Nichols, James "Jim" H.

January 18, 1936 - December 30, 2015


James Henry Nichols was born on January 18, 1936 in Benton Harbor, Michigan and passed away on December 30, 2015 in Dallas, Texas.

Jim attended Benton Harbor High School and graduated from Purdue University, where he was a member of the Delta Tau Delta fraternity and Navy ROTC.  Afterwards, he served in the US Navy as a pilot, achieving the rank of Lieutenant.  Following his honorable discharge from the Navy, Jim pursued a career as an airline pilot, flying for Braniff, Piedmont, and USAir.

Jim was the ultimate handyman, called upon by friends and neighbors both at his home in Farmers Branch, TX, as well as his house on Lake Tawakoni.  He enjoyed tinkering with electronics, building and flying model airplanes, entertaining his granddaughters on his boats on the lake, and restoring his DeLorean “Back to the Future” car.  It seemed there was nothing he couldn’t build or fix.

He is survived by wife Rosemary Nichols, children James Henry, Jr. (wife Lorna) of Seattle, WA, Margaret Nichols of Frisco, TX, Beth Nichols Smith (husband Jamie) of Cypress, TX, and eight granddaughters:  Autumn Nichols, Jean Marie Nichols, Melanie Nichols, Emily Reagan, Rebecca Reagan, Molly Smith, Samantha Smith, and Julie Smith.  Jim was preceded in death by parents Henry Russell Nichols and Edith Wagner Nichols, and by sister Mary Grace Himes.

A memorial service will be held January 4, 2016 at 2:00 pm, at Highland Springs retirement community, 8000 Frankford Road, Dallas, TX 75252.  He will be interred at the Dallas-Fort Worth National Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association at

Arrangements are under the direction of
ARIA Cremation Service and Funeral Home
19310 Preston Road
Dallas, Texas 75252

11 replies on “Nichols, James "Jim" H.”

Sue Ramirez says:

I am so sorry to hear of Jim’s passing. I have such fond memories of him from the Ridgefair neighborhood. Also, good memories of him popping into our optical business to say hello and usually stay to fix something for us. I was always amazed at his ability to make things work. My deepest sympathies to Rosemary,Jimmy,Margaret and Beth. I know how much you will miss him.

Anne RAMIREZ Shaw says:

Rosemary and family,
My deepest condolences to all of the family. I do remember as neighbors in Farmers Branch how handy Jim was and a resource and friend to our family for sure. So sorry for your loss. Your family is in my thoughts and prayers.

Andy Black says:

My condolences. Peace to you all.

Sharyn Finnegan says:

Jim was a terrific Braniff International Pilot and always a delight to fly with. May God’s peace be with Rosemary and family.
Sharyn Finnegan

Robert (Bobby) Ramirez says:

I just learned of Jim’s passing and immediately a flood of good memories were triggered. Our large family lived across the street from the Nichols family when they moved to Ridgefair Place in Farmers Branch in the 60’s through the 80’s. Jim and Rosemary were always so kind to me and that goodness has been with me ever since. Many, many, times Jim called me over to chat when he saw me outside, and I was always spellbound by his amazing skills. He could fix or build anything, but I was most fascinated by his flying, and his Naval experience. When it was my time to serve during the Vietnam War, he gave me words of encouragement at a very difficult time as I prepared to leave. I am extremely grateful for his service to our country and to others, and his example of being a fine man. He influenced me in many positive ways, and I always looked up to him. I have nothing, but the best memories of Jim. My parents, Edward and Doris, and my six siblings always loved Jim, Rosemary, and family. May he rest in peace and my sincerest condolences and love to the family.
Bobby Ramirez

Dixie Duell Mills says:

I remember Jim from high school. so sorry to hear of his death. He is with the Lord for bigger jobs.

Steve Humphrey says:

To Jim’s family:
I had the pleasure of working and flying with Jim at Braniff and Piedmont/USAir. What a class guy!
A consummate gentleman and superb aviator.
My thoughts and prayers are with you.

Bill Piper says:

Jim and I were in the same Braniff pilot training class and also the Piedmont training class. He was one of my best friends in Dallas and I had known him for 50 years. As his obit stated, he knew how to repair or build anything. He was very intelligent, talented, and likeable. Jim was a dedicated family man and loved his family and provided for them all, including his grandchildren.
He will be missed by all of us and I extend my sympathy and condolences to all of you. May God bless and comfort you during thi trying time.

Janie Peppel-Wojdula says:

I had the pleasure of attending and graduating with Jim At Benton Harbor High School. So sorry to hear of his passing.

Lynn Handmacher Chanin and Butch Fowler says:

Dearest Nichols family…. Sadly, I did not know your amazing father, however, knowing son Jim, certainly reveals what an amazing, incredible, extraordinary and exceptional human being he was. Much love and healing light to you all. Xoxoxox Butch and Lynn

Butch Fowler and Lynn Handmacher Chanin says:

Dearest Nichols family….. Though Butch and I did not know Jim Sr., we are quite sure of his extraordinary and exceptional qualities because we cherish and adore his son.
Love and healing light sent to you all. Xoxoxox
Butch and Lynn

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