Jennie Nicholson

Published 12:00 am Friday, January 9, 2009

Jennie B. Nicholson
WAKEFIELD—Jennie Barrett Spratley Nicholson of Wakefield died on Thursday, Jan. 8, 2009.
She was the widow of John Benjamin Nicholson, Jr. and the daughter of Garland William and Jennie Barrett Spratley of Dendron in Surry County. Grieving her death are her sons John Benjamin Nicholson III of the home and William Spratley Nicholson of Richmond and her granddaughter Catherine Barrett Nicholson of Richmond. Her sister, Lois Spratley Donald of Williamsburg, survives her.
Survivors include Yousri Houssana Bel Hadj of Washington, D.C., and her godson Patrick Jennings Cox of Richmond.
Mrs. Nicholson was a native of Dendron and graduated from Dendron HighSchool. She graduated from Madison College (now James Madison University) in 1938 and attended graduate school at the College of William and Mary.
She began her long teaching career at Ivor High School in Southampton County.
After her marriage in 1940, she taught home economics and science at Wakefield High School, Waverly High School and Waverly Junior High School in Sussex County until her retirement in 1978.
She was honored for her contributions to public education and the community by the Wakefield Foundation in 2001.
As a life member of the Association for the Preservation of Virginia Antiquities, she supported state-wide preservation efforts and specifically in Surry County. She participated in many projects involving Smith’s Fort Plantation and Bacon’s Castle.
In 1980, she was elected director of the Thomas Rolfe Branch, APVA.
She was honored for her work by the Branch on its seventy-fifth anniversary in 2000 and was among those accepting congratulations from the House of Delegates in 2001.
She was the first woman named to the Wakefield Planning Commission and worked on Wakefield’s first comprehensive plan.
She was a member of the Wakefield Woman’s Club for more than fifty years, the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Daughters of the Confederacy.
On her 90th birthday in 2007, the Sussex County Board of Supervisors presented her with a proclamation endorsing her work as an educator and congratulating her on her church and civic successes.
Mrs. Nicholson joined the Wakefield United Methodist Church in 1940.
She was a member of its choir for more than 60 years and was an advisor for the Methodist Youth Fellowship.
She was a member of the Pocahontas Bible Class and was one of the first women named to the Board of Trustees of the church.
As a life-long collector of antiques, she especially appreciated old, hand-made baskets, export porcelains and Virginia coin silver. She also was a fan of ACC basketball and women’s basketball.
She played bridge from the age of 13.
Her remains will rest at her home at 403 West Main Street in Wakefield (23888) after 2 p.m. today.
A funeral service will be held Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at the Wakefield United Methodist Church.
Burial will follow in the Wakefield Cemetery after which family and friends will gather for lunch at the Spain Building at the Airfield 4-H Center.
The family is being served by J.T. Morris Funeral Home of Hopewell.
The family requests no flowers and suggests contributions to The Nicholson Family Charitable Trust, a trust dedicated to local charitable support.
Contributions received by the trust will be matched. They may be sent to the Trust in care of Aldia Spiers Carter, Administrator, Post Office Box 221, Wakefield, Virginia 23888.