James Gentry “Hoot” Nichols, 69, of Orrick, Mo., died peacefully early Saturday morning, March 10, 2018 at his home, with his loving family surrounding him. James was best known around his many friends as Hoot. He was born in Carrolton, Mo., on April 12, 1948 to Murry Isom Nichols and Viola Virginia (Mansell) Nichols. He attended and graduated Orrick High School with the class of 1966. Following high school, he worked at Orrick Farm Service. In 1969, Hoot began his working career with the Santa Fe Railroad in track maintenance. The railroad merged with Burlington Northern Railroad and became the Burlington Northern Santa Fe (BNSF) and Hoot worked his way up to become the Road Master. His crew named his office “Hooterville” due to his nickname. He worked for the railroad for 36 years and retired in 2005.
He married his high school sweetheart, Barbara Jeanne Corbin, on April 8, 1967. He and Barbara began their life together living at the Orrick Arms Apartments. They remained in Orrick for a few years, before traveling with the railroad. After traveling, they settled in Excelsior Springs in 1987. They later retired to Warsaw, Mo.
He was a member of Cedar Grove Baptist Church in Warsaw, where he taught Sunday school and Bible school. He was an avid sports fan and loved to go fishing and snagging. When his boys were young, he enjoyed teaching them to hunt and coaching their little league teams. He especially loved his family and spending time with them, his grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
He was preceded in death by his parents, Murry and Viola Nichols, two brothers, Jerry Nichols and Jack Nichols, and a sister, Murietta “Murt” Nichols.
Survivors include his wife of almost 51 years, Barbara Nichols of the home, and sons, James Aaron Nichols of Orrick, Mo., Patrick Wayne Nichols and wife, Carrie of Wentzville, Mo., Gentry Corbin Nichols and wife, Erin of Oak Grove, Mo., and Blake Moberly of Kansas City, Mo.; daughter-in-law, Robin Nichols of Kansas City, Mo.; sister, Janice Griffith of Blue Springs, Mo.; grandchildren, Brittnee Waters and husband, Jake, Zachary Nichols, Skylar Nichols, Skyler Nichols, Tyler Nichols, Trey Nichols, Hailey Nichols, Colin Nichols, and Carson Nichols; great grandchildren, Noah and Sophie Waters; and his recliner companion, Ms. Elle.
Visitation will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, March 16, 2018 at Gowing Funeral Home in Orrick, Mo. Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, March 17, 2018 at the Orrick Baptist Church with Rev. Jim Andrews officiating. Cremation will take place following services with inurnment at a later date in Craven Cemetery near Camden, Mo.
Memorials are suggested to Crossroads Hospice, 2900 N.E. 60th Street, Suite 150, Gladstone, MO 64119.