Linda Fra (Thomas) Nicholas, 1941-2012
Linda Nicholas, age 71 passed away at home on December 16, 2012 after a year-long illness.
Linda was born on September 16, 1941 to Jess Winfield and Helen Margaret (Porter) Thomas at Memorial Hospital in Sheridan, WY. She grew up on ranches along the Montana-Wyoming border, while Jess worked on the Kendrick ranch, and homesteaded a ranch for his family, eventually settling near Tongue River at Decker. Her love of books and learning began early in life, inspired by Grandmother Porter, her first teacher in the rural school. In one pre-school memory, she hurries out to the road to meet the school bus every afternoon and walks back with her brother Larry, swinging a lard pail, pretending that she went to school too. Everyone in the family worked on the ranch and her scariest task was to get the cows to cross the rickety bridge at Tongue River in the Spring and get them back over in the Fall roundup. She attended grade schools at Pine Butte and Squirrel Creek at Decker MT. She graduated from Sheridan High School 1959, began college at MSU Bozeman and received her Bachelor's degree in Education from Eastern Montana College in Billings, MT. Interestingly, she graduated the same year with her Mother, Margie, both with teaching degrees. Linda taught at Big Bend School in Kirby, Lodgegrass, Squirrel Creek, MT and Recluse, WY, and Claresholm, Alberta, Canada.
Linda married Roger Paine Nicholas in Gillette on Aug 1, 1971. She later fondly referred to her marriage a ‘package deal’ including a husband, six children and a one-eyed dog. The family set up housekeeping in Sheridan where Roger had an electric motor shop and Linda ran a laundromat and rental property businesses. Linda was a witty and accomplished writer. She worked at the Sheridan Press and The Marketplace/Country Journal where she authored a weekly column about the hilarities and realities of raising a big family. Linda was also an amateur archaeologist, and uncovered many relics in the region. She discovered the Foss-Thomas buffalo jump site near Decker. She loved her books, games and puzzles and was a serious contender in Scrabble! Linda enjoyed country life, her many pets and all creatures, great and small; her friends, family, her church and her country refuge at Murphy Gulch. Linda’s perfect day would start with coffee and cribbage with her husband and best friend, Roger, then a long walk in the country with the dogs, perhaps snowshoe out to the road to get the mail, an afternoon of reading followed by supper and cards with friends and family.
Linda was predeceased by her husband, Roger, her daughter Dixie Nicholas Torok, son-in-law, Leslie William Torok, a nephew Tom Thomas, and a cousin Janelle Porter. She is survived by five children, 14 grandchildren, 7 great-grandchildren, her brother Larry Thomas, sister Joan (Thomas) Paulson and beloved aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews.
The families of her children include:
Her son, Roger “Rocky” James Nicholas and wife Skyla Dawn (Speirs), Cody John Nicholas and wife Regal Melinda (Anderson) and their sons Zachary Eli and Connor Everett, Patrecia Ann Nicholas, Jessica Nicole (Nicholas) McKinley and husband Zachary and their children, David Eli, Anna Elizabeth, and Grace Emiline; Winter Marie (Nicholas) Hendrickson and husband Chad; Her daughter, Cynthia Jo (Nicholas) Heigold and husband Frederick Robert, Frederick Robert Heigold III, Aimee Lyn Heigold, Laura Christine (Heigold) Towers and husband, John James, Jennifer Anne (Heigold) Kvaternik and husband Carson and daughter, Emma Joy; Samuel Nicholas Torok, Susannah Helen Torok, William Laszlo Torok; Her daughter, Mary Jane (Nicholas) Miller, Erin Lyndall (Miller) Mauro and daughter Mia Rosabella, Timothy Brian Miller, Molly Jane Miller; Her sons, Donald Gene Nicholas and Theodore “Ted” Paul Nicholas.
A Visitation will be held from 6:00 -8:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 20, 2012 at Kane Funeral Home. Services will be held at 2:00 p.m. on Friday, December 21, 2012 at Kane Funeral Home. Interment will follow in the Sheridan Elks Memorial Cemetery with Hayden Porter and Lorelie Morris officiating. A reception will follow in the Kane Reception Hall.
Memorials to honor Linda's honor may be made to the Sheridan Dog & Cat Shelter at 84 East Ridge Rd., Sheridan, WY 82801 or to the Prairie Dog Church Mission Program at 702 US Hwy 14, Sheridan, WY 82801.
Online condolences may be written at www.kanefuneral.com.
Kane Funeral Home has been entrusted with arrangements.