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Edwards Funeral Home

OBITUARY

Billy Carl Nichols

October 3, 1935October 12, 2020
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Billy Carl Nichols, 85, from Fort Smith, AR, passed away on Monday, October 12, 2020 at Baptist Health due to complications from COVID-19. He was born in a tin roof house along the Arkansas river in Plumerville, AR on October 3, 1935 to James Clark Nichols and Alma Louis Cates. He is preceded in death by his siblings, Opel Marie Nichols, Emma Jean Nichols, and Harold Junior Nichols.

Billy joined the Navy in 1954 after a recruiter visited him while he was picking cotton in the Portland Bottoms. He told the recruiter that he wanted to serve on a battleship and see Hong Kong. Billy left the cotton field that day and enjoyed a wonderful 30-year career as a Gunners Mate. He served on the USS Brister, USS Stormes, USS Hermitage, and USS Piedmont. He was stationed at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Naval Radio Station San Juan, Puerto Rico; Naval Magazine Guam, Rita, Guam; Navy Recruit Training Command, Las Vegas, NV; Naval Air Station, Sigonella, Sicily; Naval Station Newport, Newport, RI; Naval Air Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Naval Reserve Center, Fort Smith, AR. Billy neither served on a battleship nor saw Hong Kong.

After his military service, Billy worked for the Arkansas Highway Department and retired in 2003.

While serving as a recruiter in Las Vegas, NV, Billy met the love of his life, Joselyn Morris Hines, and they were married December 4, 1970 in Waukegan, IL. They were married for 22 years until her death on October 21, 1992. Billy is survived by his two sons, James Carl Nichols (Syracuse, NY) and Drake Morris Nichols (Fort Smith, AR), their wives, and his five grandchildren.

Billy taught his sons how to fish, play baseball, repair bicycles, mow, and drive. He provided an amazing childhood experience, raising his family in Sicily, Italy, Rhode Island, Cuba, and Fort Smith. He always supported his family and provided advice and guidance in his well-loved casual and confident manner.

Never one to be short of a story, many friends and family will fondly remember a “Billy Story”. Whether it was about a monkey in space, clotheslined while chasing wild dogs, fires in the magazines, or setting gun sites off by five degrees when servicing foreign military gun mounts, his stories were entertaining, hilarious, colorful, and loved. He will be missed.

Viewing will be 10 AM to 7 PM on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at Edwards Funeral Home, and the family will be present from 5 to 7 PM. A graveside Service with U.S. Navy Honors will be held on October 16, 2020 at 11:00 am at Plumerville Cemetery.

  • FAMILY

  • James Clark Nichols, Father (deceased)
  • Alma Louis Cates, Mother (deceased)
  • Joselyn Morris Hines Nichols, The Love of his Life (deceased)
  • Opel Marie Nichols, Sister (deceased)
  • Emma Jean Nichols, Sister (deceased)
  • Harold Junior Nichols, Brother (deceased)
  • James Carl Nichols, Son
  • Drake Morris Nichols, Son
  • Billy is also survived by his two daughter-in-laws and his five grandchildren.

Learn more about the Nichols name

Services

  • Viewing

    Thursday, October 15, 2020

  • Graveside Service with U.S. Navy Honors

    Friday, October 16, 2020

Memories

Billy Carl Nichols

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Kathy Hart

October 16, 2020

Dearest Uncle Gee.
Such a horrific 2020 for us. I’m thankful your misery has ended & once again you are with the Love of your life. This comforts me. All these many years, I’ve known you longed for your Joy; you never stopped loving her & missing her.
I know you have fully understood my own broken heart.

You were such a positive & inspiring influence in my life Billy Carl. Your summer leaves from the Navy we’re such an event in Plummerville. We thought you so worldly & sophisticated! It was unbelievably exciting to hear the tales of your adventures in exotic ports & on the oceans around the globe. Was it you that instilled in me the great desire to see the rest of the world?? To have adventures & experiences of my own? Surely. And then at the tender age of 17, you & your new wife Joy, shared with me a month in Sicily and my life forever changed.

