Pat Nichols, age 79, a resident of Chillicothe, Mo., died Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, at home surrounded by her family.

Pat Nichols, age 79, a resident of Chillicothe, Mo., died Sunday, Sept. 29, 2013, at home surrounded by her family.
Pat was born the daughter of Dr. Donald Maurice Dowell and Clora Ellen (Taylor) Dowell on Jan. 2, 1934, at the home of her grandfather, Dr. George Dowell, in Braymer, Mo. Pat attended Chillicothe High School and graduated from CHS in 1951. After graduating from High School, she attended Wichita State University, Wichita, Kan., where she received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education. Pat continued her education by earning a Master’s Degree in Physical Education in 1978, and then a Specialist Degree in Administration, both from Northwest Missouri State University in Maryville, Mo. Education was very important to her and she was a lifelong learner. In 1965, she began her 30-year teaching career in the Wichita, Kan., School system. Pat worked as a school teacher in Chillicothe, Mo., first at Bishop Hogan School in 1967 teaching the fifth grade and music and then moved to Chillicothe R-II School District in 1970, where she taught elementary physical education until 1980 and then began an eight year stint teaching second grade at Dewey School. She shared her love of learning with the WINGS gifted program for seven years. She was named Teacher of the Year in 1995, and retired later that year. She was able to use her many gifts and talents after she retired to work in Carrollton, Mo., and Brookfield, Mo., school systems to help with their gifted programs, and also did consulting for many other gifted programs around the state. In 1998, Pat began dedicating her time to the Chillicothe Middle School Library and sharing her love of books and knowledge with the students there. She loved her students and enjoyed introducing creative thinking to challenge kids’ minds. She was named Volunteer of the Year in 2002. In 2009, Pat reorganized and cataloged the Bishop Hogan Memorial School library and had a great affection for all the students there.
Pat was a member of the Chapter T PEO, the United Methodist Church Chancel Choir, the Retired Teachers Association and Tria Sorosis.
Pat was a multifaceted artist who enjoyed painting watercolor pictures, basket weaving, creating miniature art people, stained glass, gourd artistry and tole painting. She loved to travel and enjoyed many trips to England, where she continued taking art classes.
Pat was united in marriage to Kenneth W. Nichols in March of 1954, in Topeka, Kan. They were married 37 years and had four children, Mike, Penny, Scott, and Anne. Ken preceded her in death on February 11, 1991.
Pat is survived by her daughter, Penny Mata of Chillicothe, Mo.; her son, Scott Nichols and his wife, Karen of Chillicothe, Mo.; four grandchildren, Taylor (Mata) Thomure and husband Adam of St. Louis, Mo., Nicholas Mata of Springfield, Mo., Warren Nichols and wife Amanda of Springfield, Mo., and Cole Nichols of Chillicothe, Mo.; one great-granddaughter, Lola Anne Thomure of St. Louis, Mo.; and several nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, Dr. Donald M. and Clora Dowell; her husband, Kenneth; her son, Mike Nichols; her daughter, Anne Dowell Nichols; her sister, Betty Don Ernst; and her brother, Donald M. Dowell II.
A Celebration of Life Service will be held at the United Methodist Church, Chillicothe, Mo., on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. Friends may call at the Lindley Funeral Home, Chillicothe, Mo., on Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2013, from 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. Inurnment will be held at Edgewood Cemetery, Chillicothe, Mo. Memorial contributions may be made to the Chillicothe Middle School Library, House of Prayer, and/or Forrest O Triplett Animal Shelter and may be left at or mailed to Lindley Funeral Home, P.O. Box 47, Chillicothe, MO 64601. Online condolences may be made at
Arrangements are under the direction of Lindley Funeral Home, Chillicothe, Mo.