In memoriam: Ruth N. Nichols

Ruth Nichols
Courtesy of the family

Ruth N. Nichols

8/9/1925 – 1/18/2024


Ruth Nichols, a long-time Spokane resident, passed away at age 98 at Holy Family Hospital on Jan. 18, after complications from a fall.

She was born at Sacred Heart Hospital to Marie Nichols Mailey, whose mother was a freed slave, and Louis Patrick Nichols Sr. She attended Sacred Heart Elementary and was a graduate of Marycliff High School and Holy Names College. She received her Occupational Therapist certification from UCLA and later earned a master’s degree and teaching certificate from the University of Oregon.

She was predeceased by her parents; and her siblings, Frances Scott, Mildred Louise Elliott, and Louis Nichols Jr.; and a niece and four nephews. Surviving her are her nieces and nephews, Tracie Hall-Clow, (Albany, NY), Anthony Elliott (Denver), Reginald Nichols (Sacramento), Diane Scott Mackey (Seattle), Kelly Scott (Seattle); and many grandnieces and nephews.

Ruth was a proud veteran, who could often be seen wearing her Veteran’s baseball cap. She enlisted in the Army in 1950, serving in the Women’s Army Corps. Before the Army, she was with the American Red Cross in Korea. Her professional life included being an Occupational Therapist for several years in Sitka, Alaska, working in both Seattle and Spokane in the mental health profession as well as in the vocational rehabilitation field.

She was fearless in taking on issues she believed in. As an activist, she ensured her voice was heard on such issues as aging, human rights, and racial equality. Ruth enjoyed a rich spiritual life rooted in her Catholic faith and drew spiritual inspiration from other churches of various denominations. She was a member of Bethel AME Church. She was an active member of the Spokane Alumnae chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. The family would like to thank several of her sorority sisters for providing unwavering support and assistance to her as she began to experience a decline in her overall health.

In one of her writings when she was reflecting on her life, she wrote in part “Life was, and is, for me a magnificent experience. I feel satisfied and delighted with the life I have lived so fully.” May she rest in eternal peace.

Join us in celebrating

a long life lived well:


When: 11 a.m. Saturday, June 8

Where: Bethel AME Church, 645 S. Richard Allen Ct.

More info: The Spokane Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. will hold the Omega Omega Service at 10:30 a.m. at Bethel. The Omega Omega Service is a Rite of Passage that the Sorority gives its deceased Sorors.