You never took me to the dump in Plummerville to shoot tin cans with Cousins Mike & Ricky, but I believe you did make up for that infraction. 💕

I will miss you Gee. My memories of you will always bring a smile. I loved you. And my heart knows are at peace. Kathy





Shari Monadizadeh

October 15, 2020

James and family,
My condolences to you and your family; I am so very sorry for your loss. Keeping you and your loved ones in my thoughts any prayers during this difficult time.

Toni King

October 15, 2020

James and family;
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your father and friend.
It appears from the video tribute that your father lived a full life that was evident by love for family, friends, and service to our country.
Life's journey is full of curves, bends, turns, intersections, and detours, and we do not always know the end. I pray that the memories you shared will bring you fond reminders of him in the days ahead as you mourn his passing, celebrate his life, and remember him always. Blessings today and always.

John Ferrugia

October 14, 2020

I am very sorry to hear of Billie’s passing. I knew Chief Nichols, his wife Joy and son James (who was a baby!) during our Naval service together in Sigonella, Sicily in the early 1970’s.
Billie made a great impression on me as a good and decent man with a great sense of humor. He adored his family and was so well liked by everyone that worked with him.
I was fortunate to speak with him this past summer and tell him how he was a memorable person in my life and how much I appreciated his kindness and friendship.
Condolence to his family... and may God bring him fair seas and a following breeze always...

Phil Zablocki

October 14, 2020

Sincere condolences and prayers from the Zablocki Family, thank you for your service to our country!

Connie Townley

October 13, 2020

James, Drake, and family,
Rod and I are so sorry for your loss. Billy Carl has been the best neighbor for the last forty years. Hard to believe that it’s been so long yet so short. We will certainly miss him, and his perspective on life! You are in our prayers.
Rod and Connie

FROM THE FAMILY
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Billy receiving the Navy Achievement medal from Commander LaRoche.

Biography

Billy Carl Nichols, 85, from Fort Smith, AR, passed away on Monday, October 12, 2020 at Baptist Health due to complications from COVID-19. He was born in a tin roof house along the Arkansas river in Plumerville, AR on October 3, 1935 to James Clark Nichols and Alma Louis Cates. He is preceded in death by his siblings, Opel Marie Nichols, Emma Jean Nichols, and Harold Junior Nichols.
Billy joined the Navy in 1954 after a recruiter visited him while he was picking cotton in the Portland Bottoms. He told the recruiter that he wanted to serve on a battleship and see Hong Kong. Billy left the cotton field that day and enjoyed a wonderful 30-year career as a Gunners Mate. He served on the USS Brister, USS Stormes, USS Hermitage, and USS Piedmont. He was stationed at Pensacola Naval Air Station, Naval Radio Station San Juan, Puerto Rico; Naval Magazine Guam, Rita, Guam; Navy Recruit Training Command, Las Vegas, NV; Naval Air Station, Sigonella, Sicily; Naval Station Newport, Newport, RI; Naval Air Station, Guantanamo Bay, Cuba; and Naval Reserve Center, Fort Smith, AR. Billy neither served on a battleship nor saw Hong Kong.
After his military service, Billy worked for the Arkansas Highway Department and retired in 2003.
While serving as a recruiter in Las Vegas, NV, Billy met the love of his life, Joselyn Morris Hines, and they were married December 4, 1970 in Waukegan, IL. They were married for 22 years until her death on October 21, 1992. Billy is survived by his two sons, James Carl Nichols (Syracuse, NY) and Drake Morris Nichols (Fort Smith, AR), their wives, and his five grandchildren.
Billy taught his sons how to fish, play baseball, repair bicycles, mow, and drive. He provided an amazing childhood experience, raising his family in Sicily, Italy, Rhode Island, Cuba, and Fort Smith. He always supported his family and provided advice and guidance in his well-loved casual and confident manner.
Never one to be short of a story, many friends and family will fondly remember a “Billy Story”. Whether it was about a monkey in space, clotheslined while chasing wild dogs, fires in the magazines, or setting gun sites off by five degrees when servicing foreign military gun mounts, his stories were entertaining, hilarious, colorful, and loved. He will be missed.
Viewing will be 10 AM to 7 PM on Thursday, October 15, 2020 at Edwards Funeral Home, and the family will be present from 5 to 7 PM. A graveside Service with U.S. Navy Honors will be held on October 16, 2020 at 11:00 am at Plumerville Cemetery.

Learn more about the Nichols name

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