Cheney Free Press -

Violet L. Nicol


On May 30 Violet Nicol died peacefully after a short illness. She was 94 years old.

Vi was born August 5, 1919 in Chicago to immigrant parents. There she went through the Great Depression in a working class neighborhood. Although a good student, she needed to enter the workforce after high school to help support the family rather than attending college.

Vi met Frank at Sunday School at the church where his father was the pastor. They were married in 1941. A few years later they moved out west to Oregon. After Frank completed his Ph.D. at Oregon State they moved to Cheney in the early 1950s. She loved the house that Frank built where they lived for 50 years. As a devoted gardener, she turned the corner lot into a green oasis and made the house a great family home.

In spite of the frugality learned during the Depression, our mother was a very generous person. She never forgot a child’s or grandchild’s birthday and frequently sent homemade cards with poems she had composed along with a generous monetary gift. Always creative and full of energy, she worked hard to help others and maintained contact with her many friends.

Throughout their travels to all 50 states, Canada, Europe, Russia, Turkey, Australia and more, new acquaintances developed into lifelong friendships. Vi supported her strong political beliefs by opening her home to candidate functions, making contributions, and writing letters to editors and lawmakers. She was an advocate for civil rights, world peace and an active member of the League of Women Voters. Vi loved Cheney and Eastern Washington University and was a member of the Faculty Wives’ Club.

As an ardent supporter of public education, she was a key player in developing the Cheney Public Library. She shared Frank’s passion for environmental issues and was instrumental in the formation of the Cheney Recycling Center.

Most importantly, Vi was a great mom and friend and will be truly missed. She is survived by Carol Nicol Valk, Dave and Sue Nicol, Ron and Sachi Nicol, Laurie and Tom Smith, and six grandchildren. A memorial will be held at the beloved family cabin at Priest Lake on July 29. Donations can be made to the Cheney Public Library in her name.


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