Donald "Strag" Lee Nichols, 90 years young, passed peacefully from this life on Saturday, September 17, 2022 at Frederick Memorial Hospital with his family by his side.
Born June 17, 1932 in Montgomery County, Maryland to the late George Thomas Nichols and Evelyn Trigger, Donnie was the second oldest of five siblings. At the age of 17, he enlisted in the United States Army, where he proudly served his country for three years. Upon returning home, he honed his skills as a bricklayer, but soon found his calling as a firefighter for the Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service, providing 27 years of dedicated service until his retirement.
Donnie married the love of his life, June Ellen Waugh, on August 21, 1954, and the pair celebrated 68 joyous years together this year. Together, they raised two children and were blessed with four grandchildren and five great-grandchildren.
To Donnie and his loved ones, his proudest role in life was that of a family man, father, and much-adored grandfather and great-grandfather. He was a big kid at heart, best known for his playful sense of humor. He spent his days brightening the lives of his loved ones, making everyone around him laugh until the end. "Ain't nothin' shakin' but the beans in the pot"—just one of his notable expressions.
Those who knew Donnie knew that he lived life to the fullest, appreciating every day he was given. He brought so much happiness to his family. Not a single birthday would pass without the sound of his voice on the other end of the line singing his famous rendition of 'Happy Birthday' year after year. Donnie's life goal was to make others feel loved, in line with his most sweet sentiment, "I love ya, love ya, love ya."
As a father and grandfather, he led by example and took pride instilling good values in his children and grandchildren that have served each of them well. In his free time, he enjoyed hunting, fishing, riding his Harley-Davidson motorcycle, and spending time with his family, whom he cherished.
In addition to his wife, Donnie is survived by his two children; Donald "Strag" Nichols, Jr and wife Karen, Vicki Lynn Pickett and husband Neil; grandchildren Duane and Dana Pickett, Crystal Blake and husband Jason, Chasity Harich and husband Jason; great-grandchildren Shyla Blake, Wylan and Dylan Harich, and Mariah and Neil Pickett. He is also survived by his brother Leroy and wife Faye. In addition to his parents, he was preceded in death by brothers, Thomas and Eddie, and sisters, Audrey and Joan.
Although Donnie has left his beloved wife and family behind, he will forever be in their hearts and minds. His warm heart, affectionate nature, and lighthearted presence will be missed by all those who knew him.
The family will receive friends at Barber Funeral Home at 21525 Laytonsville Rd. in Gaithersburg, Maryland at 11:00 am on Thursday, September 22, 2022, with the service beginning at 12:00 pm. Interment will follow at Boyd's Presbyterian Church Cemetery.