St John's Episcopal Church
235 W Duffy St
Norman, OK 73069
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Jonathan Nichols

1965 - 2019

Senator Jonathan Edgar Nichols
November 14, 1965 - June 5, 2019

Senator Jonathan Edgar Nichols was born on Nov. 14, 1965, in Bad Hersfeld, Germany. His parents were Neb B. Nichols and Linda Jean Nichols. Jonathan attended Christ the King Catholic School in Oklahoma City before moving to Muskogee where he attended and graduated from Muskogee High School in 1984. After high school, he attended Northeastern State University in Tahlequah and received his Bachelor of Arts in English. At his graduation in 1990, he was awarded Outstanding Senior of his graduating class. He studied for the LSAT while working overnights in the Corbun machine shop in Muskogee, which led him to obtain his Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 1993.
During his second year of law school, Jonathan noticed a girl who worked in the Law Library. After several attempts to get her to go out with him, she one day saw him in his jeans, T-shirt and driving his white Mustang convertible, and the rest was history. Jonathan and Talitha Joy Dyke married on Aug. 18, 1992, in Oklahoma City. They welcomed their first daughter, Jessica Lyn Nichols, on April 11, 1993, just in time for Jonathan to graduate Law School a month later. At this time, the family resided at 817 W. Lindsey Street.
Jonathan interned in the Cleveland County District Attorney's Office during Law School. Following graduation, his first job as an attorney was at the Taylor Law Firm in downtown Oklahoma City until hired as an Assistant District Attorney in 1995. Nichols was named the Outstanding Prosecutor of the Year by the Association of Oklahoma Narcotic Enforcers in 1997.
Jonathan's admiration of the law and politics led him to run for the District 15 seat of the Oklahoma State Senate, which included Cleveland, Garvin, and McClain Counties. After several months of door knocking in the heat and unrelenting hard work on the campaign trail, his fellow Oklahomans elected him to the Senate in Nov. of 2000, where he had served with distinction until the end of his subsequent terms in 2012. As a Senator, Jonathan served as Chair of the Senate Republican Caucus, authored laws increasing the safety of Oklahoma's children and expanded Oklahoma's DNA database that subsequently led to solving multiple violent cold cases. His efforts earned him a place of honor in the Oklahoma's Child Advocacy Hall of Fame, OSBI's Award for Exemplary Service for his Legislative accomplishments on law and order, the Oklahoma Highway Patrol Outstanding Legislative of the Year award and the Bull Dog award for "improving Oklahoma's criminal justice system."
His tireless efforts to improve higher education earned him the Courageous Legislator of the Year, and he became instrumental in creating the bipartisan support that led to the funding of the National Weather Center at OU. After several years of uncompromising advocacy for higher education, the Oklahoma State Regents awarded him with their Distinguished Service Award.
Although his service to the people of Oklahoma as a Senator concluded in 2012, he continued his service as chief advisor and legal counsel for the President Pro Tempore of the Senate until 2016 when he was asked to serve as Vice President of Governmental Relations for his beloved University of Oklahoma.
In 2018, Nichols would return to the Capitol to serve as a senior policy advisor for the Office of Speaker of the House of Representatives.
The loves of his life and his greatest accomplishments were his two daughters, Jessica Lyn Nichols and Rachel Richey Nichols. He adored them and was so proud of them in everything they did. In the fall, Jessica will begin her second year at the OU College of Law and Rachel her sophomore year at Norman North High School. Jonathan loved movies, especially documentaries, all genres of music, and collecting Oklahoma art. He was loved dearly by his family, respected and revered by his colleagues and was a devoted friend to many. Jonathan was a member of Saint John's Episcopal Church in Norman.
Future companions in heaven include his wife, Talitha Joy Nichols; daughter, Jessica Lyn Nichols-Ruedy and her husband, Mark Ruedy; daughter, Rachel Richey Nichols; brother, Henry Wayne Wilson; sister, Kathryne Wayne Burnett and husband Donald; sister, Patricia Lyn Rhue and husband Ben; uncle, Henry Wilson Nichols and wife Janet; many nephews, nieces and extended family.
Greeting him in heaven will be his father, Neb B. Nichols; mother, Linda Jean Nichols (Wilson); sister, Martha Maomi Nichols-Boyd; grandparents, Jessie and Myrtle Belle Wilson (Hooper) and Ralph and Lucille Nichols (Smith).
Celebration of Life Services are scheduled for 11 a.m. on June 10, 2019, St. John's Episcopal Church, 235 W. Duffy St., Norman, OK 73069, with interment following at I.O.O.F. Cemetery, Norman.
Memorial contributions may be made to St. John's Episcopal Church in Norman.

Online condolences may be shared at:
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Published in The Oklahoman on June 10, 2019
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