Phyllis Nichols, 1923-2021


Phyllis Anne Nichols, 98, of La Porte, Ind., passed away Wednesday, June 2, 2021, at Miller Health and Rehabilitation, La Porte.

She was born in Washington, D.C., on May 14, 1923, to H. Seymour and Imogen (Taylor) Walcott.

Phyllis’ education included schools in Maryland, Michigan, New York, and graduation from Elkhart High School. She graduated from DePauw University in 1944 and from Purdue University in 1972. Phyllis came to La Porte in 1944 to be the first teacher of Spanish at La Porte High School. In 1967, she became the first elementary library/media specialist.

Phyllis was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, Tri Kappa Associates, Kitchen Kin Home Extension Group, People to People, La Porte Historical Society, Meals on Wheels, and Neighborhood Watch. Her past activities included DePauw class manager, holding offices in area and state library organizations, holding a state office in Kappa Kappa Kappa, being a charter member of AAUW Recent Graduates, and a board member of Regency Place. Phyllis was a tutor for the Literacy Coalition and was listed in Who’s Who of American Women.

On June 12, 1948, she married Earl L. Dolaway, who preceded her in death. From that union, she welcomed Peggy (Thomas) Schemenauer of Gurnee, Ill., and James (Margaret) Dolaway of Waco, Tex., and step-grandson, Marc Cain of Sydney, Australia. Later, on April 27, 1987, Phyllis married Orville W. Nichols. From that union, she welcomed three stepchildren: Abigail (Carl) Nelson of Washington,  D.C., Karen Northrop of Bristol, Conn., and Wade R. Nichols of Fishers, Ind., and three step-grandchildren, Abigail (David) Yeh, Alexander Northrop and Anne Nichols.

She was preceded in death by her parents and husbands.

Cremation has taken place with Cutler Funeral Home and Cremation Center, La Porte. A Celebration of Life Memorial Service will be held at 11 a.m. Friday, June 11, 2021 at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1000 Michigan Avenue, La Porte, with Rev. Canon Michelle I. Walker officiating. Burial will follow at Door Village Cemetery. Visitation will be held from 10 a.m. until the service Friday at the church.

Memorial contributions may be directed to Tri Kappa Memorial Fund, 941 E. 86th St., Suite 103, Indianapolis, Ind. 46240; La Porte Park and Recreation Department, 250 Pine Lake Ave., La Porte, Ind. 46350; La Porte County Parks Department, 0185 S. Holmsville Rd., La Porte, Ind. 46350; or to the donor’s choice.

Messages of condolence may be posted below.

4 Responses to “Phyllis Nichols, 1923-2021”

  1. Elizabeth Plantz

    Jun 07. 2021

    My sincere sympathies to the family. Phyllis was one of the first people to welcome us to La Porte when we moved here in 1966. My husband Ken worked with Earl at La Porte High School for many years. Very friendly & thoughtful to us with our young & growing family. Felt privileged to stay in touch with Phyllis off & on over the years. Her amount of community service was amazing.
    Sincerely. Betty Plantz

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  2. Deb Hunter

    Jun 07. 2021

    Thanks to Phyllis for her many years of service to the students and teachers of the LaPorte schools. Condolences to her family and friends.

    Reply to this comment
  3. James Jones

    Jun 10. 2021

    Phyllis was a generous and faithful supporter of St. Paul’s Church and the ministries we shared during my time as rector. She and her late husband were very involved in the community of LaPorte and will be greatly missed.

    Reply to this comment
  4. Shap & Leann Williams

    Jun 13. 2021

    Peace be with the family. What a wonderful spirit that touched so many lives.

    Reply to this comment

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