Obituary: Bert Henry Nichols Sr.

Despite his wish of living on this earth forever, Bert Henry Nichols Sr. was called to his everlasting home on April 10th, 2017. Bert was born to Clifford W. and Mary Anderson Nichols on May 7, 1928. Bert had fond memories of spending time at Whiteshed with his Granny when he was a child. He longed to return to the location that remained in his memory, even after he struggled with memory loss from Alzheimer’s.

Bert was happiest when he could wander free in the great outdoors, beach combing, rock hunting, traveling the sound, exploring bays and coves or just heading “out the road” for a picnic.

He also found immense pleasure in bringing home anything he found that he thought still had a little life left in it. He has left his children with an enormous stockpile of treasures that at one time gave him joy.

He loved picking berries and spent many hours picking, cleaning and freezing all kinds of Alaska berries. When he could no longer stand for long periods, he would sit in a chair to pick some, longing to fill many more buckets like he used to. He enjoyed, of course eating the pies, jellies and jams made from them, especially blueberry.

His family grew up surrounded with music of all kinds. He especially loved classic country and western and playing old hymns on an organ or piano. Bert taught himself to play many instruments by ear including the piano, organ, accordion, autoharp and guitar. He continued singing and humming until just a day before he, no doubt, joined the heavenly choir.

One of Bert’s greatest gifts was his never-ending sense of humor. He loved joking around, and making silly faces. Even in times of heartbreak, discomfort and dementia he managed to find a way to lighten the mood and make those around him laugh or at least smile, which continued to the very end and surely beyond.

He always hoped that everybody could “just get along”. He has been known to share the following verse from the Bible when he was saddened by hearing others voices become loud and upset. “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” (Ephesians 4:32 KJV)

He was preceded in death by his wife Agnes, daughters MaryAnne and Judith Lee.

Also his brother Johnny Nichols, sister Myrtle Farretta and half brother JR Beyers.

He is survived by eight children, Susan Wooley, Becky Nichols, Betsy Burke, Nora Hodsdon, Sarah Walker, Bert Nichols Jr, Clifford Nichols, and Andrew Nichols. Bert also leaves many grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren.

Since he was a life long Cordovan that spent hours enjoying tea time with his friends and loved ones, we are comforted by the thought of him continuing the tradition by having tea with those that he has been reunited with.

The family of Bert are very thankful to all who supported us during our time of loss, notably all of the Cordova Community Hospital staff that saw him through times that surprised us all. Also thanks go to Chugach Alaska and Eyak corporations, Native Village of Eyak and GCI. Very grateful to Ken and Aino Roemhildt for providing us with strong spiritual shoulders to lean on. Thank you to all of you who came to the potluck to give your love, company and share your delicious food. We were overwhelmed by the care and kindness that Cordovans gave us.