Friends & Colleagues Remember Community Servant Bob Nichols
A Texas native, Bob Nichols, considered Webb City home.
“He was a well-respected individual in the community, even though he wasn’t a native in this area,” says Former Webb City Mayor Glenn Dolence.
Nichols invigorated Webb City’s Chamber of Commerce, served on the city council, and headed fundraising efforts to expand the library.
His daughter Eileen says he was an environmental engineer before the specialty even existed. He was a driving force a behind the Tri-State Water Resource Coalition and Environmental Task Force, initiating talks with the EPA to clean up lead and zinc in the area.
He lobbied the state for school funding in 2003 and helped steer the school’s foundation in the right direction.
Missouri’s Deputy Commissioner of Education, Ron Lankford says “He kept telling us if you really want people to be more willing to donate start a foundation, and so we did that. And they awarded scholarships the other night, though it had begun before bob had come to town. It’s about 600,000 dollars now that have been awarded and it has another 700,000 or so in an endowment so all of those things to encourage kids to dream a dream beyond where they are now.”
“He would do anything you asked of him to help with education and he always did it with a smile,” says friend Lucinda Copeland.
And his servant’s heart lives on through his daughter Eileen, who runs the Webb City farmers market.
“It has grown to wear in the summertime when everything is in full production, it brings 100s of people to Webb City,” says Dolence.
A legacy of caring for the community that she learned from her father, Bob Nichols.
A longtime community servant, he passed away in his sleep Friday at his son’s home in Texas at the age of 89.
A memorial service will be held next Saturday at 1:30 at Central United Methodist Church. And in lieu of flowers, the family requests any donations be sent to the Bobby Nichols Jr. scholarship fund c/o P.O. Box 1, Webb City, Missouri, 64870.