Jean Nickels

By on November 13, 2008

            Jean Nickels, 86, of LaFox, formerly of Batavia, passed away Sunday, Nov. 9, 2008, at her home after a long battle with respiratory illness. Released in peace, she claims now the promise of her Savior and  breathes easily the celestial air of heaven.

            Jean was born Aug. 10, 1922, on a family farm near Elburn, the daughter of Nicholas M. and Ada B. (Benton) Nickels. She graduated from Kaneville High School with the class of 1940 and went on to become a registered nurse, graduating from the Copley Hospital School of Nursing in 1943. Jean entered the Army Nurse Corps in 1944 and was stationed at the Oliver General Hospital in Jackson, Mich., until her discharge in 1946.  

            Returning home, she studied sociology at Aurora College, and following graduation in 1951, she entered the University of Minnesota where she graduated with a master’s degree in nursing administration in 1955. 

            During her time at Aurora College, she was employed with Dr. Albert Martin, Aurora, and following graduation from Minnesota, she worked for the state of Illinois at the Jacksonville State Hospital, where she became the Assistant Director of Nursing. In 1959, Jean took a position as Director of Nursing at the Springfield Memorial Hospital, where she continued until 1979. Returning once more to the Fox Valley, Jean joined the staff at Delnor Hospital, St. Charles, where she remained until retiring in 1987.

            Through the years, Jean kept in touch with many of her nursing friends.   Always active, she especially enjoyed golf and bowling and exercised regularly. Late in her years, she found love in the “Prince Charming” of her life, Marty Olson. They were wed in Holy Matrimony at the Community Congregational Church of Elburn and often worshiped in La Fox at the Lord of Life Church, where they made many friends and memories over the years.  

            A woman of firm convictions and unflinching resolve, she was known to “stand her ground” when it counted, and in so doing, left her footprints in more than a few lives. By the same token, her caring hands reached out with a nurse’s healing touch and left fingerprints on more hearts than she ever realized. The memory of Jean’s life and times will long bring smiles to the faces of family, friends and foes alike.

            In addition to her beloved Marty, she is survived by one brother, Gilbert Nickels of Elburn; one sister, Noreen Florence of Big Rock; several nieces and nephews; several great-nieces and nephews, and a host of dear friends.

            She is preceded in death by her parents; a brother and sister-in-law, Keller and Leota Nickels; and her brother-in-law, Wayne Florence.

            According to her wishes no services will be held, and private interment will occur at a later date.

            A memorial has been established in Jean’s name to benefit hospice, her church and other favorite charities.  Memorials checks may be made to the Jean Nickels Memorial and mailed in care of PO Box 66, Elburn, IL 60119. Tributes and memories may also be forwarded to the family at the same address or through her obituary at For information, call Conley Funeral Home at (630) 365-6414 or 1-800-8-CONLEY.