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Hudson Nichols

By Flavil H. Nichols

religion, articles, christianity

Hudson Nichols, 65, of Jasper, Ala., died at his residence June 16. He had suffered from leukemia about two and one-half years. This illness eventually forced his retirement from preaching. He moved back home to Jasper. Death claimed him less than three months later.

His first eleven years of schooling were at Jasper, where his father, the late Gus Nichols, preached for 43 years. For his senior year Hudson attended David Lipscomb High School, then graduated from Freed- Hardeman College. However, this did not terminate his studies, and in the ensuing years he amassed a library of hundreds of volumes.

At the age of 14 Hudson preached his first sermon, and (like his father) he spent the rest of his life preaching the gospel of Christ. He served as local minister for churches of Christ in Amory and Iuka, Miss., Rayville, La., Savannah, Tenn., Oxford, Ala., Gastonia, N.C., Owensboro, Ky., Evansville, Ind., and the Yeaman Church of Christ, Falls of Rough, Ky. In addition to his local ministry, he preached in revivals in at least 14 states.

Hudson also taught in the School of Biblical Knowledge, Evansville, Ind., for four years. He served as the director of that school for 15 months. At the same time he did "mission" work at Oakland City, Ind. All this work was under the oversight of the elders of the Oak Hill church in Evansville.

For many years Hudson served on the board of Central Alabama Christian Youth Camp. As teacher and counselor as well as by personal friendship, he touched the lives of countless young people. Even in his later years he served on the board and as a teacher at West Kentucky Christian Youth Camp, Marion, Ky.

Funeral services were Sunday, June 18, at the Sixth Avenue Church of Christ in Jasper. Two of his brothers, Hardeman Nichols of Dallas, Texas, and Flavil Nichols of Jasper, spoke. Brad Dillingham of Corinth, Miss., Hudson's co-worker in North Carolina in 1980-81, conducted the graveside rites in Walker Memory Gardens at Jasper.

Hudson is survived by his wife Marilyn (Harwell, who grew up in Corinth, Miss., and she met at Freed-Hardeman); two sons, Hudson Ray Nichols and wife Sherry of Owensboro, Ky., and Lindsey Joe Nichols and wife Cathy of Jasper. He leaves one grandson, Derek Nichols of Jasper, and two granddaughters, Lauren Nichols of Jasper, and Amanda Nichols of Owensboro, Ky.

Other survivors include three sisters: Gracie (Mrs. Frank D.) Young, Pulaski, Tenn.; Bertha (Mrs. G. Rile) Blackwood, Jasper; Carrie (Mrs. W.T.) Hamilton, Waxahachie, Texas; and by three brothers, Flavil H. Nichols, Jasper; Foy W. Nichols, Indianapolis, Ind.; and S. Hardeman Nichols, Dallas, Texas. His mother-in-law, Mrs. Kate Harwell of Corinth, Miss., also survives him.

Hudson was preceded in death by an infant son in 1952. A daughter, Sharon Sue Nichols, died in 1979. His parents, Mr. and Mrs. Gus Nichols, predeceased him as did one sister, Vodie (Mrs. A.J.) Kerr.

The last Sunday he was able to attend worship, the church at Yeaman gave him and Marilyn a plaque which reads: "Presented to Hudson and Marilyn: You came in 1990, and worked with us until 1995. You leave us stronger in the faith. Our love and respect go with you." The Yeaman church also gave all that was contributed that day above their budget to start a "Retirement Fund" for him. Every congregation in Grayson County has given to this fund, and other churches and individuals, some of whom are not Christians, have subsequently contributed to it.

Gifts in Hudson's memory may be sent to the Sharon Sue Nichols Memorial Scholarship Fund, Freed-Hardeman University, Henderson, TN 38340. Before her death, their daughter was a kindergarten teacher, and this fund helps train early childhood education majors. Marilyn may be contacted by telephone at (205) 384-9229 or at P.O. Box 1724, Jasper, AL 35502.

Published November 1995