Courier-Leader, Paw Paw Flashes, & South Haven Beacon Obituaries

Obituary: Peggy “Peg” Nicholas

Peggy “Peg” Nicholas, 87, of Lawrence, passed away peacefully Wednesday morning, June 26, 2024, with her son and daughter-in-law at her bedside following a courageous battle with cancer. Peggy was born in her family’s home on June 21, 1937, in Lawton, MI to Maurice and Gertrude (Hulbert) Bailey. She was the second of five children (three girls and two boys).
Peggy grew up in Lawton and she graduated from Lawton Community Schools in 1956. From 1957-1960, Peggy attended Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo and graduated with a Bachelor of Science Degree and became a teacher.
Peggy met the love of her life, David Nicholas, while she was attending college. They were married on June 24, 1961, and began their married life in Lawrence, MI, where David grew up.
Peg and Dave had one child, a son, Timothy, born in 1964. They were a very active couple throughout their 60 years of marriage – enjoying dancing in their younger years, taking family and friends on boating trips, entertaining friends and family at home or going on mini trips. Following their retirement, Peg and Dave found enjoyment spending more time with her grandchildren and volunteering, whether it was reading with the first graders at Lawrence Elementary School or spending time as caretakers at the Big Sable Lighthouse giving tours. Peggy also loved her rose garden and house plants and cared for them well. Peg and Dave made so many wonderful memories together and were loved by so many. Family and friends were extremely important to Peggy and she always made time for them. She loved to bake and was well known for sharing her baking and cooking, especially her chocolate chip cookies! After many years of being Dave’s caretaker, Peg had to say goodbye to her beloved husband on Dec. 30, 2021. She kept a picture of Dave taped to the side of a lamp by her chair and talked to him daily. The love that they had for each other was so evident, as was their love for their son, daughter-in-law, grandchildren, great grandchildren and other family and friends.
Peggy also touched many lives through her teaching career. She taught kindergarten her first two years at Bloomingdale Elementary School and the remaining years at Lawton Elementary School. She loved and cared for all her students. She instilled confidence in them and showed them that it’s OK to fail at something, but don’t give up, keep trying. She also taught them not to be afraid to be silly and laugh at yourself. Teaching kindergarten meant so much to Peggy and every gift that she received from her students or their parents she kept and cherished. She also kept tabs on her former students throughout their years in school and kept newspaper articles that she would find in the local paper reporting on their accomplishments. It was not unusual for former students to recognize her in public and walk up to her and say hello. She may not have remembered every face she saw, but she remembered their names. Peggy loved her job as a teacher and took it very seriously. She saw potential in every student. The Kindergarten Circus was a highlight of Peggy’s career. She started the circus while teaching in Bloomingdale and carried it with her when she transferred to Lawton. It became a yearly event that not just those involved looked forward to, but also the school and community embraced and supported. Even after Peggy retired in 1994, the Kindergarten Circus continued and is still going on today. Peggy was so proud of the children and appreciative of all those involved in making it a success for all of these years. For the children, the circus was and is a time to be in the spotlight and their time to shine. What a gift to all!
Peggy was a godly woman and had strong faith in the Lord, Jesus Christ. She was a member of the Lawrence United Methodist Church since she and Dave married. Over the many years she taught Sunday School and participated on various committees, but the job that she loved the most was sending birthday, anniversary, thinking of you, get well, and sympathy cards on behalf of the church to those in need of spiritual presence. She felt this was a mission for her and took this task very seriously. She always wrote a kind note in every card. There are so many words one could use to describe Peggy’s gentle soul. Here are several – loving, caring, kind, thoughtful, giving, generous, sincere, humble, dedicated, supportive, polite, appreciative, wise, hopeful, strong and determined. Peggy was also humorous and loved to play card games, especially Five Crown, with her family and friends. She could be very competitive, but at the same time she could let you win without you even knowing it!
Peggy loved her family dearly and is survived by her son, Tim (Sandy) Nicholas; three grandchildren, Beth Jorriy, Becky (Brian) Holmes, and Kaitlyn (Ben) Andries; five great-grandchildren – Shelby Jorriy, Tyler Leach, Kennedy Holmes, Nicholas Holmes, and Lincoln Andries; only surviving sibling, John (Jackie) Bailey; and sister-in-law, Judy (Gordie) McGowan.
Peggy was preceded in death by her parents, siblings, Janice (Steve) Lubinski, Sandy (Harold) Wanink, and Jim Bailey.
Cremation has taken place. Family and friends are invited to visit Saturday, July 20, at the Lawrence United Methodist Church from 10 until l 11 a.m. at which time there will be a funeral service. A burial will take place at Hill Cemetery, Lawrence, immediately after the service, followed by a luncheon at the church. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made in Peggy’s name to the Lawrence United Methodist Church, Centrica Care Navigators (formerly Hospice Care of Southwest Michigan), Lawrence Alumni Association or Lawton Alumni Association.
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