Ross Nichols, 41, of Columbia, passed away on Friday, January 30, 2015 at his home surrounded by his loving family. He battled brain cancer with grace, dignity and bravery for over three years. Ross was born on March 20, 1973, in Jefferson City a son of Deborah (Schwehn) and James Nichols. Ross married the love of his life, Nicole Rackers, on November 25, 2000.
Ross graduated from Jefferson City Senior High School, continued his education at Coffeyville, KS Community College (golf scholarship) and later Pittsburg, KS State College where he graduated. Ross and Nicole loved tailgating, traveling, enjoying time with friends, and raising their two amazing boys.
He was loved by his family, friends and his coworkers at the Missouri Trucking Association. Tom Kolb, a colleague of Ross’ had this to say about Ross, “There was no other lobbyist like him that walked the halls of Jefferson City. I guarantee every legislator felt comfortable when they conversed with Ross-he had a sincere and trustworthy way about his Capitol job”.
Ross was a man of faith and an exceptional father. He raised his sons, Noah and Henry, to develop personal relationships with God and the community of Our Lady of Lourdes. Ross loved spending time with his sons fishing, playing catch, golfing, camping and coaching their baseball teams.
Whether he was playing golf, fishing, or drafting his fantasy football team, Ross was constantly surrounded by friends whom he treated like family. The support of the community and friends during his battle with cancer is a true testament to his character.
Ross’s memory will be carried on by his loving wife, Nicole Nichols of Columbia, MO; two sons, Noah Nichols and Henry Nichols both of Columbia, MO; two sisters, Jill Nichols of Jefferson City, MO and Leigh (Jimmy) Johnson of Gilroy, CA; his parents, Deborah and James (Jim) Nichols of Jefferson City, MO; mother-in-law and father-in-law, Al and Hedy Rackers of Columbia, MO; one brother-in-law, Jerome (Cheryl) Rackers of Columbia, MO; nieces and nephews, Emily Rackers, Cory Rackers, Maddie Johnson and Connor Johnson.
He is preceded in death by one son Joshua Nichols; maternal grandparents, Carl and Ruth Schwehn; paternal grandparents, Nelson and Audrey.
A prayer service was held at on Friday, February 6, 2015, at Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic Church in Columbia, Missouri. Friends were received. A mass of Christian burial was held Saturday, February 7, 2015 at Our Lady of Lourdes with Monsignor Michael Flanagan officiating. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy may be made to Father Tolton High School for his sons’ educational fund. Arrangements are under the direction of MILLARD FAMILY Funeral Home, 12 E. Ash St., Columbia, MO 65203 (573) 442-7112. Online condolences may be left for the family at www.millardfamilychapels.com.