Lonnie Wilson Nichols, 91, of Shelbyville, died Sunday, May 30, 2010, at the Alvin C. York V.A. Medical Center in Murfreesboro after an extended illness.
Lonnie was born in Petersburg on Feb. 17, 1919. He was the son of the late Lonnie Madison Nichols and Lona Mae Gibson Nichols. He grew up in Petersburg and graduated from Morgan Prep School where he was a standout football player. He received a scholarship to Murfreesboro Teachers College (MTSU) where he played football. He enlisted in the Army where he served with distinction as a medic in North Africa, Sicily and Italy during W.W.II. He then served in the U.S. Air Force until his retirement in 1965. Lonnie served 26 years in the military. On his return to civilian life he became personnel director at Baptist Medical Center Princeton in Birmingham, Ala. He returned back home to Tennessee in 1972. He worked for years with Davis-Ralston-McCauley Funeral Home in Petersburg. After moving to Shelbyville in 1986, he was a long time employee of Gowen-Smith Chapel. He retired in 2005 at age 85.
Mr. Nichols was a long-time member of the Masonic Lodge and member of Al Menah Temple Shriners, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, and a member of the First Baptist Church in Shelbyville.
He is survived by his wife of 65 years, Doris Reed Nichols of Shelbyville; one son, Larry (Margaret) Nichols of Murfreesboro; and three stepgrandchildren and their families.
Visitation will be held from 5 until 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 2, at Doak-Howell Funeral Home and beginning at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at the church prior to the service.
Funeral services will be held at 11 a.m. Thursday, June 3, at the First Baptist Church in Shelbyville with Pastor Kevin Minchey officiating. Burial with full military honors will be at the Old Orchard Cemetery in Petersburg.