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Barbara Helen Sommer Nicholls

Barbara Helen Sommer Nicholls

Barbara Helen Sommer Nicholls of Hendersonville was born September 27, 1932 in Beloit, Wisc. Her parents were Elmer and Elsie Sommer, who are both deceased. Her prior residences include Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, and Florida.

Mrs. Nicholls earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Manchester College, North Manchester, Ind., with additional graduate hours in areas of counseling and special education. She then earned a Master of Science degree from Saint Francis College in Fort Wayne, Ind.

Barbara taught Home Economics and Special Education in Indiana and Florida school systems; she was a Co-Manager for Yeager Insurance in Warsaw, Ind.; and she was the proprietor of Montgomery Ward Sales Agency in Warsaw, Ind.

She is preceded in death by one brother, Donald.

Her survivors include husband Harold (married Sept. 7, 1952); sons Jeffrey (and Jackie) Nicholls of Anderson, Ind., Gregory (and Laurie) Nicholls of West Chester, Ohio, Scott (and Lois) Nicholls of Timonium, Md.; and daughters Holly (and Dave) McGuire of Warsaw, Ind., Amy Nicholls of Greenville, S.C.; eight grandchildren (and three spouses), three great-grandchildren, and one sister, Karen (and Dave) Wilharms of Wausau, Wisc.

Mrs. Nicholls' formal activities and associations include serving as a Guardian Ad Litem in Florida, being a past State Secretary and District II President of the Indiana Home Economics Association, and serving as President of the active and associate chapters of Tri Kappa Associate Organization. She was also a past board member and Secretary of Mobile Meals in Indiana, as well as a former President of Extension Homemakers Club and past County Officer for Indiana. She was a Kosciusko Community Hospital Auxiliary member who also served as Secretary and Vice-President of the volunteer board. She was also a member of the American Association of University Women.

Mrs. Nicholls served as a board member of the Plantation Walk Neighborhood Association in Hendersonville. She was also a former Regent of the Joseph McDowell Chapter DAR in Hendersonville and founded the Mary Coffin Starbuck Chapter for the National Society Colonial Dames XVII Century.

Mrs. Nicholls was a long-time member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Hendersonville.

Personal Life Comments:
Barbara Helen Sommer Nicholls has entered The Kingdom, leaving a life of constant enrichment as a self-made person and excelling in all she valued. Her valiant struggle against cancer gave her many extra years of life.

Foremost in her values was a pursuit of having a strong family, leading by example and accomplished skills. With an education in health and social skills, Mrs. Nicholls strived to pass these values and traits onto her family.

Amongst her efforts giving to the community, Barbara sewed quilts and lap robes to be given to the VA hospital in Hendersonville and to mothers-to-be at the local pregnancy center. She advocated for children in need as a Guardian Ad Litem, and was a group homes manager and adult literacy teacher as an adjunct to her work as a special education teacher. Barbara was involved in various quilting clubs and loved giving quilts to her family members. She also enjoyed weaving, knitting, and visiting her large circle of family and friends. Having lived in the Midwest, Mid-Atlantic, and South, she easily made friends everywhere and garnered many warm relationships over the years.

Mrs. Nicholls was also an avid genealogist, finding her roots and gaining eligibility in the Daughters of the American Revolution, as well as founding the local chapter of Colonial Dames. Barbara also served on several boards, traveled five continents, and loved to sail to many countries.

Barbara will be dearly missed by her loving family and by all who knew her, but leaves a legacy of many wonderful memories. We will remember her for a life that was giving and generous.

A memorial service will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, April 6, at Trinity Presbyterian Church, 900 Blythe St., Hendersonville, with a small reception immediately following.

Donations may be made in lieu of flowers to the Hendersonville Rescue Mission, 639 Maple Street, Hendersonville, NC 28792.

An online guest book and sympathy card are available at

Shuler Funeral Home is assisting the family with arrangements.