Sarah Jane Nichols

Sarah Jane (Wood) Nichols passed away peacefully in Kalamazoo, Michigan, on October 14, 2023, having graced this world with her thoughtful and generous presence since July 3, 1954. Born in Charlotte, Michigan, Sarah created a vibrant legacy that spanned family, work, and community.

She is survived by her sons, Jim (Jodi) Nichols, and Bill (Allison Bazaire) Nichols, along with three grandchildren who were her utmost delight: Easton, Keiser, and Eli Nichols. Sarah’s siblings, Nancy Adams, Norm (Jackie) Wood, Wilmott (Deborah) Wood, Edgar Wood, and John (Nicole) Wood, and their families, share in the loss. Her loving sisters-in-law, Mary Dewald, Pat Nichols and Sandy Wood, and brother-in-law, Larry (Brigette) Nichols, will forever remember her warmth. Sarah was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Harold Nichols, daughter, Mary Nichols, her parents, and brother, Robert Wood.

Beyond her family by blood, Sarah’s unwavering heart held a chosen family dear. Lacey (Brian) Helmus, and their children Ellie, Laylee, and Jack, as well as the broader Patterson family equally mourn their loss. Sarah had numerous “other kids” that she loved and cherished their presence in her life.

Starting as a teen, Sarah served the State of Michigan for nearly 39 years – a position she initially took up for three months at the tender age of 16. Her dedication to her work was clear evidence of her tenacity and commitment.

On June 16, 1979, Sarah married the love of her life, Harold Nichols. During their 38 years together before Harold’s passing in December 2016, the couple savored their shared passion for travel. Sarah’s selflessness shone brightly through an annual Easter egg hunt tradition she started even before she had children of her own. This event celebrated its 40th year last Easter, bringing Sarah immense joy as she filled over 3,000 eggs, witnessing hundreds of thrilled children participating.

Sarah was part of the congregation of the First Baptist Church in Middleville. People remember her as a woman who was both thoughtful and generous, willing to extend her hand to help anyone in need.
Sarah’s spirit will be missed not only by her family but also by her many nieces, nephews, cousins, and friends, who are left to cherish her memory. Sarah made a mark on this world with the love she spread, the work she accomplished, and the families she built. As we mourn her passing, we also celebrate the values, love, and joy she brought into our lives.

Sarah’s family received friends on Thursday, October 19, 2023 at the Beeler-Gores Funeral Home. A celebration of Sarah’s life was conducted on Friday, October 20, 2023, at 11:00 a.m. at the First Baptist Church in Middleville, with Pastor Nate Archer officiating. Sarah will be laid to rest next to her husband at Mount Hope Cemetery in Middleville. Memorial contributions to the Mary Fund will be appreciated. Please visit to share a memory or leave a condolence message for Sarah’s family.