Family Funeral Care

4925 Summer Ave, Memphis, TN


Samuel Cornelius Nichols

September 29, 1924November 26, 2019

Samuel C. Nichols. Jr.

Truly a man for all seasons, Sam Nichols fully lived his 95 years on this earth. At age 17 he volunteered for the Navy in WW II, serving as Radioman in both the Atlantic and Pacific Theaters of War. Afterward he sought out the best school for design, The Art Center in Los Angeles. Upon graduation he gradually worked himself up to being Creative Director for the Jantzen Company in Portland, OR. During this time he mentored several young artists for his company, and taught a course in design at Portland State University.

While seeking a rustic backdrop for his sportswear models, Sam discovered the pioneer, ranching village of Lonerock in eastern Oregon. Purchasing an old cottage which he remodeled on weekends, he gradually got to know the people there, loved their honest, simple life, and was inspired to resign from an outstanding career in commercial art to follow his first love of painting. Together he and his wife and daughter, he delved in to this new life, even building his own studio while both painting and joining in roundups with his rancher friends. He even became Lonerock Mayor. His art work took off too, and he soon was recognized as an “exciting new talent” in his first one man show in Portland. Showings in other Oregon galleries soon followed.

But now Arizona called. There he began a study of Indian life and old gold mining lore, which resulted in many new paintings and gallery showings in Scottsdale. Sadly, however, Sam’s beloved wife, Lorraine, died, and once again Sam’s life found a new path. He was miraculously put in touch with his childhood sweetheart, Joy, and he returned to Memphis to marry her. Since then he has had five one man shows of both his paintings and sculptures, and taken part in many others.

Surviving this wonderful man are his wife, Joy: his daughter Michelle (Joshua Hutchinson), son Gen. Michael Nichols (Beverly) of Portland, OR: Sister Mildred Gustafson Burnell (Bill): Grandaughter Lisa, Great-grandaughter, Harlow, Portland, OR: & stepsons, Randy Thierman (Beth) of Charlotte, NC, & Carl Marshall (Cristal) of Tokyo, Japan.

A Life Celebration service will be at 2:00 PM, Wed., Dec 4, at Unity Church of Practical Christianity, 9228 Walnut Grove Rd. Memorials may be sent to the Church Health Center, or charity of the donor’s preference.


No services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.


Samuel Cornelius Nichols

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