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Kenneth Lee Nichols & Avis Ruth Nichols

Ken and Avis Nichols were a perfect blend of generosity, common sense, faith, independence, courage, and adventurism. They were together for 67 years and overcame hardships and poverty with an optimistic attitude. They told many funny stories about their lives starting out together. They were happy in poverty or success. They preferred success and worked hard and sacrificed to achieve it.Avis was born in Gassaway, W.Va. April 16, 1926. Her father, Lewis Thomas Miller died when she was two years old. At the age of 16, her mother, Hester Adith (Moyers) Miller died. Avis worked many jobs to make enough money to put herself through two years of college. She was living in Oahu, Hawaii when she met Ken on Waikiki beach.Ken was born November 16, 1927 in Bristow, Okla. to Johnny Roscoe Nichols and Delma Ellen (Ashford) Nichols. Ken completed his first year of high school; in the tenth grade he dropped out to work in the oil fields of Oklahoma. Eventually Ken moved to Oahu, Hawaii and was employed by a jewelry store to collect balance owed or retrieve unpaid merchandise. He also occasionally worked as a bodyguard on an off-shore gambling boat.Ken and Avis married June 26, 1948 and their first son was born a year later in Hawaii. They decided to move back to the mainland where they purchased a small trailer to live in. Eventually, they had two more sons and were able to buy a little shack. They added an indoor bathroom to it and did other remodeling as they could afford.Avis stayed home with the boys while Ken worked in the oil fields and various other jobs, including Boeing Aircraft. It was decided there would be better financial opportunities if they moved to southern California. After arriving in Long Beach, Ken went to work in refineries. Both of them educated themselves in real estate investing. Together they purchased, remodeled, and built rentals. They were very successful. In their late thirties, they moved to southern Oregon., where they continued investing in all aspects of real estate. They successfully opened and operated several radiator repair businesses in the valley, and a rural store.Avis enjoyed working in her garden and canning. She especially enjoyed the company of her grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandson. She was an amazing cook and was always happy to feed anyone who would stop by. On many occasions, Ken would help someone having car troubles and end up bringing them home to spend the night. Avis would welcome them in, cook a delicious meal, and have a new friend. Avis gave much of herself caring for Ken after he was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. She was always there for him and put his needs first as it progressed over the next 17 years.Ken enjoyed anything that was a challenge. He purchased and taught himself how to operate numerous types of heavy equipment. He used those skills on many of the properties they purchased, including building the roads and home sites for a rural property they subdivided. When any of their country neighbors needed cat or backhoe work, Ken would not hesitate to help. He was glad to do it and would insist it was no problem and no charge. They were always creative and looking for new ideas and different ways to do things. There was nothing they couldn’t achieve as a couple.Kenneth Lee Nichols passed April 23, 2015 at the age of 87. Avis Ruth Nichols passed June 29, 2016 at the age of 90. They were both Christians and knew their life together here in this world was just the beginning of their story.They are survived by three sons, Kenneth Nichols Jr., Greg Nichols, and John Nichols; six granddaughters, Juliet Cardinal, Erin Christensen, Andreana Fast, Krysta Bossard, Kelly Nichols, Laura Nichols-Anderson; nine great-grandchildren, Matthew Fast, Skylar Christensen, Josiah Bossard, Amelia Bossard, Kiara Fast, Faith Bossard, Sarah Christensen, Connor Fast, and Coda Christensen; and one great-grandson, Noah Fast.There will be a service Friday, July 29, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. at Perl Funeral Home, 2100 Siskiyou Blvd., Medford, Ore.