McPHERSON— Former United States Representative Richard Dale “Dick” Nichols, 92, of McPherson, Kan., passed away Thursday, March 7, 2019, surrounded by his family at his home. Nichols was elected to the U.S. Congress as a Congressman of the 5th District in 1990. He served for one term until Jan. 3, 1993. In the reapportionment following the 1990 Census, the size of Kansas’ congressional delegation was reduced from five to four, eliminating the 5th district. Nichols ran for re-election in the Fourth District, but lost in the Republican primary.
Sen. Jerry Moran called Nichols an inspiration.
“In every role he took on — son, husband, father, grandfather, soldier, businessman, congressman, community leader and friend — Dick put service to others above self,” Moran said in a prepared statement. “It has been a privilege to call him a friend and mentor throughout his life and I will miss his steady counsel.”
Nichols served as a member of the Kansas State Republican Executive Committee, was a delegate to the 1988 Republican National Convention, and was the Republican Party chair for the Fifth Congressional District from 1986 to 1990.
Nichols was born in Fort Scott, Kan., on April 29, 1926, a son of Olive Marston (Kittell) and Ralph Dale Nichols.
Nichols attended the Manhattan Grade School, Manhattan, Kan., Fort Scott Junior High and High School and graduated from Paola High School, Paola, Kan., in 1943. Following college stints in the Navy V-12 program at Kansas University, Park College, Mo., and University of Notre Dame, he served aboard a minesweeper in the North Atlantic, then a brand new destroyer in the Gulf Coast. After his naval service, he graduated from Kansas State University with degrees in agricultural economics and technical journalism.
He was a member of First United Methodist Church McPherson, Kan., where he taught an adult Sunday school class and sang in the choir.
He honorably served in the U.S. Navy.
Nichols started working in 1951 for the Kansas State Board of Agriculture and WIBW Radio Station in Topeka, Kan. He started in the banking business in 1957, at the Hutchinson National Bank, Hutchinson, Kan. In 1969, Dick moved to McPherson and served as President of Home State Bank & Trust Co. and served in this capacity until 1990 when he was elected to the U.S. Congress as a Congressman of the 5th District. Following his service in the Congress, he returned to the bank as chairman of the board. He was in banking for 54 years.
Dick served as president of the Kansas Bankers Association, the McPherson Chamber of Commerce, McPherson Rotary Club, McPherson Arts Council, and served as Commanding General of the Kansas Cavalry and board member of Kansas, Inc. He was also a member of the American Legion Post 24 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2715, both of McPherson. Dick was enthusiastic about life, enjoyed sports, playing the piano, and participating in golf and tennis. Dick and his wife Linda enjoyed their blended families of children and grandchildren.
Richard “Dick” Nichols was married to Constance “Connie” Weinbrenner on March 25, 1951, at Hutchinson, Kan. This union was blessed with the birth of three children, two sons and a daughter, Philip, Ronald, and Anita. Connie died on June 28, 1994. Richard Nichols was united in marriage to Linda Carol (McGrew) Hupp on April 21, 1996, at the First United Methodist Church Chapel, McPherson. This union brought Linda’s children, Kathryn and Douglas, into the family.
He is survived by his loving and devoted wife of over 22 years, Linda Nichols, of McPherson, Kan; his daughterin-laws, Terri Nichols Collona and husband Eddie, of Fernandina Beach, Fla., and Linda Nichols, of Kansas City, Mo.; his children, Ronald Nichols and wife Candace, of Overland Park, Kan., and Anita Bomberger and husband Lane, of McPherson, Kan.; his stepson, Douglas Hupp and wife Joanna, of Bel Aire, Kan.; his brother, David Nichols and wife Marilyn, of Denver, Colo.; his sister-in-law, Polly Nichols, of Asheville, N.C.; his 15 grandchildren; his 18 greatgrandchild; several nieces and nephews, other relatives and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; first wife, Connie Nichols; a son, Phillip Nichols; a step-daughter, Kathryn Elizabeth Lewis; and a brother, Elgene Nichols.
Visitation will be held on Tuesday, March 19, from 5 to 7 p.m. at the First United Methodist Church, McPherson.
Celebration of life service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, March 20, at the First United Methodist Church, McPherson, Kan., with Reverend Karen Rice-Ratzlaff officiating.
The final resting place will be at the McPherson Cemetery, McPherson, Kan., with military honors presented by members of the American Legion Post 24 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 2715, both of McPherson.