Shelby Jean Oakley Nichols, 82, of Wilkesboro passed away Friday, February 12, 2021, at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston Salem. Shelby was born October 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 twenty year career in the United States 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 Lowes 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, North Carolina, and 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), and 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 Memorial Park are planned this week, which will be live streamed on Reins-Sturdivant Facebook page with the Reverend Derek Kirby of Pilgrim Baptist Church presiding. Online condolences and tributes may be posted at the Reins-Sturdivant website www.reinssturdivant.com. In lieu of flowers, honorariam to one of her favorite charities, Pilgrim Baptist Church Youth Ministry PO Box 1517 Millers Creek, NC 28651, Salvation Army 910 C Street North Wilkesboro, NC 28659, American Cancer Society PO Box 9 North Wilkesboro, NC 28659 or Fisher House Foundation 12300 Twinbrook Pkwy, Rockville, MD 20852, are encouraged.
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Shelby Jean (Oakley) Nichols, please visit our floral store.
American Cancer Society
PO Box 9, North Wilkesboro NC 28659
Pilgrim Baptist Church Youth Fund
P.O. Box 1517, Millers Creek NC 28651
Fisher House Foundation
12300 Twinbrook Pkwy, Rockville MD 20852
910 C Street, North Wilkesboro NC 28659