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Senator Jonathan Edgar Nichols

November 14, 1965 June 5, 2019
Senator Jonathan Edgar Nichols
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Obituary for Senator Jonathan Edgar Nichols

Senator Jonathan Edgar Nichols was born on November 14, 1965 in Bad Hersfeld, Germany. His parents were Neb B. Nichols and Linda Jean Nichols. Jonathan attended Christ the King Catholic School in Oklahoma City before moving to Muskogee where he attended and graduated from Muskogee High School in 1984. After high school, he attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and received his Bachelor of Arts in English. At his graduation in 1990, he was awarded Outstanding Senior of his graduating class. He studied for the LSAT while working overnights in the Corbun machine shop in Muskogee, which led him to obtain his Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1993.

During his second year of law school, Jonathan noticed a girl who worked in the Law Library. After several attempts to get her to go out with him, she one day saw him in his jeans, t-shirt and driving his white Mustang convertible and the rest was history. Jonathan and Talitha Joy Dyke married on August 18, 1992 in Oklahoma City. They welcomed their first daughter, Jessica Lyn Nichols, on April 11, 1993 just in time for Jonathan to graduate Law School a month later. At this time, the family resided at 817 W. Lindsey Street.

Jonathan interned in the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office during Law school. Following graduation, his first job as an attorney was at the Taylor Law Firm in downtown Oklahoma City until hired as an Assistant District Attorney in 1995. Nichols was named the Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year by the Association of Oklahoma Narcotic Enforcers in 1997.

Jonathan’s admiration of the law and politics led him to run for the District 15 seat of the Oklahoma State Senate, which included Cleveland, Garvin, and McClain counties. After several months of door knocking in the heat and unrelenting hard work on the campaign trail, his fellow Oklahomans elected him to the Senate in November of 2000 where he’d served with distinction until the end of his subsequent terms in 2012. As a Senator, Jonathan served as Chair of the Senate Republican Caucus, authored laws increasing the safety of Oklahoma’s children and expanded Oklahoma’s DNA database that subsequently led to solving multiple violent cold cases. His efforts earned him a place of honor in the Oklahoma’s Child Advocacy Hall of Fame, OSBI’s Award for Exemplary Service for his Legislative accomplishments on law and order, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Outstanding Legislative of the Year award and the Bull Dog award for “improving Oklahoma’s criminal justice system”.

His tireless efforts to improve higher education earned him the Courageous Legislator of the Year, and he became instrumental in creating the bipartisan support that led to the funding of the National Weather Center at OU. After several years of uncompromising advocacy for higher education, the Oklahoma State Regents awarded him with their Distinguished Service Award. Although his service to the people of Oklahoma as a Senator concluded in 2012, he continued his service as chief advisor and legal counsel for the President Pro Tempore of the Senate until 2016 when he was asked to serve as Vice President of Governmental Relations for his beloved University of Oklahoma.

In 2018, Nichols would return to the Capitol to serve as a senior policy advisor for the Office of Speaker of the House of Representatives.

The loves of his life and his greatest accomplishments were his two daughters, Jessica Lyn Nichols and Rachel Richey Nichols. He adored them and was so proud of them in everything they did. In the fall, Jessica will begin her second year at the OU College of Law and Rachel her Sophomore year at Norman North High School. Jonathan loved movies, especially documentaries, all genres of music, and collecting Oklahoma art. He was loved dearly by his family, respected and revered by his colleagues and was a devoted friend to many. Jonathan was a member of Saint John’s Episcopal church in Norman.

Future companions in heaven include his wife, Talitha Joy Nichols, daughter, Jessica Lyn Nichols-Ruedy and her husband, Mark Ruedy, and daughter, Rachel Richey Nichols; brother, Henry Wayne Wilson, sister, Kathryne Wayne Burnett and husband Donald, sister, Patricia Lyn Rhue and husband, Ben; uncle, Henry Wayne Wilson and wife, Janet; many nephews, nieces and extended family.

Greeting him in heaven will be his father, Neb B. Nichols, mother, Linda Jean Nichols (Wilson); sister, Martha Maomi Nichols-Boyd; grandparents, Jessie and Myrtle Belle Wilson (Hooper), Ralph and Lucille Nichols (Smith).

Visitation will be held 3:00PM – 5:00PM, Sunday, June 9, Tribute Memorial Care Event Center, 708 24th Ave. NW, Norman, OK. Celebration of Life Services are scheduled for 11:00AM, June 10, 2019, St. John’s Episcopal Church, 235 W. Duffy St., Norman, OK 73069 with interment following at I.O.O.F. Cemetery Norman.

In lieu of flowers the family has requested that contributions be made to St. John’s Episcopal Church, 235 W. Duffy St., Norman, OK 73069.


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Previous Events

Visitation

Sunday

9

Jun

3:00 PM 6/9/2019 3:00:00 PM - 5:00 PM 6/9/2019 5:00:00 PM
Tribute Memorial Care Event Center

708 24th Ave. NW
Suite 200
Norman, OK 73069

Tribute Memorial Care Event Center
708 24th Ave. NW Norman 73069 OK
United States

Celebration of Life

Monday

10

Jun

11:00 AM 6/10/2019 11:00:00 AM
St. John's Episcopal Church

235 W. Duffy St.
Norman, OK 73069

St. John's Episcopal Church
235 W. Duffy St. Norman 73069 OK
United States

Cemetery Details

Location

IOOF Cemetery Final Resting Place

1913 N. Porter
Norman, OK 73071

1913 N. Porter Norman 73071 OK
United States

Memorial Contribution

St. John's Episcopal Church

235 W. Duffy St.
Norman, OK 73069
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