in the 1950s. He was also a member of First State Squares and Castle Squares clubs, and at times danced 5 nights a week. He also took ballroom dancing lessons at the DuPont Country Club for many years, completing 12 levels.

Ray had many hobbies and interests. He was an avid antique collector and watched Antiques Roadshow regularly. He collected coins and stamps. He loved to solve math problems and logic puzzles, do jigsaw puzzles, solve cryptograms and do the daily Soduku puzzles. He knew how to knit, crochet, tat, needlepoint, and cross-stitch, and sewed square dance outfits. He loved to be outside and to walk, especially on Moody Beach in Maine on family vacations. He once rode his bicycle from Wilmington to Boston to visit his parents. At the age of 75, he took up rollerblading.

Ray is predeceased by his parents, his wife, and his brother Paul. He is survived by his sister Doris Gordon of Gaithersburg, MD, his daughter, Lisa of Wilmington, many nieces and nephews, and many friends.

Friends and family may call at the Doherty Funeral Home, 3200 Limestone Road, Pike Creek on Friday, July 6 from 5:00-7:00PM The funeral service will be at Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church, 500 McKennans Church Road on Saturday, July 7 at 11:00AM, followed by burial in the church cemetery. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests contributions to the music programs at Red Clay Church.


Donations may be made to:

Red Clay Creek Presbyterian Church Music Program
500 McKennans Church Road, Wilmington DE 19808


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