Shelby Jean Oakley Nichols

Shelby Jean Oakley Nichols

Shelby Jean Oakley Nichols, 82, of Wilkesboro passed away Friday, Feb. 12, 2021, at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem. Shelby was born Oct. 9, 1938, in Wilkes County to William Granville and Vay Johnson Oakley. Shelby was married to her high school sweetheart, Paul Nichols, also of Wilkes County. She supported him in his over 20-year career in the U.S. Air Force, traveling to and living in numerous locations throughout the country and overseas. She was a devoted wife and mother, and together they raised one daughter and two sons. In 1976, upon Paul’s retirement from the Air Force, they chose to settle back home in Wilkesboro. Shelby then began a 29-year career with Lowe’s Companies where she advanced in several departments, ultimately retiring as a manager in the procurement department in 2006. Shelby was an avid gardener and spent much of her retirement years perfecting her home garden. She also traveled extensively during these years, eventually splitting time between Wilkesboro and Myrtle Beach. She especially loved any trip involving her children, grandchildren or great-grandchildren — family meant everything to her, and was reflected in our love for her. Shelby was also a member of Pilgrim Baptist Church in Wilkesboro.

In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband of 37 years, Paul Nichols; brother, Jimmy Lee Oakley; and sister, Mattie Lucille Summers. She is survived by two sons, Stuart Nichols and wife, Beatriz, of Columbus, Ohio, and Mark Nichols of Charlotte; a daughter, Paula Nichols Bullock and husband, David, of Beavercreek, Ohio; five grandchildren, Paul Nichols, Ashley Nichols Hash (Keegan), Christopher Bullock, Jenna Bullock Saliba (Joseph), and John Bullock (Alicia); four great-grandchildren, Isabella Bullock, Raymond and Elias Saliba and Wyatt Hash. Also surviving are four brothers, Hal Oakley (Helen), Douglas Oakley (Nan), Alvin Oakley (Dot), and Eddie Oakley (Kathy); one sister, Betty Oakley Chambers (Glenn); niece, Marsha Williams, who was like a sister to her; and many other nieces and nephews. She is also survived by two sisters-in-law, Maxine Nichols and Marie Nichols.

Out of concern for our community’s health, a private visitation, service and interment at Mountlawn Cemetery are planned this week, which will be live streamed on Reins-Sturdivant Facebook page with the Rev. Derek Kirby of Pilgrim Baptist Church presiding. Online condolences and tributes may be posted at the Reins-Sturdivant website In lieu of flowers, honorariam to one of her favorite charities, Pilgrim Baptist Church Youth Ministry, P.O. Box 1517, Millers Creek, N.C., 28651; Salvation Army, 910 C Street North Wilkesboro, N.C. 28659; American Cancer Society, P.O. Box 9, North Wilkesboro, N.C. 28659; or Fisher House Foundation, 12300 Twinbrook Pkwy., Rockville, Md., 20852, are encouraged.

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