Joan L. Nichols


Joan Leonore Ashworth Nichols, of Southbury, passed away peacefully on Feb. 14, after a brief illness. Daughter of Harold Chase Ashworth and Leonore Goodspeed Ashworth, she was born on Nov. 7, 1928 in Waterbury, the second of three children, and was raised in Watertown. She attended Chase Collegiate School and graduated from Wellesley College in 1950 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. She continued her education at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, where she earned a master’s degree and also met her future husband, Charles A. Nichols Jr. They were married in 1956 and lived for a time in New York City, upstate New York, and Indiana, before moving to Needham, Massachusetts, where they raised their two sons.

After her husband died in 1989, Mrs. Nichols moved back to Connecticut in 1991 to be closer to her mother. She lived for many years in Heritage Village before moving to Watermark, a retirement and assisted living facility, in Southbury.

While living in New York City, Mrs. Nichols worked for Scholastic, a publishing company. After her children were born in upstate New York, she worked full-time as a homemaker when they were young, but then joined the Needham Public Schools’ Media Resource Center, where she worked until her retirement in the 1980s. She was a member of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Woodbury, Connecticut and was active for many years in supporting its annual fair, as she had done with her local church in Needham. She was highly accomplished in crewel embroidery, sewing, and knitting, enjoyed crossword and jigsaw puzzles, and loved to walk, but her favorite activity was reading, an enjoyment she passed down to both of her sons.

In her last years, although stricken with Alzheimer’s, she remained the same loving, cheerful person she had been her whole life.

She leaves behind her sons, Charles A. Nichols, III and Richard Ashworth Nichols; her daughters-in-law, Donna Palermino and Linda Lach; and her three grandchildren, Amy, Anthony, and Josephine. A memorial service will be held at a future date. To leave online condolences, visit Donations in her memory may be made to the Alzheimer’s Association.