“You get to live everyday…I am enjoying life in the moment. I appreciate that this is what life should be—an appreciation of what we experience in real time” Mary Nichols
Sunday, March 12, 2023, just 5 days before her 62nd birthday, Mary Jane Nichols (formerly Orr) passed peacefully at Littleton Adventist Hospital in Littleton, Colorado. She was surrounded by her family and left with the final words, “I love you all so much”.
Mary was born in Denver, Colorado March 17, 1961. She was adopted in May of 1961 when she met her parents. Her younger brother, Tom Orr, later completed their family. She is preceded in death by her parents, Margaret & Thomas Orr.
She graduated from Aurora Central High School. She later earned her Bachelor of Arts in Law and Society from The Women’s College of The University of Denver in June 2009. She graduated Magna Cum Laude and as a member of the Lambda Pi Eta Honors Society of the National Communication Association.
Mary met Jim Nichols working at Circle in the Square in 1982. After dating for two and a half years, they were married on September 14, 1985 at Rockland Community Church. As they built their life together, they had three children, Rachel (Jon), Michael (Maria), & Brian (Zoe). During her long cancer journey Mary was able to witness each of her children’s graduations, weddings and the birth of three grandchildren. She was a cherished “Aba” (Abuelita) to Calvin and Jocelyn Houk, and Murphy Nichols.
“I have had a sense of urgency about doing something, anything. Make a difference.” - Mary Nichols
Mary had a true servant leader’s heart born of her strong faith. She fully committed to everything she did. From being a wife, mother, Aba, sister, aunt, cousin, niece, and friend, to a volunteer and leader, Mary was all-in. Her passion was infectious. She never stopped, never slowed, and her intention was always to make a positive impact. Mary never wanted to discuss her journey with cancer, nor make it about her, she wanted the focus to be on others and how she could help them.
With empathy and passion, she served on the Littleton Board of Education for eight years. Her decision to run was a natural evolution of her involvement as PTO President, and on school committees and councils within the district where her children attended school. She was dedicated to public education and always asked, “How is this best for our students?” She was also a committed Board Member of the Littleton Adventist Hospital Foundation which worked to improve the care of the people of our community. But truly, Mary’s greatest devotion was to her family. She always showed up and gave us everything she had.
“The frogs were hopping. The water lilies were growing. The sun was peeking through the tall trees. The world, right there, was at peace, as am I.” Mary Nichols
Mary built the life she wanted, she exuded love, passion, charisma, and service. Her passing leaves an irreplaceable void in our family and community. She will be sorely missed always. We know that she is comfortably in Heaven and smiling down on us as we live life to the fullest in her honor.
Arrangements for her celebration of life will be posted here as they are finalized.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that you please make a donation to the Littleton Public Schools Foundation or the Littleton Adventist Hospital Foundation.
Littleton Public Schools Foundation
(click on drop down under donate that says “in honor of Mary Nichols”)
Littleton Hospital Foundation
(click on “Add Comment” and type “in honor of Mary Nichols”)
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Mary Jane Nichols, please visit our floral store.