CARTHAGE, NY — Linda Marie Gravelle Nichols, 65, Carthage, formerly of Watertown and Florida, passed away peacefully in her sleep on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Comfort Care at Carthage Center.
Ms. Nichols was born March 5, 1955, the first of five children to James Ronald and Meryl Ann (Busler) Gravelle, in Watertown. She graduated in 1973 from Watertown High School. While helping to care for her younger siblings, she babysat neighborhood children, saving up her 25 cent an hour wage to buy her first car.
She received an associates degree in Liberal Arts in 1991 from Jefferson Community College, Watertown, where she earned president’s list honors and was inducted into Phi Theta Kappa honor society.
She married Kenneth Allen Nichols on Aug. 25, 1973, and purchased a home in Sulphur Springs. In October of 1979, they adopted a daughter, Sarah J. Nichols; and on March 17, 1981, their son, Nathan A. Nichols, was born. Mr. and Mrs. Nichols owned and operated Nichols’ Sawmill from their home on the corner of Salt Point and Sulphur Springs Roads. The marriage ended in divorce in 2002.
Ms. Nichols acquired her real estate license. She worked for Hopkins Homes, Better Homes and Gardens, Watertown, where she received the Network Rising Star Award, naming her “Rookie of the Year” for outstanding sales in 1998. She was honored at a ceremony in Las Vegas, Nev. She also had worked locally at several locations in sales and part time at Harvest House Coffee Shop, Watertown, while in high school.
An avid outdoorswoman, she was an active member of the Adirondack Mountain Club, where she enjoyed hiking, cross country skiing, horseback riding and biking, though perhaps none more than kayaking. In addition, she enjoyed scuba diving and was a member the STAR Team, a local underwater rescue organization.
She was a licensed Ham (Amateur Radio) operator and enjoyed speaking to others both near and across the globe. Ms. Nichols was extremely independent and would often be found performing her own home renovations and repairs.
Mrs. Nichols was an accomplished artist with an emphasis on oil painting. She utilized not only canvas, but unique mediums such as driftwood and saw blades. Her works were given to friends and family and sold at several craft shows with and by her former mother-in-law, the late Frances J. Nichols. She took her artistic endeavors through to an enjoyment of sewing and beading necklaces and bracelets.
A horsewoman, she enjoyed riding and training horses. Among her favorites were her thoroughbred, Midnight Thunder, and her paint, Lakota, the latter whom she trained herself.
Seeking further adventure and the Sunshine State, she moved with Lakota to The Villages, Fla. There, she continued to sell real estate with Foxfire Realty and joined equestrian and adventure groups. In the autumn of 2005, just after purchasing a home to renovate herself, she was involved in an accident in a horse-drawn buggy. The TBI (traumatic brain injury) she experienced left Ms. Nichols forever changed. Following rehabilitation in Florida, she moved back to Watertown to reside alongside her daughter in the rental property she owned. In 2020, she could no longer operate as independently as was deemed safe and moved into assisted living; first at Onondaga Center, Minoa, and later at Carthage Center.
She enjoyed trips to the former Rite Aid on Massey Street, shopping, playing her handheld card games, Kentucky Fried Chicken, celebrating holidays with family, watching NCIS and time in her recliner with her cat, Buddy. She loved dragonflies.
Surviving Ms. Nichols are her son and daughter-in-law, Nathan A. and Holly Nichols, Watertown; two granddaughters, Grace Isabella and Lily Olivea Nichols, Watertown; daughter, Sarah J. Nichols, Watertown; mother, Meryl A. Gravelle, Florida; three brothers, James “Jim” Gravelle, Adams Center, Jay Gravelle, Adams Center, and Randy Gravelle; sister, Rebecca Gravelle, Virginia; her cat, Buddy, Watertown; and several cousins, nieces, nephews, great-nieces and great-nephews.
She was predeceased by her father, James R. Gravelle.
A small service will be held at noon Sunday, Feb. 28, at Adams Village Baptist Church.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Adirondack Council in Linda’s name.
Arrangements are with Cleveland Funeral Home.
Online condolences may be made at www.clevelandfhinc.com.