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Ruby Marie Nichols

Ruby Marie Nichols, age 88, of Thompsonville, Illinois,  passed away Sunday, May 29, 2022 at her beloved Red House, with her family by her side.

Ruby was born January 16, 1934 in Perryville, Missouri, a daughter of James F. and Ella C. (Tucker) Taylor.  

Ruby worked well into her seventies as a Licensed Practical Nurse at nursing homes in southern Illinois and Port Orange/Daytona Beach Florida areas.  

Ruby was a "snowbird" and divided her time between her Red House in Illinois and her home in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.  She always traveled to Florida after the leaves turned colors in the fall and returned to Illinois at the first sign of spring. 

Ruby married Joseph Fitzgerald on October 1, 1955.  He passed away and she married David P. Herring for 8 years until his death in 1974.  She then married Donald R. Nichols on March 28, 1979 in St. Louis, MO and together they shared 22 years together. 

She is survived by three children, Tracy A. Fitzgerald of Thompsonville, IL, Vicki A. Hill of Marion, IL, and David J. Herring of Thompsonville, IL; eleven grandchildren, Michael Lindsey, Gregg Fitzgerald, Angela Noffsinger, Tiffany King, Timothy Hill, Donna Cooper-Ho, Jonathan Hill, James Fitzgerald, Brenna Fitzgerald, Tyler Herring, and Serena Herring and her 24 great-grandchildren; three sisters, Doris (Joe) DeCiechi of O'fallon, MO, Joyce Benge of Perryville, MO, and Dorothy Booten of Marion, IL; , and several Nieces & Nephews.   She is preceded in death by her husbands; one son, James T. "Jami" Fitzgerald; one grandchild, David Herring; one great-grandson Benjamin Cooper-Ho; her parents, James F. and Ella C. Taylor; and three siblings, Kathlene Taylor, Larry Taylor, and James Taylor; nephew Guy Lee Martin.

It was Ruby's well known wish of 60 plus years to be cremated and have her ashes scattered beneath a newly planted tree at her beloved Red House, as well as a few ashes to be released at her favorite childhood spot "The Waterfall" in Perryville, Missouri.     

Memorial contributions may be directed to the Residential Hospice. 

Mitchell Hughes Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.  

To plant memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ruby Nichols, please visit our flower store.


Ruby was my protector and teacher for most of my life. encouraging me to read books, telling me knowledge is power. She became the head of the family after my parents died and I will forever feel like an orphan now that she is gone.

Dorothy Booton Jun 3 2022 1:25 PM

I am so sorry for your loss.
Prayers for you all.

Victoria Phillips Jun 2 2022 10:09 AM

I don’t see how the world will exist without her in it. Therefore, I will pretend that I can see her whenever I want. She was the person who contributed to making me the person I am. She gave me my love of reading among other things.

Joyce Benge Jun 1 2022 9:59 PM