She was born Aug. 17, 1928, in Gove County, the daughter of Frank J. and Evalyn M. (Laurent) Verhoeff. She grew up on a farm near Grinnell and graduated from Grinnell High School. She also graduated from Kansas State University.
Mrs. Nickels helped on the family farm and dairy near Oskaloosa after she married. She began her 40-year teaching career in a one-room school. She taught both full-time and part-time in McLouth, Nortonville, Oskaloosa and Meriden schools in Jefferson County.
She was a member of Oskaloosa United Methodist Church, Oskaloosa Lions Club and American Legion Auxiliary No. 225, Ozawkie. She was also a member of Nite Owls Home Extension Unit, Oskaloosa.
She married Paul "Robert" Nickels on July 1, 1951, in Manhattan. He died Aug. 11, 1992.
Survivors include a son, Mike Nickels, McLouth; a daughter, Paula Nickels, Grandview, Mo.; a sister, Judy Dietz, Merriam; and two grandchildren.
A son, Mark A. Nickels, died March 28, 1982.
The family suggests memorials to Oskaloosa United Methodist Church Scholarship Fund or to the Oskaloosa Lion's Club Easter Egg Hunt Fund, sent in care of Barnett Funeral Home, P.O. Box 416, Oskaloosa, 66066.