By Brody Gill
Jerry Nichol’s great-nephew
REDDING, CA – Gerald “Jerry” Lee Nichol passed away on Sunday, August 26, 2018, in Redding, California, at the age of 82 years old. Jerry was born on November 28, 1935, in the town of Chico, California, to Cecil and Ruby Nichol. He is survived by his wife of 63 years, Linda Nichol; his two daughters, Katherine Woolley and Candace Zappetini, along with two grandchildren and two great-grandchildren; and his brother, Cecil Nichol, Jr.
At a very young age, Jerry found a distinct love for making people chuckle by his distinct way of humor that lasted throughout his life. He was always known to tell a relatively foul joke or make himself the butt of his own joke just to get a smile or laugh out of whomever was within ear shot. With a quick-witted mind and a love for making jokes, there was never a stage too big or too small to make people laugh. Some of the best stories of Jerry were from when his temper got the best of him, even if he was the one at fault.
Jerry and Cecil grew up wanting to be cowboys, specifically Tie-Down Ropers. As fate would have it, Bill McFarlane (1933 World Champion tie-down roper) would move next door to them in Cottonwood, California, when they were just teenagers. McFarlane soon became their mentor along with several other neighborhood kids that wanted to learn how to rope calves. These kids grew up to be known as the “Cottonwood-ers” because they all lived in Cottonwood and would travel to each and every rodeo together. Members of the “Cottonwood-ers” included Jerry, Cecil, Bob Woolery, Bob Jones, Lyle Hencratt, Lloyd Harness, Delmer Botts, Kenny Elwood and Wayne Williamson. Still today, the “Cottonwood-ers” families have a deep love for rodeo and horses that has been passed down through the generations.
Jerry was also known to always be sitting on a great horse. With a unique style of horsemanship and roping himself, his horses were always eager to impress a watchful eye. Anyone that had ever roped with him knew that he never believed in scoring his horses, making them stand in the corner perfect every time or even waiting for a steer to be looking dead ahead. Nonetheless, his methods made an incredibly responsible and well-minded horse that could be won on at any level.
In writing this article, there was an infinite number of stories that could be told from Jerry’s 82 years on Earth, however, many of them may be considered politically incorrect in this day and age. A celebration of life was held for Jerry on September 21, 2018, in Cottonwood, where many of Jerry’s family and friends enjoyed sharing those unforgettable stories and remembering him with his Coke-bottle glasses, undeniable laugh and heartwarming smile.