BRISTOL, R.I. — Thalia Peterson Nichols, 89, of Portsmouth, R.I., died peacefully Monday, April 25, at St. Elizabeth Manor in Bristol, R.I., where she received loving care for the last few months of her long life. She was the wife of 60 years of Donald Leslie Nichols, originally of Lewiston, who passed away in 2006.

She is survived by her son, Alan Nichols of Santa Clarita, Calif.; daughter, Margret Nichols; daughter, Sara VanHof of Portsmouth, R.I.; son, Jonathan Nichols (spouse, Donald Gentile) of Branford, Conn.; son, Christopher Nichols (spouse, Mary Hennessy Nichols) of Tucson, Ariz.; son, Kendall Nichols (longtime companion, Barbara Crabb) of Reno, Nev.; and son, Douglas Nichols of Bristol, R.I.; five grandchildren; and eight great-grandchildren.

She was predeceased by her brother, Christopher Bailey Peterson of New London, Conn.

She was the daughter of Axel S. Peterson and Dr. Eloise Bailey Peterson, born at the home of her maternal grandparents in Graniteville, Vt. She summered with the family in one of her favorite places in the world from birth to the 1990s at the family summer camp on Bailey’s Pond in Marshfield, Vt. She made a 50-year career of raising her children and grandson, Douglas, whom she adopted later in life. She and Donald made homes in Framingham, Mass., Rochester, N.Y., Santa Barbara, Calif., Portsmouth, R.I., and Waterford, Conn., before moving to their retirement getaway on Tiger Hill Road in Oxford, where they lived for 25 years before moving back to Portsmouth, R.I., where daughter Sara guided them through their final years.

Her children will remember her as being a big hug when they were young, for keeping the Swedish Christmas, and for teaching them what love and responsibility are. Her grandchildren will remember her as a tough old Vermont Yankee with a hearty, contagious laugh and as a great example of not being ashamed of growing old. Children and grandchildren will all remember her for making the best Thanksgiving Day dinner on the planet and great-granddaughter Maya was very impressed that she could take out her teeth!

Mom, Grandma Tad, Grammy — we will miss you so much.

Guest Book